Recently in Religion Category

Cardinal Stafford's speech


John and I are part of RCIA team in our parish. Last year, we gave the talk on marriage, but this year we are a full part of the team. Monday we are giving a talk on the papacy and the magisterium. Writing the talk has been interesting because I am never quite sure where the Holy Spirit is going to send me. And it is also interesting because we tag team our talks, and I also need to write so that if I am unavailable John can still handle it. The main reason that I am doing the initial draft and most of the research and writing is that John has so much homework for the Ministry Formation program that this seems to be a fair division of labor.
I am feeling blessed that I will probably be able to be there Monday for the whole class. I had a string of births over the last 10 days, and now I don't have anyone due until the 16th - that doesn't mean that a baby couldn't happen, but just that it is less likely. I've had some tough births lately, too. And it isn't always predictable which ones will be tough! I've had an 11 pound baby be pushed out in less than ten minutes, and a mom push for 3 hours for an 8 pounder. In the last few months I've seen a couple of really scary post-partum hemorrhages, but also moms who barely lost a drop of blood. I don't really know how some folks do what I do without the prayer support I get.
I know that when I leave the house in the wee hours of the morning, John is praying for me, for the mom in labor, for her baby and for the rest of her family. I know that he is lifting up everyone involved. I know that when I am so busy doing what needs to be done that my prayers are no more than "God, help me get through this and help this mom and babe", there are others out there who are praying too.
I really do need to get my garden settled for the winter. We have had a few snow flurries. We had a nice crop of tomatoes, eggplant, and peppers. I have jams and pickles canned and some veges in the freezer. The only thing left in the garden is the last couple of Brussel Sprouts plants and they will be eaten soon.

After I finish working on the Pope talk (or maybe inbetween revisions) I need to start working on the next talk we will be doing - on the Holy Spirit.

I am SO GLAD that so many resources are now available online! For example, the Bible, the Catholic Encyclopedia, the Catechism and the early Church Fathers (among many other public domain Christian writings). Of course, I am still surrounded by my other reference books from the Didache to the didache high school textbooks!
Any suggestions on the Holy Spirit?

Now that's what I call a beautiful liturgy


from today's office of readings

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St. Cyprian's treatise on the Lord's Prayer

And when we meet together with the brethren in one place, and celebrate divine sacrifices with God’s priest, we ought to be mindful of modesty and discipline—not to throw abroad our prayers indiscriminately, with unsubdued voices, nor to cast to God with tumultuous wordiness a petition that ought to be commended to God by modesty; for God is the hearer, not of the voice, but of the heart. Nor need He be clamorously reminded, since He sees men’s thoughts, as the Lord proves to us when He says, “Why think ye evil in your hearts?”

Hearing this excerpt, I immediately thought about the liturgical wars.............
Anyhow, I am going to put the entire treatise in the extended entry, for your perusal.

via happy catholic


From an opus dei priest


Theology of the Body talk

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Today we went to a talk by Christopher West. This was the short one "Introduction to the Theology of the Body". Last year, John and I attended a video series on Created and Redeemed at a local parish. And we have both also listened to the 10 CD set "Naked Without Shame". We like what we are hearing in the Theology of the Body, and while Pope John-Paul II's original writings are the bedrock, they are dense (like all good bedrock) and so it is easier to start the study with an engaging and knowledgeable speaker like Mr. West.
He's even better in person than he is on-screen.
Let me just share a few tidbits.
"When we reclaim the truth, we need to be prepared for a raging spiritual battle." (So true. I have a friend whose life has been falling apart, her family under attack, ever since she decided that she really needed to not only follow Catholic sexual teachings personally but to apply them to her professional life.)
"The scriptures tell us to gird our loins with the Truth, not with latex" (about the lies that the Father of Lies would have us believe about preventing the spread of AIDS - among other lies)
"If the task of the 20th century was to rid itself of the Christian sexual ethic, the task of the 21st century must be to reclaim it" (how true!!!)

Lots of good stuff. I wish that I could remember all the insights that popped up. But if you get a chance to hear Mr. West speak, do it!

Over a year ago my husband bought a CD with the sort of gospel version of the sung chaplet. We know now that the trip home from the Perpetual Adoration chapel is almost long enough to get through the whole chaplet in the car. When we took our road trip/vacation last year, I burned a few CDs to take with us so that I didn't need to worry about possibly losing them on the road - and one of them was the Divine Mercy chaplet. I think it ended up on the same disc as some John Michael Talbot and some Latin Catholic classics.....

I've lately gotten out of the habit of praying it in the car on my way to work. But I think that tomorrow, I will try to find it in the mad morning rush, and put my heart and soul in the right place to face my day in the office. I already know that my schedule is booked solid, with a few double bookings, because I will be gone from the office from 4/23 through 5/2.............

My trip will take me to Portland OR, with trips to Salem OR, Eugene OR, and Tacoma WA. I will also spend a few days in the Los Angeles area. Anyone living in that area who might want to try to touch base with me, send me an email. I can't promise anything but that I will try. This trip isn't exactly a vacation, but neither is it exactly business.

And if you are praying the Divine Mercy chaplet, will you say a decade for me? thanks.

divine mercy and me - two

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I listