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  1. Site: Fr Hunwicke's Mutual Enrichment
    0 sec ago
    Since the Council, an idea has been spreading that Judaism is not superseded by the New Covenant of Jesus Christ; that Jews still have available to them the Covenant of the old Law, by which they can be saved. It is therefore unnecessary for them to turn to Christ; unnecessary for anybody to convert them to faith in Christ. Indeed, attempting to do so is an act of aggression not dissimilar to theFr John Hunwickehttp://www.blogger.com/profile/17766211573399409633noreply@blogger.com11
  2. Site: Fr Hunwicke's Mutual Enrichment
    0 sec ago
    S Paul loved his fellow Jews, his 'kinsmen' and believed "the gifts and call of God are irrevocable". He believed that at the End, those among them who had rejected Christ would be brought in to the chosen people. He believed that they were like olive branches which had been cut off so that the Gentiles, wild olive branches, could be grafted in. But, when the fulness of the Gentiles had entered Fr John Hunwickehttp://www.blogger.com/profile/17766211573399409633noreply@blogger.com3
  3. Site: Fr Hunwicke's Mutual Enrichment
    0 sec ago
    Lex orandi lex credendi. I have been examining the Two Covenant Dogma: the fashionable error that God's First Covenant, with the Jews, is still fully and salvifically valid, so that the call to saving faith in Christ Jesus is not made to them. The 'New' Covenant, it is claimed, is now only for Gentiles. I want to draw attention at this point to the witness of the post-Conciliar Magisterium of theFr John Hunwickehttp://www.blogger.com/profile/17766211573399409633noreply@blogger.com13
  4. Site: Fr Hunwicke's Mutual Enrichment
    0 sec ago
    We have seen that the Two Covenant Theory, the idea that Jewry alone is guaranteed Salvation without any need to convert to Christ, is repugnant to Scripture, to the Fathers, even to the post-Conciliar liturgy of the Catholic Church. It is also subversive of the basic grammar of the relationship between the Old and the New Testaments. Throughout  two millennia, in Scripture, in Liturgy, in her Fr John Hunwickehttp://www.blogger.com/profile/17766211573399409633noreply@blogger.com7
  5. Site: Fr Hunwicke's Mutual Enrichment
    0 sec ago
    The sort of people who would violently reject the points I am making are the sort of people who would not be impressed by the the Council of Florence. So I am going to confine myself to the Magisterium from the time of Pius XII ... since it is increasingly coming to be realised that the continuum of processes which we associate with the Conciliar and post-Conciliar period was already in operationFr John Hunwickehttp://www.blogger.com/profile/17766211573399409633noreply@blogger.com0
  6. Site: Fr Hunwicke's Mutual Enrichment
    0 sec ago
    In 1980, addressing a Jewish gathering in Germany, B John Paul II said (I extract this from a long sentence): " ... dialogue; that is, the meeting between the people of the Old Covenant (never revoked by God, cf Romans 11:29) and that of the New Covenant, is at the same time ..." In 2013, Pope Francis, in the course of his Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii gaudium, also referred to the Old Fr John Hunwickehttp://www.blogger.com/profile/17766211573399409633noreply@blogger.com10
  7. Site: Fr Hunwicke's Mutual Enrichment
    0 sec ago
    Continues ...  I should add that Jesse Billett gives critical editions of three unregarded liturgical fragments, relegated to 'Appendix' status but all of them important and with each detail treated with scrupulous attention. I have not checked through the tables which are a prominent feature of the book and which make it easier to follow his discussion, but, in what I have looked at, I have not Fr John Hunwickehttp://www.blogger.com/profile/17766211573399409633noreply@blogger.com2
  8. Site: Fr Hunwicke's Mutual Enrichment
    0 sec ago
    I popped into the Cathedral the other day to warm my hands at what Mgr R A Kox and his chums in the SSPP would have advertised as a "Latimer and Ridley Pricket Stand". It is propped up against a modern and rather nasty statue of our Lady. Frankly, I think the flickering candles (none of that electrical technology here; modern Anglicans find Mystic Flicker more attractive) would be better placed Fr John Hunwickehttp://www.blogger.com/profile/17766211573399409633noreply@blogger.com0
  9. Site: Catholic Herald
    1 hour 8 min ago
    Author: Staff Reporter

    A priest has criticised parents who reduce their child’s First Communion to an “orgy of materialism with miniature brides”, claiming many children never return to Mass the following Sunday. Fr Paddy O’Kane, parish priest for Ballymagroarty in the diocese of Derry, said some families prepared their child for First Communion simply “because everyone else is doing it”. “Perhaps [it] is a harmless...

    Source

  10. Site: southern orders
    1 hour 19 min ago
    John Allen of Crux unwittingly captures the current dysfunction in the Vatican that mirrors the same cultural dysfunction of the banana republics of South and Central America, just think Argentina, Brazil, Venezuela, Nicaragua and Cuba.
    Deafening silence on Müller confirms key insight on Francis papacy
    German Cardinal Gerhard Müller, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. (Credit: CNS.)ROME - There’s an old philosophical head-scratcher about whether, if a tree falls in the forest and no one is there to hear it, does it make a noise? In similar fashion, one might ask if an alleged Vatican heavyweight makes a stir and no one reacts, is he really that much of a heavyweight?The question presents itself in light of a fascinating interview conducted on May 12 with German Cardinal Gerhard Müller, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, by Raymond Arroyo of EWTN and released last Thursday.There are many interesting points in the conversation, but probably of most immediate news value are Müller’s comments on Amoris Laetitia, the pope’s document on the family that seemed to open a cautious door to Communion for divorced and civilly remarried Catholics, and on female deacons, which is relevant given Pope Francis’s decision to create a commission to ponder the idea.On Amoris, Müller expressed frustration that some bishops and bishops’ conferences have put out contradictory interpretations of its provisions on Communion for the divorced and remarried.“It is not good that the bishops’ conferences are making official interpretations of the pope,” Müller said. “That is not Catholic. We have this document of the pope, and it must be read in the context of the complete Catholic tradition.”“We don’t have two magisteria, one of the pope and another one of the bishops,” Müller said. “I think it is a misunderstanding, a bad misunderstanding which causes damage, could cause damage for the Catholic Church.”In general, the thrust of Müller’s commentary is to suggest that read in light of tradition, Amoris Laetitia does not actually authorize opening the sacrament to divorced and civilly remarried believers.On the issue of female deacons, Müller didn’t “suggest” anything - he was about as blunt as humanly possible.“No. Impossible. It will not come,” he said.“Pope Francis denied the possibility of female deacons, but he said we could study the old documents for having some inspiration, so to promote the engagement of women in the Church of today,” he said.“People outside of the Church don’t understand the mission of the Church. They are thinking the Church is an organization like others, and we have to promote in a generally abstract sense the emancipation of women, but this has nothing to do with it,” Müller said. “Everybody inside and outside of the Church has to respect that the Church is not a political or man-made organization, but is the Body of Christ.”Here’s the thing: This interview has been in circulation for a full four days now, and almost no one has reacted to it. There’s no hubbub, no ferment, no rattle and hum of conflicting interpretations and analyses. For all intents and purposes, it’s as if it hadn’t happened.Granted, some of that lack of response may be because Müller has made his positions clear already in a variety of venues, and some of it may be, too, because people are simply weary of the seemingly never-ending tussles unleashed by Amoris.Nonetheless, the deafening silence also illustrates how much things have changed in the Pope Francis era.Once upon a time, the earth shook when prefects of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith spoke. Historically, the congregation has been known as la suprema, the “supreme” department within the Vatican, because it had the final word on issues involving doctrine - and since there’s little the Catholic Church does that doesn’t involve doctrine in some form, that’s an awfully broad mandate.When Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger ran the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith from 1981 to 2005 prior to becoming Pope Benedict XVI, for instance, his every utterance was perceived to carry enormous weight. Theological careers could rise or fall based on a mention by Ratzinger, and the universal sense was that when he spoke, the full weight of the Vatican and the papacy stood behind his words.That’s simply not the case under Francis, who perhaps has not quite “sidelined” the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, but who certainly does not rely on it as his primary touchstone for assessing the doctrinal implications of his decisions.When Francis wants a theological assessment of something, it’s clear that he’ll rely more on informal advisers such as Argentine Archbishop Victor Fernandez than on Müller, part of this pope’s general strategy of preferring to work around people who aren’t quite in sync with his agenda than to formally replace them.As a result, seasoned Vatican-watchers no longer assume that when the head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith speaks, it’s a hint of looming papal policy. Instead, Müller has become another voice in the conversation, someone to be respected for his senior position and theological credentials, but certainly not a pipeline to what the pope may be thinking or planning.Whether that’s good or bad lies in the eye of the beholder, but in any event, Müller and his most recent interview are Exhibit A for a key insight about the Francis papacy: Looking at Vatican organizational charts and knowing who’s theoretically supposed to be in charge of something, coupled with a Euro coin, may buy you a cappuccino at a Roman bar, but it certainly won’t tell you much about who’s actually making decisions.
  11. Site: Call Me Jorge...
    1 hour 27 min ago

    “Perché la sofferenza dei bambini è certamente la più dura da accettare; e allora il Signore mi chiama a stare, anche se brevemente, vicino a questi bambini e ragazzi e ai loro familiari. Tante volte mi faccio e mi rifaccio la domanda: perché soffrono i bambini? E non trovo spiegazione. Solo guardo il Crocifisso e mi fermo lì.”source: Vaticano, Incontro con i bambini dei vari reparti all'Ospedale Pediatrico, Parole del Francesco (English translation below the video)



    (the quoted Italian begins at 49 min & ends at 49 min 43 sec)

    — English translation —

    “Because the suffering of children is certainly the most difficult to accept; and then the Lord calls me to stay, albeit briefly, nearby with these children and their families. So many times I make, and I refer the question: why children suffer? And I find no explanation.  I only look at the Crucifix and I stop there.”


    Recall during his visit January 2015 visit to the Philippines when Francis was asked by a tearful 12 year old former street child, Glyzelle Palomar, “Many children are abandoned by their parents. Many children get involved in drugs and prostitution. Why does God allow these things to happen to us? The children are not guilty of anything.” And Francis answered, “She is the only one who has put a question for which there is no answer and she wasn’t even able to express it in words but in tears. The nucleus of your question … almost doesn’t have a reply.”  That time Francis used a poor child for a photo-op to make himself appear compassionate when he was anything but.  His answer was an empty naturalistic attempt devoid of any Christianity.  In our previous post on this topic, Francis' compassion or indifference to a little girl in the Philippines?, we recommended Francis to read the Baltimore Catechism which has the answer as well as the Gospel According to Matthew.  

    As Francis demonstrates in his speech at the pediatric hospital in Genoa, his religion has no answers.  This even though he is gazing directly at the reason.  As Jesus the Christ says in, the greatest sermon of all time, The Sermon on the Mount,
    “Thou hypocrite, cast out first the beam out of thy own eye, and then shalt thou see to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye.” (St. Matthew 7:5)
    May God through His infinite Mercy and Grace cast the beam out of Francis’ eyes, open his heart and mind, in order to convert him to the Catholic Faith, where he will find the answers to his questions.


    Baltimore Catechism

    60. What are the chief punishments of Adam which we inherit through original sin?

    The chief punishments of Adam which we inherit through original sin are: death, suffering, ignorance, and a strong inclination to sin.



    All things are delivered to me by my Father. And no one knoweth the Son, but the Father: neither doth any one know the Father, but the Son, and he to whom it shall please the Son to reveal him. Come to me, all you that labour, and are burdened, and I will refresh you. Take up my yoke upon you, and learn of me, because I am meek, and humble of heart: and you shall find rest to your souls. For my yoke is sweet and my burden light.Gospel According to St. Matthew, 11: 27-30



  12. Site: Fr Hunwicke's Mutual Enrichment
    1 hour 32 min ago
    I believe that Gerhard Cardinal Mueller deserves much more wholehearted sympathy and support from orthodox Catholics than he often does get. At a time when his Eminence is having to struggle to maintain orthodoxy at the heart of an unsympathetic regime, he cannot afford to be attacked on the grounds that he has failed to defend the magisterial documents of Vatican II in his dealings with the Fr John Hunwickehttp://www.blogger.com/profile/17766211573399409633noreply@blogger.com0
  13. Site: Peter Hitchens blog
    2 hours 2 sec ago
    Author: DM

    Some readers may be interested in this brief discussion on the election on 'The World This Weekend' yesterday, in which I took part. It begins at about 44 minutes into the programme. 

     

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b08rp2t6

     

  14. Site: RT - News
    2 hours 28 sec ago
    Author: RT
    Berlin police have deployed a bomb disposal team after a car with wires and a diesel canister was found parked at a kindergarten. The incident turned out to be a false alarm.
    Read Full Article at RT.com
  15. Site: southern orders
    2 hours 12 min ago
    Solemn day seen as cultural casualtyBy Michael Rubinkam Associated PressMIchaEl RUbINKam/AssocIatED PrEss Motorcyclists ride into Indiantown Gap National Cemetery in Annville, Pa., for a Memorial Day weekend program. Some veterans and loved ones of fallen military members say the meaning of the holiday has become distorted.ANNVILLE, Pa. — Allison Jaslow heard it more than once as the long holiday weekend approached – a cheerful “Happy Memorial Day!” from oblivious well-wishers.The former Army captain and Iraq War veteran had a ready reply, telling them, matter-of-factly, she considered it a work weekend. Jaslow will be at Arlington National Cemetery today to take part in the annual wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. She’ll then visit Section 60, the final resting place of many service members who died in Iraq and Afghanistan.“You can see it in people’s faces that they’re a little horrified that they forget this is what the day’s about,” said Jaslow, 34, who wears a bracelet bearing the name of a fallen comrade. “Culturally, we’ve kind of lost sight of what the day’s supposed to mean.”Mac SNyDEr/ThE FlINt JoUrNal-MLIVE.com Maria Hiteshew kneels at the grave of her husband, Navy veteran Barry Hiteshew, at a ceremony Sunday in Holly, Mich.While millions of Americans celebrate the long Memorial Day weekend as the unofficial start of summer – think beaches and backyard barbecues – some veterans and loved ones of fallen military members wish the holiday that honors more than 1 million people who died serving their country would command more respect.Or at least awareness.“It’s a fun holiday for people …” said Carol Resh, 61, whose son, Army Capt. Mark Resh, was killed in Iraq a decade ago. “It’s not that they’re doing it out of malice. It just hasn’t affected them.”Veterans groups say a growing military-civilian disconnect contributes to a feeling that Memorial Day has been overshadowed. More than 12 percent of the U.S. population served in the armed forces during World War II.That’s down to less than one-half of a percent today, guaranteeing more Americans aren’t personally acquainted with a soldier, sailor, airman or Marine.With an all-volunteer military, shared sacrifice is largely a thing of the past – even as U.S. troops remain in Afghanistan and Iraq nearly 16 years after 9/11.“There are a lot of things working against this particular holiday,” said Brian Duffy, commander-in-chief of the Veterans of Foreign Wars.“It hurts,” Duffy said. For combat veterans and Gold Star families especially, “it hurts that, as a society, we don’t truly understand and appreciate what the true meaning of Memorial Day is.”Jaslow’s group, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, is trying to raise awareness with its #GoSilent campaign, which encourages Americans to pause for a moment of silence at 3 p.m. today to remember the nation’s war dead.Of course, plenty of Americans observe the holiday. At Indiantown Gap National Cemetery in Annville, Pa., fresh flowers mark hundreds of graves, and fields of newly erected American flags flap in the breeze. By the end of the weekend, thousands of people will have come to pay their respects.DAVE SCHErBENCO/THE CItIZENs’ VOICE Veterans salute the American flag as it is unfurled Sunday at pre-Memorial Day services in the Italian-American cemetery of West Wyoming, Pa.MICHAEL RUBINKAM/AssOCIAtEd PrEss Ken Palmer (left) and Stephen Straining, both of Harrisburg, Pa., greet motorcyclists Saturday as they ride into Indiantown Gap National Cemetery in Annville, Pa.Some veterans say Memorial Day began to be watered down more than four decades ago when Congress changed the date from its traditional May 30 to the last Monday in May to give people a three-day weekend. Arguing that transformed a solemn day of remembrance into one of leisure and recreation, veterans groups have long advocated a return to May 30. For years, the late Hawaii Sen. Daniel Inouye, a World War II veteran and Medal of Honor recipient, asked Congress to change it back, to no avail.
  16. Site: Mundabor's blog
    2 hours 47 min ago
    Author: Mundabor
      You see them at trains stations, or in shopping malls, or near tourist destinations. Armed policemen. This is historically unusual in a Country like England, where the policeman is often unarmed. But these ones sport not only pistols, but short-ish guns looking like rifles or carbines to me. The weapons look the part, though […]
  17. Site: The Deus Ex Machina Blog
    2 hours 54 min ago
    Author: S. Armaticus
    Today we continue our CONVERGENCE theme with a republication of a Nick Taleb post that appeared at the Zero Hedge …

    Continue reading →

  18. Site: Catholic Herald
    3 hours 8 min ago
    Author: Staff Reporter

    Poland’s Prime Minister Beata Szydlo has attended the first Mass celebrated by her older, who was ordained a priest at the weekend. Fr Tymoteusz Szydlo, 25, celebrated Mass in the Extraordinary Form on Sunday at the church in Przecieszyn where he was baptised as a child. It is traditional in Poland for a newly-ordained priest to celebrate his first Mass in the town where he grew up.

    Source

  19. Site: What Is Up With The Synod?
    3 hours 47 min ago
    Author: Hilary White

    I was involved in the SCA for about 20 years, between 11 and 30, and I met people who dreamed all the time about “living it full time,” but SCA people are almost exclusively city folk – often with computer-related jobs. I know a few who took what they learned in the SCA and took the plunge. A guy who had a very illustrious career in the SCA and was an IT guy IRL quit his horrible desk job and started a hand-made wood furniture and interior carpentry business that is flourishing. I met another guy who trained in finance and joined the SCA, got himself apprenticed to a smith, and finally quit the banking world, grew a huge beard and built himself a portable smithy, and now travels up and down the I-5 corridor making metal things in front of fascinated crowds in summer, and makes metal things in his garage workshop in winter. Happy as a clam. A very furry clam.

    It’s possible to just chuck it and live differently. What’s really hard is the will. You can want to do it, and you can wish you could do it, and you can sigh enviously when you see other people doing it, but to actually do it is really just a matter of using your will to do it. Which is why it sort of vaguely annoys me when people write to me and say things like “Oh you’re so lucky.” Well, in one sense yes, a bit. I was lucky enough to be born a British citizen, which because of the EU – which we don’t like – means I can live in Italy without any kind of immigration restrictions. (Not that that means anything these days!) But other than that, it was just me deciding to do it.

    It wasn’t easy, by any means. It took my boss and some friends quite a long time to talk me into moving over here, and quite a bit more time to mull things over to move to Norcia (the decision to move away was made for me…) I take a long time to think about things, and I’m kind of a chicken about doing something new. New and different things scare the crap out of me, to be honest. And there’s that whole part of it in which doing one thing means not doing all the other things. Positively doing one thing necessarily requires a kind of relinquishing of “options” that might be what modern people are most afraid of.

    But a long time ago, when I was breaking out of the pagan fatalism I’d grown up with, that is what’s left of “western values,” I came to the astonishing realization that you could do things if you just decided to do them. It sounds a bit silly to put it that way, but the idea that there is such a thing as human volition really drives against the entire victim-culture that the secularists want us all to adopt. Pagan Fatalism and the misery, depression, helplessness and victimhood it engenders (cf: Islam) is the condition of mind these people want us to have. Doing things independently, coming up with an idea of how you want to live, figuring out the steps it takes to get to it and doing them one at a time until you’ve done the thing, is something they don’t want us to discover.

    If I were to put this idea into the kinds of terms commonly used in our current political discourse, I’d say, “Doing things is conservative; giving up, quitting, complaining and being helpless, dependent and miserable is liberal.” Keeping this in mind means even “failure” doesn’t stop you. The word becomes meaningless.

    A few years ago people started asking me if I would start writing books. Of course, my instinctive reaction was that I can’t possibly write books! I don’t know how, and I’ve never done it before. Those old quitter-instincts die hard. But then someone said, “How much have you written in just the last ten years?” No idea. A lot. “Could you write ten articles about one topic?” Yeah. “Then you can write a book.” Then he gave me $2000 (Canadian, so, you know, like about 50 euros) and I wrote him a book. In two months. It financed my move to England.

    Well, now I’m writing another one. Or at least, “ghost writing,” large sections of it. For money. So I guess my childhood “dream” of being a writer when I grew up has come true. But it wasn’t because a fairy godmother or a welfare state appeared suddenly and tinged me on the head with a wand.

    I wonder what else it’s possible to do if you decide to. I’ve always wanted to live in the country and do country things. Apparently you can do that if you decide to do it too. Who knew?

    It reminds me of that guy who quit a superstar career as a football player and bought a farm. An interviewer asked him how he had learned farming, he said, “YouTube!” And his neighbour farmer friends helped him. (I suppose zillions of bucks from being a football superstar didn’t hurt either.)

    <iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/5U8XEs1YRfM” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>
    This guy was seriously inspirational for me.

    How do you want to live? What do you need to do to make it happen?

    ~

    A while ago I “wished” I knew how to make beer.


    Put up 20 bottles last night.

    I couldn’t find any beer yeast in the village shops, so I used this thing, “lieveto madre” that I think is the equivalent of our sourdough starter, but it said on the packet that it was made from beer yeast, so I figured what the heck. It smelled a bit like pizza at first, but soon smelled nice and beery. It sat in the big bucket for a week, until, as per instructions, it had mostly stopped its mighty fizzing, but I could see it was still active. Tasted like beer too. Into each bottle I put a few little pieces of this super-strong fresh organic ginger we’ve got around here, and I mixed up a little more yeast with some honey and spooned it into each bottle.   Bottled it up last night, about 25 litres worth, I think. (All the bottles were different sizes, so I don’t really know.)

    Read more

    ~

  20. Site: RT - News
    4 hours 4 min ago
    Author: RT
    Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo called for a black feminist festival to be banned, saying that the event “is prohibited to white people.” The “militant Afro-feminist fest” is planning to host four-fifths of its venues for black people only.
    Read Full Article at RT.com
  21. Site: Crisis Magazine
    4 hours 27 min ago
    Author: Deacon Jim Russell

    After 35 years as a liturgical musician, it’s amazing how little I really know about the liturgical music of the Roman Rite.

    Then again, what should I expect when my earliest memories of music at Mass tend to involve now-forgotten attempts to make Ray Repp tunes, guitar-group versions of Beatles songs, social-justice-pop-folk songs, and patently juvenile compositions like “Sons of God” and “Here We Are” seem at home in the most august Holy Sacrifice of the Mass?

    When it comes to the “hermeneutic of discontinuity,” I lived the experience. Yet, despite the poverty of my personal liturgical roots, I’m convinced that things aren’t really as bad as some people today might think, in terms of the pre-Vatican II vs. post-Vatican II liturgical-music landscapes.

    No. They’re actually worse.

    Why? Because the narrative is not really as simple as saying “we really had our liturgical-music act together before the Council, and after the Council everything collapsed.”

    Rather, the more historically accurate narrative sounds like: “we really had only taken the first few baby-steps toward getting our liturgical-music act together in the decades before the Council, and then after the Council everything collapsed.”

    It might be fairer to say that after the Council everything certainly changed, if not collapsed. Or at least that one specific change caused one particular collapse. I’m referring to the seismic shift in liturgical music that arose from the largely unrestrained embrace of the “vernacular” in the liturgy.

    Chant’s Second Chance
    A little context is in order before addressing the “vernacular” issue more directly.

    A century ago, Pope St. Pius X took on the reform of liturgical music in a big way. Late nineteenth-century liturgical music had largely pushed Gregorian chant aside, and the patrimony of the Roman Rite’s most distinctive musical form was in danger of fading away. His 1903 motu proprio on sacred music “Tra Le Sollecitudini” sought to reclaim chant and minimize the damage that had been done by the “theatrical” or “concert” music that had made its way into liturgy via composers of secular classical music who also wrote beautiful performance works with religious content—Masses, oratorios, and the like—that were never appropriate for liturgy but had infiltrated it nonetheless.

    The long-term project was to rediscover and reclaim the authentic root of chant, which had become covered in the overgrowth of centuries of adaptation and neglect. Thankfully, this pursuit was undertaken wholeheartedly by several key groups, and real progress was being made in allowing the Roman Rite to, once again, rely on its distinctive musical form in twentieth-century liturgy.

    However, this all-important step was really only tenuously connected to another all-important question related to liturgical music: how might the recovery of chant impact the existing state of congregational singing at Mass?

    Some Assembly Required
    To my surprise, I’ve only recently come to learn that the Roman Rite has had a bit of an on-again/off-again relationship with the whole notion of liturgical singing done by anyone other than the clergy (remember, pre-Vatican II “clergy” included those in minor orders) or established choirs of the day. The people in the pews were not at all central to the notion of “liturgical” music, any more than they were at all central to providing the liturgical responses at Low Mass or High Mass (“Sung” or “Solemn”).

    Yet the twentieth-century Magisterium did come down in favor of giving formation to the faithful such that they could at least minimally learn and participate in the chant that was being rediscovered. Granted, congregational singing of vernacular hymns was happening, but this was seen as distinct from the ceremonial-liturgical music that existed exclusively in Latin, not the vernacular.

    Indeed, the real irony was that it was quite typically only in Masses that were not sung by the priest—that is, the completely unsung, recited Low Mass—that the more congregation-friendly vernacular hymns were permitted for use, as long as the unsung, recited Latin liturgical texts were delivered intact by server, choir, or even congregation. High Mass—necessarily sung by the priest and other “sacred ministers” (deacon, subdeacon) employing Gregorian chant, required chanted responses and prohibited any singing in the vernacular.

    Precisely because everyone else in the liturgy besides the assembly—minor clergy, servers, choirs—had been trained to provide not only the sung chant but also all the appropriate Latin spoken responses, the people in the pews remained largely unexposed to the kind of education in chant envisioned in the first decades of the twentieth century.

    Not only that, but it’s worth wondering—how many priests of that time were themselves well-trained to sing the Mass—that is, celebrate High Mass with all priestly parts necessitating expertise in Gregorian chant? I’m sure some could, and I hope many did, but I can’t help but imagine that recited Low Masses were much more prevalent in the average parishes, meaning that congregations were really focused not on the distinctive music of the Roman Rite, but really on hymns in the vernacular, if they did any singing at Mass at all. The patrimony of “real” liturgical music—that is, chant and polyphony in Latin—still rested largely in the hands and voices of clergy, choirs, and servers.

    Mass Movement—From “Hearing” to “Praying”
    Fast-forward to the era immediately preceding the Second Vatican Council, with the “Liturgical Movement” of that time focusing on getting people to move past the realm of “hearing” Mass amid favored private devotions prayed during it toward “praying the Mass” by at least following along with personal missals in the vernacular that could help a Catholic understand the spoken Latin. However, the reform of the liturgy took a turn headlong in the direction of accessibility—despite the Council’s insistence, in its Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, that “The use of Latin is to be preserved in the Latin rites” (36), and that Gregorian Chant “should be given pride of place in liturgical services” (116).

    If any single thing could essentially derail the century-long project of reclaiming the Roman Rite’s chant and finally getting it into the pews, the unrestrained plunge into the vernacular could, and did, in my view. It’s pretty simple. If priest and assembly are no longer bound by a requirement to learn and use Latin in liturgy, and if liberation from Latin takes the shape of a tsunami throughout the Church, from priest to pewsitter, access to the patrimony of Latin-text music—both chant and polyphony—becomes utterly short-circuited.

    Furthermore, that huge, whooshing, sucking sound we all heard by the mid-1960s was the immense vacuum created by the absence of any music in the vernacular that could really fill the void created by severing the connection to both the Church’s universal language and its universal music. It was also, in my view, the death rattle for the ambitious decades-long effort to restore and reconnect not only clergy and choirs but congregations to Gregorian chant.

    Now, I’m sure there were exceptions found in many places—people in the pew who really did “get” the liturgy and its music in Latin. Perhaps some parishes sought to preserve the precious steps taken before the Council to give chant real pride of place even in the congregation’s singing. Even so, history seems clear—the swift and monumental movement from Latin to vernacular (in the US, to English) set the stage for a pretty immediate need for vernacular liturgical music—and a vernacular chant was just not waiting in the wings during this time. Not only that, but the existing vernacular Catholic hymns were never intended to do the work of Latin liturgical music, and were largely themed toward devotions rather than Mass.

    “Attention, All Personnel….!!”
    Thus, the Church in the US was treated to the musical “M*A*S*H” unit that was first to arrive on the scene, offering not “meatball surgery” but offering “meatball liturgy.” And it wasn’t very life-saving—at all. As the Mass hemorrhaged its Latin, the wound, scarcely cleaned, received the Bandaid of the banal texts and melodies that at least initially came largely from the pop-folk era previously inaugurated by the 1957-1958 Kingston Trio smash hit “Tom Dooley.” By the mid-1960s, the exuberant and carefree folk revival had given way to protest music and politics, and that volatile mix of elements gave us that visceral novelty of “now” liturgical music (so called) in the vernacular—guitars and even banjos mercilessly subjecting the faithful to everything from “Sounds of Silence” to “Let It Be” to Catholic “youth” music like “Wake Up, My People,” “Till All My People Are One,” “Allelu,” “To Be Alive,” and “Joy Is Like the Rain.”

    Now, fifty years later, the discontinuity does indeed seem staggering. It leaves liturgical music in a sort of limbo. The legitimacy of the pre-conciliar effort to restore chant must be reconnected with the legitimacy of the post-conciliar openness to organically growing new liturgical music from that root.

    How much different would things have been if there had been real continuity? Well, I’m pretty sure a young believer like me, destined to be a liturgical musician for more than 30 years, would have benefitted greatly from hearing way more Latin, more chant, more Latin polyphony—anything that would have made it clear to me that these are truly the hallmarks of our Roman-Rite tradition. In my view, it’s not merely a missed opportunity for the Mass itself, but it’s a missed opportunity for me as a Catholic.

    Mass is not supposed to make me musically comfortable—it’s supposed to make me more holy.

    Some may say that whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, but I’m here to tell you: singing “If I Had a Hammer,” “Get Together,” and “Day by Day” at Mass never, not once, made me feel stronger—or holier. Let’s reclaim our rightful patrimony and try to rediscover—yet again—the liturgical music roots of the Roman Rite.

  22. Site: Crisis Magazine
    4 hours 38 min ago
    Author: Deacon James H. Toner

    The bromide of “being true to yourself” has found new life in gender studies, in the vertiginous celebration of the Supercilious Self, and in the concomitant denial of the “permanent things.” For example, Mount Holyoke College, in Massachusetts, proudly announces that “it welcomes applications for its undergraduate program from any qualified student who is female or identifies as a woman.” A female is one who is

    • Biologically born female; identifies as a woman
    • Biologically born female; identifies as a man
    • Biologically born female; identifies as other/they/ze
    • Biologically born female; does not identify as either woman or man
    • Biologically born male; identifies as woman
    • Biologically born male; identifies as other/they/ze and when ‘other/they’ identity includes woman
    • Biologically born with both male and female anatomy (Intersex); identifies as a woman.

    Of course, certain standards must be maintained; therefore, anyone in the “biologically born male; identifies as man” category cannot apply for admission consideration. Fortunately, however, those born male who identify as female are welcome to apply.

    One imagines that the myrmidons of progress at Mount Holyoke take satisfaction in thus having removed outdated and prejudiced impediments to autonomy, to free and unfettered sexual and self-expression, to the elimination of the antediluvian notion that “God created them male and female” (Gen. 1:27).

    Gender studies are burgeoning. The rainbow thread connecting all the LGBT fields is the study of power and, even beyond that, “freedom.” LGBT theorists may never have heard of the American political scientist Harold Lasswell (1902-1978), but it was he—er, ze—who asked the seminal question by way of defining politics: who gets what, when, how? Lenin, by the way, had asked the same question, although more concisely: kto/kovo (Who, Whom?). Who dominates whom in society?

    LGBT theorists are, in fact, entirely traditional in seeking answers to what is the first question of empirical politics: Who has preeminent power?

    Compare all this, though, with the remark made by the late Russell Kirk (1918-1994): Politics is “the application of ethics to the concerns of the commonwealth.” From Aristotle to Machiavelli, politics pursued reconciliation between What Is and What Ought to Be. Machiavelli replaced virtue (concern for ethics) with virtu (concern for power), denying the intimate connection between right and might, subverting the former with the latter.

    Now come fields and theories which, at their heart, are Machiavellian, for their concern lies with power, and they resolutely renounce traditional (read: Judeo-Christian) ethics as the property of cranks, scolds, and, of course, believers. Everyone has the right to define himself (if you will pardon the old-fashioned use of that indefinite pronoun). In constructing our gender, our lives, our purpose for being, we owe nothing to anyone, save the selves we fashion according to our own urges and appetites.

    The new wave of Gender Theory, though, is not principally about power. It is, rather, chiefly about self-apotheosis; it is about our becoming our own gods. As we read through the catalogue of gender permutations, we may reasonably be reminded of the teaching about the Tower of Babel (Gen. 11).

    Those building the new Tower insist that they have license to be anyone or anything they wish to be. They have license to worship anyone or anything they wish to worship. They have license to say, as did Milton’s Satan, “Evil, be thou my good!”

    The reply: Do not think yourselves free, for freedom is not license. “There is no true freedom except in the service of what is good and just” (CCC #1733). If your god is your appetites and your urges, and you lampoon the holy as if it were merely a vestige of medieval power structures, you will find only one god—only one reflection of the gender which you finally settle upon, and it will be the false god of the mirror.

    License to be anyone you choose is fraudulent freedom. It is the ultimate celebration of Me-ism, the autistic proclamation of Anthony Kennedy that “at the heart of liberty is the right to define one’s own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life”; it is the solipsistic conceit that only “I” define reality and biology.

    Establish political and ethical order on this kind of subjectivism on steroids, and you condemn yourself to the condign fate of Narcissus.

    Genuine freedom always means rejection of and release from the bonds of sin. Real emancipation always means an end to the darkness of what is evil and a beginning to the light of what is good. Authentic liberty always means conformity—not to the fictions, fads, and fashions of the day—but to the Truth of divine order (cf. Rom. 12:2).

    The Catechism tells us that “the necessary precondition for the development of true freedom is to let oneself be educated in the moral law” (2526). The self-exaltation of the day, however, insists that we are a law to ourselves. The ranting of Polonius—“to thine own self be true”—has found its antinomian way into college admissions announcements, and well beyond.

    We must not conflate the corrupt ideology of the day with the permanent things (to use another phrase of Russell Kirk’s). “Do not let all kinds of strange teachings lead you from the right,” we read in Hebrews (13:9; Eph. 4:14-15). But there, precisely, is the rub. Rarely do we read Hebrews or Veritatis Splendor; rarely do we see such conviction championed at and by our Catholic colleges; rarely (if ever) do we hear such foundational understanding at the heart of our weak-kneed Catholic politicians, pundits, and professors. They are, it seems, much too busy being true to themselves. They do not know who they are; neither do they know whose (1 Cor. 7:19, Rom. 14:8) they are.

  23. Site: RT - News
    4 hours 55 min ago
    Author: RT
    Tokyo will take “specific action” and join forces with the US to deter Pyongyang, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said after a North Korean missile flew about 450km before landing inside Japan’s economic zone.
    Read Full Article at RT.com
  24. Site: RT - News
    6 hours 18 min ago
    Author: RT
    The new French president, who in the past has been critical of Moscow’s policies, is due to host President Vladimir Putin for the first time at the Chateau de Versailles. The meeting comes less than a month after Emmanuel Macron assumed office.
    Read Full Article at RT.com
  25. Site: Roman Catholic Man
    6 hours 33 min ago
    Author: Fr Richard Heilman
    DAY 6 – MOTHER MOST PURE, PRAY THAT WE RECEIVE THE GIFT OF JUSTICE! GOD’S WORD

    “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” (Matthew 25:34-40)

    HEROES’ WORDS

    “Charity is no substitute for justice withheld.” -St. Augustine

    “The source of justice is not vengeance but charity.” -St. Bridget of Sweden

    “If you want God to hear your prayers, hear the voice of the poor. If you wish God to anticipate your wants, provide those of the needy without waiting for them to ask you. Especially anticipate the needs of those who are ashamed to beg. To make them ask for alms is to make them buy it.” -St. Thomas of Villanova

    MEDITATION

    Justice is the moral virtue that consists in the constant and firm will to give their due to God and neighbor. Justice toward God is called the “virtue of religion.” Justice toward men disposes one to respect the rights of each and to establish in human relationships the harmony that promotes equity with regard to persons and to the common good. The just man, often mentioned in the Sacred Scriptures, is distinguished by habitual right thinking and the uprightness of his conduct toward his neighbor. (CCC 1807).

    Daily Offering
    1. Pray the Chaplet of the Holy Face (The “how to” can be found HERE)
    2. Pray St. Patrick’s Lorica Prayer for the President (See below)
    3. Add a daily penance (If you are able, 10,000 steps a day)

    Prayer Intention: For the protection, under Mary’s Mantle, of the President and his administration.

     

    SAINT PATRICK’S LORICA FOR PROTECTION

    (Replace first person with “President Trump”)

    I arise today
    Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity,
    Through belief in the Threeness,
    Through confession of the Oneness
    of the Creator of creation.

    I arise today
    Through the strength of Christ’s birth with His baptism,
    Through the strength of His crucifixion with His burial,
    Through the strength of His resurrection with His ascension,
    Through the strength of His descent for the judgment of doom.

    I arise today
    Through the strength of the love of cherubim,
    In the obedience of angels,
    In the service of archangels,
    In the hope of resurrection to meet with reward,
    In the prayers of patriarchs,
    In the predictions of prophets,
    In the preaching of apostles,
    In the faith of confessors,
    In the innocence of holy virgins,
    In the deeds of righteous men.

    I arise today, through
    The strength of heaven,
    The light of the sun,
    The radiance of the moon,
    The splendor of fire,
    The speed of lightning,
    The swiftness of wind,
    The depth of the sea,
    The stability of the earth,
    The firmness of rock.

    I arise today, through
    God’s strength to pilot me,
    God’s might to uphold me,
    God’s wisdom to guide me,
    God’s eye to look before me,
    God’s ear to hear me,
    God’s word to speak for me,
    God’s hand to guard me,
    God’s shield to protect me,
    God’s host to save me
    From snares of devils,
    From temptation of vices,
    From everyone who shall wish me ill,
    afar and near.

    I summon today
    All these powers between me and those evils,
    Against every cruel and merciless power
    that may oppose my body and soul,
    Against incantations of false prophets,
    Against black laws of pagandom,
    Against false laws of heretics,
    Against craft of idolatry,
    Against spells of witches and smiths and wizards,
    Against every knowledge that corrupts man’s body and soul;
    Christ to shield me today
    Against poison, against burning,
    Against drowning, against wounding,
    So that there may come to me an abundance of reward.

    Christ with me,
    Christ before me,
    Christ behind me,
    Christ in me,
    Christ beneath me,
    Christ above me,
    Christ on my right,
    Christ on my left,
    Christ when I lie down,
    Christ when I sit down,
    Christ when I arise,
    Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me,
    Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me,
    Christ in every eye that sees me,
    Christ in every ear that hears me.

    The post Day 6, Holy Face Novena – Justice appeared first on Roman Catholic Man.

  26. Site: The Catholic Thing
    7 hours 36 min ago
    Author: Emily Rolwes

    French Catholic philosopher Pierre Manent argues that a return to national traditions and real national politics may be the (surprising) solution for the crisis of Islamic radicalism in the West.

    The post Solving the Islamic Crisis appeared first on The Catholic Thing.

  27. Site: RT - News
    7 hours 36 min ago
    Author: RT
    Australia has agreed to draft 30 more troops for the NATO mission in Afghanistan after the military bloc asked its non-member ally to send an additional contingent to train and assist the Afghan army.
    Read Full Article at RT.com
  28. Site: The Catholic Thing
    7 hours 36 min ago
    Author: Emily Rolwes
    The op-ed writer, no fan of President Trump, notes that, whereas the Holy Father may have had good reasons for showing a dour face around Trump, he should have shown a similar expression of disdain around the dictators of Latin America, but he didn’t.

    The post Pope Francis: double standard on leaders? appeared first on The Catholic Thing.

  29. Site: The Catholic Thing
    7 hours 37 min ago
    Author: Emily Rolwes
    Our choice is not: Will we or will we not have more discipline, more respect for law, more order, more sacrifice; but, where will we get it? Will we get it from without, or from within? Will it be inspired by Sparta or Calvary? By Valhalla or Gethsemane? By militarism or religion? By the double cross or the Cross? By Caesar or by God? That is the choice facing America today. The hour of false freedom is past. No longer can we have education without discipline, family life without sacrifice, individual existence without moral responsibility, economics and politics without subservience to the common good. We are now only free to say whence it shall come. We will have a sword. Shall it be only the sword that thrusts outward to cut off the ears of our enemies, or the sword that pierces inward to cut out our own selfish pride? May heaven grant that, unlike the centurion, we pierce not the heart of Christ before we discover his divinity and salvation. Away with those educators and propagandists who, by telling us we need no Cross, make possible having one forged for us abroad. Away with those who, as we gird ourselves for sacrifice based on love of God and Calvary, sneer, ‘Come down from the Cross’ (Matthew 27:40). That cry has been uttered before on Calvary, as his enemies shouted, ‘He saved others, himself he cannot save’ (Mark 15:31). They were now willing to admit he had saved others; they could well afford to do it, for now he apparently could not save himself.

    Of course, he could not save himself. No man can save himself who saves another. The rain cannot save itself, if it is to bud the greenery; the sun cannot save itself if it is to light the world; the seed cannot save itself if it is to make the harvest; a mother cannot save herself if she is to save her child; a soldier cannot save himself if he is to save his country. It was not weakness which made Christ hang on the Cross; it was obedience to the law of sacrifice, of love. For how could he save us if he ever saved himself? Peace he craved; but as Saint Paul says, there is no peace but through the blood of the Cross. Peace we want; but there is none apart from sacrifice. Peace is not a passive but an active virtue. Our Lord never said, ‘Blessed are the peaceful,’ but ‘Blessed are the peacemakers.’ The Beatitude rests only on those who make it out of trial, out of suffering, out of cruelty, even out of sin. God hates peace in those who are destined for war. And we are destined for war – a war against a false freedom which endangered our freedom; a war for the Cross against the double cross; a war to make America once more what it was intended to be from the beginning – a country dedicated to liberty under God; a war of the militia Christi:‘Having our loins girt about with truth and having on the breastplate of justice… the shield of faith… the helmet of salvation’ (Ephesians 6:10-17). For only those who carry the sword of the spirit have the right and have the power to say to the enemies of the Cross, ‘Put thy sword back into its scabbard.’

    The post The choice appeared first on The Catholic Thing.

  30. Site: The Catholic Thing
    7 hours 37 min ago
    Author: Emily Rolwes
    I, DONALD J. TRUMP, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim Memorial Day, May 29, 2017, as a day of prayer for permanent peace, and I designate the hour beginning in each locality at 11:00 a.m. of that day as a time when people might unite in prayer. I urge the press, radio, television, and all other information media to cooperate in this observance.

    The post President Trump’s Memorial Day proclamation appeared first on The Catholic Thing.

  31. Site: The Catholic Thing
    7 hours 37 min ago
    Author: Emily Rolwes

    The Islamic State (or ISIS) has claimed responsibility for the attack on an Egyptian bus carrying Coptic Christians that killed 29. Shortly thereafter, President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi announced that Egypt had launched airstrikes against militant training bases in Libya.

    The post ISIS claims responsibility for massacre of Copts appeared first on The Catholic Thing.

  32. Site: The Catholic Thing
    7 hours 38 min ago
    Author: Brad Miner

    Robert E. Lee fell last week.

    Of course, the great Confederate general died – full of years and honors – in 1870, but this week he was ignominiously toppled in New Orleans, Louisiana. The Lee Statue there was removed by crane from its pedestal. The crowd gathered for the spectacle chanted the taunting 1970’s hit “Na Na Na, Hey Hey Hey, Goodbye.” Democrat mayor of the Big Easy, Mitch Landrieu, said that the statue celebrated “a fictional, sanitized Confederacy, ignoring the death, ignoring the enslavement, ignoring the terror that it actually stood for. And after the Civil War, these monuments were part of that terrorism as much as burning a cross on someone’s lawn.”

    There’s a movement afoot to replace the effigy of Lee with some sort of tribute to Allen Toussaint (1938-2015), the Louisiana-born composer of pop songs, including the memorable “Cast Your Fate to the Wind,” and such less memorable tunes as “Mother-in-Law” and “I Could Eat Crawfish Everyday.”

    With all due respect to Mr. Toussaint, this is the sort of nonsense we’ve come to expect from the Left. And make no mistake: it will not stop with the destruction of public monuments. I fully expect to read soon that schools will be demanding that figures such as Lee be expunged from history textbooks, lest the tender sensibilities of school children (formerly known as graduate students) be scandalized but such “triggering” figures.

    It remains to be seen if such efforts will be more or less effective than were the Politburo’s in de-Stalinizing the USSR. But those who would sanitize history grow bold. As the Wikipedia article about Lee Circle states: “The statue was finally removed on the evening of May 19, 2017 at 6pm, a departure from previous removals that occurred in early morning hours under the cover of darkness.” The previous removals were of monuments to: the 1874 Battle of Liberty Place (taken down on April 24th); the Confederate president, Jefferson Davis (May 11); and General P.T.G. Beauregard (May 17). No public monument to the Confederacy remains in the city.

    Today is Memorial Day and a good day to think about memory.

    I am an unabashed admirer of General Lee. He was a man of exceptional character and courage. Although it goes without saying, he also was not perfect. It’s mostly in Catholic churches – in NOLA and elsewhere – that one finds statues raised to the only perfect man. No other statue ever erected anywhere was to anybody not a sinner, even if he or she became a saint.

    But more than that terse point is the reality of the recounting of things that actually happened. History is not the writing down of what we think ought to have happened. G.K. Chesterton wrote of the historian’s responsibility (in Lunacy & Letters): “You cannot be just in history. Have enthusiasm, have pity, have quietude and observation, but do not imagine that you will have what you call truth. Applaud, admire, reverence, denounce, execrate. But judge not, that ye be not judged.”

    Were G.K.C. there at Lee Circle on Friday, he would surely have suggested to NOLA’s Taliban that the statue of the “marble man” might serve as what the southpaws like to call a “teachable moment.” Well, in this case, a teachable monument: explain why this man was so honored in the past; then explain why you think his thought and conduct deserve dishonor now.

    Gone with the wind . . .

    When some people experience trauma, they block out what happened. It’s a defense mechanism called repression. Some of the traumatized take their pain into therapy, during which a good doctor will seek to help the patient recover the painful memory, so that it can be analyzed and understood and, in a way, exorcized, because repression is understood to be unhealthy.

    To this we might add the full quote of George Santayana (from The Life of Reason), the more familiar, truncated version of which leaves out much that is essential:

    Progress, far from consisting in change, depends on retentiveness. When change is absolute there remains no being to improve and no direction is set for possible improvement: and when experience is not retained, as among savages, infancy is perpetual. Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.

    I have no doubt that our American Taliban, our Jacobins, our Bolsheviks all believe they’re taking a Great Leap Forward. I have no doubt that some of them will look upon today’s Memorial Day parades with disdain, believing the memorials to the ultimate sacrifice made by soldiers, Marines, sailors, and aviators are jingoistic and warmongering. I have no doubt of this, because their project self-evidently entails repressing such militancy as the parades represent.

    They are like the Three Monkeys. Or, rather, they would have us be like them, covering eyes, ears, and mouths. We are far from the days when the Civil War was regarded as a tragic clash of brother with brother. And we see the same extremes in our current public disagreements.

    The Catholic poet William Butler Yeats spoke of the problem as “Whiggery.” It was, he wrote in “The Seven Sages”:

    A levelling, rancorous, rational sort of mind
    That never looked out of the eye of a saint
    Or out of a drunkard’s eye.
    . . . All’s whiggery now.
    But we old men are massed against the world.

    And we old men remember. For some the memories are seared by fire; for others they may be frozen in stone. But we all remember those who fought and died in defense of freedom, however it was understood – and this includes those fallen Rebels NOLA has dishonored.

    Between 1939 and 1945, the Allied Nations fought the Axis in a cataclysmic war. Yet, today, the enemies are friends, and this is not because we have forgotten or repressed but because memory has healed us, just as it did North and South after Appomattox. Here’s proof:

    Gettysburg reunion, 1913: Blue and Gray

    The post The End of Memory appeared first on The Catholic Thing.

  33. Site: Unam Sanctam Catholicam
    8 hours 33 min ago
    Back in 2010 I profiled the life and death of gothic-metal singer Peter Steele. The article was of purely personal interest to me, as I used to listen to Steele's band Type-O-Negative back in my past life. I was surprised how much traction the article got; in fact, it became one of my highest read articles of all time and continues to attract a fair amount of traffic to this day.
    Today I am again profiling the death of a musician that meant a lot to me when I was younger, Chris Cornell of Soundgarden, who passed away in Detroit earlier this month in what is apparently being ruled a suicide, although his wife and others who knew him are contesting this.

    Musicians come and go, of course, but Chris Cornell's death struck me in a very personal way. Perhaps it's essentially nostalgia; I can vividly remember two decades ago, rumbling down country roads in my buddy's old pickup truck in the summers with windows down, sun baking our arms, blaring Soundgarden while we enjoyed our youth. Some of the earliest songs I learned on guitar were Soundgarden riffs, although I must admit they were a bit too complex for me to master at the time.

    Even Cornell's death had a personal element to it. He died in Detroit, right in my backyard, after a final performance at the Fox Theater. I know the Fox Theater well. My mother was an usher there when I was a boy. She used to be able to get us seats for free and I remember heading down there with my brother to see David Copperfield or other acts.

    At any rate, I don't mean to go too much into my own background, except as a way to say that this musician was tied up with some very nostalgic memories for me.

    As far as I know, Chris Cornell was the only major Grunge-era icon who had a Catholic upbringing. He attended a Catholic school in Seattle, although he finished out his education in a public high school. I've read stories that he was almost kicked out of his Catholic school for "asking too many questions", but this seems apocryphal. I mean, he went to Catholic school in the 1970's; you can't convince me that people were legit reprimanded for challenging Catholic doctrine in American Catholic schools in the 1970's. If anything, such doctrinal non-conformists were probably praised.

    At any rate, Cornell seems to have rejected his Catholic upbringing while simultaneously being enamored of the powerful symbols of the faith. This was a similar phenomenon I noted in my article about Peter Steele and Gothic metal; while rejecting the substance of the faith, they retain evocative Catholic imagery in their songs. In the case of Peter Steele, as well as other fans of the Gothic genre, admiration for the symbols and images of Catholicism ended up becoming a back door back to the actual practice of the faith.

    Cornell's songs were the same. While he clearly had a skeptical attitude towards the tenets of Christianity, he could not get away from Christian images in his music. As a man who always struggled with addiction and depression, it even seems that sometimes he returns to a kind of consoling Catholic piety when his lyrics are plunging the depths of depression. Even to this day, I am moved by Cornell's opening lines to his 1991 "Say Hello to Heaven":
    Please, mother of mercy
    Take me from this place
    and the long winded curses
    I keep here in my head
    It's a very Catholic sentiment. When the darkness closes in and all seems hopeless, call out to the Blessed Mother.

    I was always particularly partial to his 1999 solo track "Sunshower", which like many of his songs deals with the struggle to find happiness in the midst of pain - to discover redemptive value in suffering. The chorus balances suffering and redemption, promising that all the adversity that pours down like rain will cause grace to blossom and flower:

    When you're caught in pain
    And you feel the rain come down
    It's all right
    When you find you way
    Then you see it disappear
    It's all right
    Though your garden's gray
    I know all your graces
    Someday will flower
    In a sweet sunshower
    After Soundgarden broke up, Cornell's lyrics became more explicitly religious with his second band, Audioslave. For example, this lyric from "Show Me How to Live":
    Nail in my hand from my creator
    You gave me life, now show me how to live.
    Or this lyric from "Light My Way":

    In my hour of need, on a sea of gray
    On my knees I pray to you
    Help me find the dawn of the dying day
    Won't you light my way?
    Cornell said the increasingly religious lyrics of Audioslave were evoked by the responsibilities of fatherhood, and the realization that one must live for something beyond oneself.
    In a 2008 interview Cornell identified himself as a "freethinker" who did not prefer to consider life in terms of right and wrong and said he preferred to stay away from specific denominations or religious schools of thought. Jesus's message perverted..."be really nice to each other."

    However, around the same time he formally entered the Greek Orthodox communion as a result of his second wife, Vicky Karayiannis. How sincere his conversion was, I could not say. In an interview with The Inquirer, he was asked why he converted to Greek Orthodoxy. He responded:

    I wanted to be married in the Greek Church. I was baptized Catholic and went to a Catholic school. There was something about the Greek Orthodox Church that resonated with my childhood—there was something fresh and exciting about it.

    Again, it's as if there is a kind fascination with the nostalgia and symbolism of the historic Christian faith that continues exert its influence, even if the substance of faith itself is lacking or imperfect.

    At least externally, Cornell appears to have been a practicing Orthodox in his latter days. There are lovely pictures of his child's baptism - with Chris and his wife singing the traditional Greek chants that accompany the rite:




    One final thought: I think one thing that was so disturbing about Chris Cornell's death for me personally was that I thought he was "safe." He had outlived many of his musical peers and made it to age 52, not the age we typically associate with rock star suicide. Whether Cornell killed himself intentionally or not - the Ativans he took for anxiety had a side effect of making one suicidal - it is a reminder that one does not outgrow depression. It is something that one must be constantly vigilant against. I was a child of the early 90's, and the one great gift the 90's bequeathed to the world was depression - with all the attendant pharmaceutical treatments and their equally horrific side effects. For me personally, Cornell's death was a stark reminder of these realities.

    I don't know to what degree Cornell eventually found faith or what his faith was in; he seems like a man who at one time vehemently rejected the Christian faith but also viewed his personal struggles in a fundamentally religious-existentialist terms, with a vocabulary bequeathed to him by his Catholic upbringing. It seems he started to meander back to faith in the years before his death.

    Whatever Chris Cornell's mistakes or weaknesses, the man was a baptized Catholic and it's questionable whether he was in his right mind when he took his life or not. So I'm going to say a little prayer for his soul today. Won't you do the same?

  34. Site: RT - News
    9 hours 32 min ago
    Author: RT
    The death toll in the Philippines city of Marawi has exceed 100 people, including at least 27 civilians and 61 terrorists. Some 2,000 people reportedly remain trapped as ISIS-linked Maute militants mercilessly kill “betrayers” who try to flee the city.
    Read Full Article at RT.com
  35. Site: Traditional Catholic Priest
    10 hours 36 min ago
    Author: fc

    Father Carota wrote this in February of 2015.  I wonder what he would say today if he were still here…….   Pope Francis’ concept of the Catholic Church is a welcoming home for all the Lesbians, Gays, Transgenders, Bisexual, divorced and remarried, Evangelicals and atheists.  He feels that these people have been oppressed by the …

    The post Pope Francis Is Not Saving Souls, But Losing Them – Repost appeared first on Traditional Catholic Priest.

  36. Site: Community in Mission
    10 hours 37 min ago
    Author: Msgr. Charles Pope

    Lest the Easter Season slip away and I miss the chance, I would like to look back on a reading from the Easter Vigil.

    There is indeed an astonishing verse in the Exodus account, which was read at the Easter Vigil. The Lord has parted the waters of the Red Sea by a strong eastern wind and the Israelites have just made the crossing with the Egyptians in hot pursuit.

    And in the morning watch, the Lord in the pillar of fire and of cloud, cast a glance on the Egyptian forces and threw the Egyptian forces into a panic (Ex 14:24).

    Just one look … that’s all it took! One can imagine many other ways that God could have despoiled them: lightning, angelic forces, etc. Instead, the Lord merely “cast a glance.”

    Was it an angry glance? The text does not say. I would propose, based purely on speculation, that it was a look of love. For if God is love, then how could it have been anything else?

    Why, then, the panic among the Egyptian forces? Perhaps it was like the reaction of those accustomed to the darkness, who wince in pain when beautiful light shines. Love confronts and drives out hate the way light drives out darkness. Love is what it is; it cannot be something else. To those held bound by hatred, though, love is like kryptonite. Thus the Egyptian army falls at the glance of God, panics at the weakness it experiences. Yes, love can be like kryptonite.

    I propose that despite the panicked result, God’s glance was one of love. God does not change. Even when we speak of His wrath or anger, we are speaking more of our experience than of what is in God. God is love and so He looks with love. That we experience something other than love is a problem in us, not in God.

    Indeed, sometimes we see the look but miss the love. In the Gospel of Mark is told the story of a rich young man who sought perfection, but somewhat on his own terms. Jesus looked at him with love and said to him, “You lack one thing: go, sell all that you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me” (Mk 10:21). The young man saw the look and heard the words, but missed the love. As a result, he went away saddened.

    And lest we reduce God’s look of love to one of mere sentimentality, we ought to recall that God’s look of love can also convict us and move us to repentance. Peter’s denial of the Lord is recounted in all four of the Gospels. Simon Peter was in the courtyard of the high priest warming himself by the fire; he had just denied knowing the Lord for the third time when the cock crowed. The Gospel of Luke recounts, The Lord turned and looked at Peter. And Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how He had told him, “Before a rooster crows today, you will deny Me three times.” And he went out and wept bitterly (Lk 22:61-62). Here was a look of love that caused pain, but it was a healing pain that led to repentance.

    For those of us with deeper faith, we learn to count on the look, the glance of God, to save us. An old hymn says, “Though billows roll, He keeps my soul. My heav’nly Father watches over me.” Another says, “His eye is on the sparrow and I know He watches me.”

    Yes, the glance of God may make you feel sad, or mad, or glad; but it is the look of love, always seeking to console or to set us right and bring about healing.

    I have a large icon of Christ in my room. In my opinion, what icons from the Eastern tradition do best is to capture “the look.” No matter where I move in the room, it seems that Christ is looking right at me. His look is intense, though not severe. In the Eastern spirituality, icons are windows into Heaven. Hence this icon is no mere portrait that reminds one of Christ; it is an image that mediates His presence. When I look upon Him, I experience that He knows me. He is looking at me with a knowing, comprehensive look.

    The Book of Hebrews says of Jesus, No creature is concealed from him, but everything is naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must render an account (Heb 4:13). Christ’s look in the icon in my room is not fearsome; it is serene and confident.

    Particularly in Mark’s Gospel, there is great emphasis on the eyes and the look of Jesus. The following expression, or one like it, appears more than 25 times in the Gospel of Mark: And looking at them He said, …

    Looking on Christ and allowing Him to look on you is a powerful moment of conversion. Jesus Himself said, For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day (Jn 6:40). And in the First Letter of John we read, What we shall later be has not yet been revealed. We do know that when it is revealed we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is (1 Jn 3:2).

    Keep looking to the Lord during this Easter season, through the art that most moves you and especially in the Most Blessed Sacrament. Look at Him and let Him look at you. Be not dismayed like the Egyptians of old. God is love and therefore His look is always one of love, no matter how we experience it.

    The Lord is casting a glance at you right now. What do you see?

    This video is a collection of clips from the movie The Passion of the Christ, set to music. It shows many of the looks of Jesus as well as some that come from us. Look for the “looks.”

    The post “And in the Morning Watch, the Lord … Cast a Glance” – A Meditation on the Look of the Lord appeared first on Community in Mission.

  37. Site: The Eponymous Flower
    11 hours 4 min ago
    A "deeper reconciliation is needed, not just the signing of a document" - deaconess ordination "impossible".
    Vatican City (kath.net/ KAP)  According to Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller, an agreement between the traditionalist Society of St. Pius X and the Vatican is not yet within reach."This takes time," said the Prefect of the Roman Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, according to Catholic broadcaster EWTN. What is needed is a "deeper reconciliation, not just the signing of a document." Those who wish to be Catholic must accept, among other things, the councils and other ecclesiastical doctrine as well as the "hierarchical communion with the local bishop, the communion of all bishops and the Holy Father". [Apparently, they will be expected to check their reason. Really, considering that most of the world's bishops don't respect the Councils, how can they expect that level of obedience to the SSPX?]
    On the question about the liturgical form in the course of the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965), Müller said that it was a Catholic concept that the pope and synods had the right and the duty to redesign the "external form of the liturgy". "The substance of the liturgy is given by revelation and can not be changed by anyone," he added. The interview was published on Thursday as a video on the Internet; On Saturday written extracts appeared in social networks.

    With regard to a study commission on deaconesses in the history of the Church set up by Pope Francis, Müller said that the pope did not refer to the three-level Catholic consecration of the deacon, priest and bishop. It was about women who had worked in the early church as assistants in the baptism of women or in charitable tasks.

    The Cardinal concluded that a diaconal consecration is "impossible". "This will not happen," says Müller. Moreover, this is not necessary either. Today, women in the church are in higher positions of responsibility than the deaconesses of antiquity.

    Unusually open criticism was exercised by the Cardinal on the alleged dismissal by the Pope of three members of the Congregation for the Congo. The move had become known at the end of 2016 and was said to be against Müller's wishes. He said in the interview that this story was true. He wanted "a better treatment of our staff at the Holy See." One should not only talk about the social doctrine, but also respect it, according to the Cardinal.

    Müller put the staff changes in the arena of the "old courtly etiquette," which Francis himself has criticized. Employees could only be dismissed if they made a mistake or did not fulfill the requirements of legal faith, integrity, and material competence. 


    Trans: Tancred vekron99@hotmail.comAMDG





  38. Site: THE TENTH CRUSADE
    11 hours 8 min ago


    There's nothing I love more than seeing a faithful group of Catholics fighting back the heretics.

    The moonbatery in this school is completely out of control. Who is the bishop?!

    Prayers for the faithful parents trying to stop this macabre spiritual abuse.
  39. Site: Catholic Herald
    12 hours 36 min ago
    Author: Luke Coppen

    The Church exists only to announce the Gospel, Pope Francis said in yesterday’s Regina Caeli address (full text, full video). An Indian official has urged the Church to raise funds to pay a ransom for kidnapped priest Fr Tom Uzhunnalil. Cardinal Gerhard Müller has said that it’s “not Catholic” when bishops’ conferences seek to offer “an official interpretation...

    Source

  40. Site: Fr. Z's Blog
    13 hours 12 min ago
    Author: frz@wdtprs.com (Fr. John Zuhlsdorf)

    The other day I forgot to hit PUBLISH!  Grrrr…

    Il Monsignore Illustrissimo e Reverendissimo Presidente delle Strade would have been disappointed in me.  I mean… I post a lot of garbage, but… well…

    These old “no dumping” signs are all over the center of Rome.  I enjoy them immensely.

    26 May 1717.  300 years to the day

    Among other, 26 May is my anniversary of ordination and the feast day of St. Philip Neri.

    I hope I won’t be fined 10 scudi.

  41. Site: The Orthosphere
    14 hours 12 sec ago
    Author: Thomas F. Bertonneau

    Dear Representative Pelosi:

    My wife and I are stalwart Democrats seeking advice.  We are planning an elaborate summer tour of several nations, some of them transatlantic, and we would like to know the proper order in which we should visit those nations.  Here are some questions that we hope you can answer. –

    Supposing that we planned a visit to London, should we list that on our itinerary as a trip to Britain or a trip to England?  In either case, if we wished also to visit Edinburgh, in Scotland, would we need to visit either Britain or England first?

    If we listed our London and Edinburgh destinations as United Kingdom rather than Britain, England, or Scotland, would we need to visit Serbia, Slovenia, or Ukraine first?  And does the B in Byelorussia count, or is it the same, by your reckoning as Russia?  Also: How should we count Abkhazia, were we to visit there?  Is it subsumed alphabetically by Georgia?

    When visiting Finland, should we list it as Suomi, as Finns call their nation, and visit Sweden first?

    In what order might we properly visit the different places called Georgia, or the place previously called Moldavia but now called Moldova?

    We are sincerely yours,

    Mr. and Mrs. Qwerty


  42. Site: RT - News
    14 hours 6 min ago
    Author: RT
    North Korea has launched an unidentified projectile which appears to be a ballistic missile, Yonhap news reports, citing South Korea’s military.
    Read Full Article at RT.com
  43. Site: Fr. Z's Blog
    14 hours 27 min ago
    Author: frz@wdtprs.com (Fr. John Zuhlsdorf)

    I had an interesting series of texts this morning from a friend in New Jersey.

    First, he sent a photo of his pew view:

    The New Evangelization takes many forms, not that my sender needs a new evangelization.  He seems pretty well evangelized to me.  Well enough that he recognizes a good thing when he sees it.

    I hope for the reunion.

  44. Site: RT - News
    15 hours 43 min ago
    Author: RT
    While Britain and America remain friends, European nations must rely more on themselves, German Chancellor Angela Merkel told a rally of voters in Munich. She said she got this feeling after meeting world leaders at the recently concluded G7 summit in Italy.
    Read Full Article at RT.com
  45. Site: Rorate Caeli
    16 hours 1 min ago
    Saint Alphonsus church in Baltimore is one of the gems of the mid-Atlantic region of the United States. A magnificent shrine where Saint John Neumann and Blessed Francis Seelos were once pastors, it has been home to the revived traditional Latin Mass since 1992. Today it has been announced that the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter will administer the parish, with Father Joel Kiefer, FSSP, Kenneth J. Wolfehttp://www.blogger.com/profile/04483319369640034300noreply@blogger.com
  46. Site: St. Corbinian's Bear
    16 hours 17 min ago

    A Jacobite flag.
    Frequent Flyer Miles to Heaven
    My parish is blessed with a priest - and he probably knows all about this ephemeris yet it does him no good - who is an Ecumenical Catholic. Whenever he jets off to some ecumenical conference, which seems to be nearly every week, he comes back bubbling with enthusiasm which, for some reason, he expects us to share.

    God knows why, not Bear.

    Fortunately, God, in His wisdom, pushed Bear down the stairs the night before last and Bear was too injured to attend Mass. (Bear was on a late-night honey run.)

    Red Death had to face the horror of what was to come alone.

    The Bear is now inspired to lift his basso profundo voice in one of those great melancholy Irish songs about defeat. Here is the best one: After Aughrim's Great Disaster (1691).


    The Jacobites Lost, but Had All the Best Songs
    The Catholic Jacobites fought a coalition from England, Scotland, and the Netherlands, along with various mercenaries. (You can actually test for any Celt DNA in you by listening to this song. If you remain dry-eyed you're free of the maddest and most wonderful genius of them all.)

    Thank God for the Irish and bless my own blue-eyed red-haired daughter of Eire who just might show up at Mass next Sunday wearing nothing but a coating of woad and brandishing her war spear. It's taken until the last couple of weeks for the Church to finally break her cradle Catholic heart, but she's finally tired of playing the abused sheep.

    We converts came into the Church mostly because we concluded it was the only place to be. No doubt we were attracted by the beauty (unless we are recent converts) but the Bear knows it was the truth that brought him in. It is the truth and only the truth that will keep him here.

    Cradle Catholics famously don't often know as much as many converts, who have voraciously sucked up as much of Catholicism as they could. And yet cradle Catholics have deep roots which makes their place in the Church nearly beyond worry. When you've got a fourth generation immigrant Irish Catholic coming home in tears because she just can't take all the crap anymore that is a major indicator of disaster.

    Part of the song goes like this:

    Our prayer is 'God save Ireland and pour blessings on her name.'

    May her sons be true when needed,
    May they never fail as we did,
    For Sean O'Duibhir an Ghleanna, we were worsted in the game.

    The Catholic Jacobites fought bravely but were outnumbered by the Dutchman's troops and defeated. As was customary in those days, Catholics were tortured until they converted to what is now Catholicism if they could only have held out a few centuries longer.


    Bring me your tired, your poor, your humble masses,
    yearning to breathe free... Welcome to America!
    At this conference, according to Father, some non-Catholic or another repeated a suggestion this man had attributed to New York mayor Bloomberg.


    The Liberty Pole
    The Statue of Liberty should be replaced as our national symbol of welcome by the subway pole.

    Bears aren't much for subways, probably because they live in the woodlands and even the Raccoons and Moles combined cannot build a decent subway system. The Bear confesses he does not know what a subway pole is. He thinks it might be that long, long pole that runs down the middle of the tracks. "Yes, here, welcome to America! Just touch that pole to make it official!"

    But, like Bear said, he doesn't know anything about subway poles, so he would be a very poor greeter even in Donald Trump's America. "No, not that pole, the other - oh bother."

    For example, the Bear did not know this:




    When Father repeated this business about replacing the Statue of Liberty, a German lady sitting next to Bride of Bear exclaimed, in a loud voice, "Vas?" She was doubtless herself an immigrant, and may have harbored some sentimental attachment to the Lady with the Torch.

    So the homily was about various crackpot ecumenical ideas floated by the usual suspects. It could have been worse, Bear supposes, like adding Mohammed as the 13th Apostle, but most parishioners just don't care by the time the homily rolls around. They turn off their hearing aids, discover a need to visit the bathroom, or discretely stick their fingers in their ears. Some go to the cry room for a snack. (That's where the doughnuts are kept! What were you thinking? There haven't been any kids in the cry room for fifteen years.)

    Sometimes they display Homiletic Tourette Syndrome then leave.

    Oh, by the way, Jesus may have done something, but it was an afterthought and the mic was already off, so Bear cannot report.

    May future generations of Catholics - and it will be at once the biggest in history and the smallest since Pentecost - never fail as we did. For Sean O'Duibhir an Ghleanna, we were worsted in the game.




  47. Site: Rorate Caeli
    16 hours 26 min ago
    It is truly amazing to witness firsthand how much devotion, planning and organization goes into the ordination of seven FSSP priests in Nebraska, followed by their first Masses in the region. Here is one example -- the first Mass of the newly-ordained Father James M. Smith, FSSP, a longtime friend of this writer. Father Smith, assisted by numerous priests and seminarians, offered a Solemn Kenneth J. Wolfehttp://www.blogger.com/profile/04483319369640034300noreply@blogger.com
  48. Site: RT - News
    17 hours 23 min ago
    Author: RT
    The Square, directed by Ruben Ostlund, has landed the prestigious Palme d’Or at the Cannes film festival.
    Read Full Article at RT.com
  49. Site: RT - News
    17 hours 39 min ago
    Author: RT
  50. Site: Bonfire of the Vanities - Fr. Martin Fox
    18 hours 32 min ago
    The feast of the Ascension is NOT about Jesus leaving us. Rather, it’s about where Jesus wants to take us: he goes ahead of us, to heaven. That’s where he wants us. The Ascension is about heaven; Jesus wants to take us to heaven.

    So that caused me to think of a connection, between today’s feast, and the Parish Priorities I’ve been talking to you about recently. That is, the priorities I am urging us all to pursue, together, as a parish. And if you recall, the first one is cultivating devout worship.

    The connection is this: our worship together is likewise about getting us to heaven.

    This isn’t something everyone understands. There are a lot of folks in our society who think what going to church on Sunday is about isn’t going to heaven – because they take that for granted. So instead, whether Catholic or Protestant, lots of people think of church as about giving them a good outlook on life; maybe giving them something to think about. Above all, about making them feel good. 

    I know this is true because I’ve had people tell me that. I’ve had priests tell me that. Mass should make people feel good after a long week. Mass should be uplifting and encouraging. While those are good things, none of that is the point.

    Rather, the point of the Holy Mass – the point of you taking part in Mass, and the point of me offering the Mass – is to get us to heaven.

    When we come to Mass, and we listen to the readings, the prayers, some of which are sung, and we hear the homily, who knows whether it’ll make you feel good or not? If God tugs at your conscience, or reminds me of things I’ve neglected, maybe we’ll feel bad, along the way to making the changes we need. 

    The point of the Mass is exactly the same as the “point” of the Cross: Jesus came from heaven, to be with us, one of us, all in preparation for offering himself for us on the Cross. To die for us…why? To get us to heaven.

    Each and every Mass, then, is a re-presentation of this cosmic drama: that’s why, if you listen closely to the prayers of Mass, you will hear words like sin and judgment and damnation, as well as words like forgiveness, grace, conversion and salvation. Jesus sheds his blood for all those whose souls hang in the balance – and your job, here, is to pray for them. That’s why you’re here. There’s a house on fire, and Christ is the one putting out the fire. And you are here, not to watch, but to help pass the buckets!

    To make another connection: our worship together, as a parish, is central to the task of sharing Christ with our community. Yes, there are lots of great things that happen in our parish, to bring people together, to help folks in need, to make our community a better place. But we remember that the First Commandment is, “I am the Lord your God, you shall not have other gods before me.” Everything else follows from that. The point of our parish – like the point of the Mass and the point of the Ascension – is to get people to heaven. And so, when you and I offer our worship together with reverence, bringing our best, and doing it with the mind of the Church, this is the best thing we can offer to our community. We’re offering people the face of Christ – and that’s what they want to see and need to see.

    This gives me a chance to explain something I’ve been doing at daily Mass. On Tuesdays and Saturdays, I’ve been offering the Mass on the high altar, meaning the people and I are facing the same way. Why have I been doing that?

    The point to doing that is the same as the point of this feast: the focus is heaven.

    Right now, I’m facing you. Why am I facing you? Because I’m speaking to you, of course. (Turning around away from people): of course, I could give the homily facing away from you – but doesn’t that seem odd? (Turning again to face the people.) Maybe some of you would prefer it that way!? But it makes sense for me to face you when I speak to you.

    OK then: when I’m at the altar, am I speaking to you? Am I asking you to forgive sins, and to deliver people from hell? No, of course I’m speaking to God. So that’s the reason it makes sense for the priest and the people to face the same way, symbolizing us facing heaven, our common destination.

    So, in August, when we celebrate the Feast of the Assumption, I’m going to celebrate one of the Masses on that feast day in this fashion, so you can experience it. Give it a try.

    This is a good time to talk about our volunteers, who are so important to having Mass celebrated well. We rely on ushers, musicians, readers, extraordinary ministers of holy communion, and altar servers. Especially our altar servers – you make a difference. No less than the Archbishop has complimented our altar servers, and we want to keep a high standard.

    But we have a problem. There are times when our altar servers can’t get here. I understand, things happen: sports, prom, homecoming – nevertheless, it is a problem when the servers don’t show up.

    And I thought it might be helpful to explain why we need them to be here 15 minutes before. The first five minutes is grace time; at ten minutes, I have to get subs. Maybe I find some subs by eight or seven minutes till. Then the kids have to get their albs or cassocks on – and you may not realize this, but sometimes kids don’t get dressed quickly! So now it’s 5 or 6 minutes till; then I may have things to explain, and they have all these candles to light. So sometimes things get rushed, and they get missed. We have started Mass late sometimes. So I need your help to ensure our servers are here. I have an idealistic notion that it should be the kids’ responsibility to know when they are supposed to be here; but I’ve had parents smile and say, “Father, that’s not how it works – it’s mom who remembers.” I understand; but whichever way, I need your help on this.
    Let me also say something similar about our extraordinary ministers of holy communion. Sometimes we don’t always have all here who are supposed to be here. It’s not obvious, because someone always jumps up to fill in. But that’s not fair to those folks, especially if they have children they have to leave in the pew. So if we can work on this, that would be great.

    Let me come back to where I began: the point of the Ascension, the point of the Mass, is to get us to heaven. Jesus told us in the first reading, he would send power upon us – that power is at work in the Mass. Nothing any of us will do today is as important as what we do here, in the Mass.  

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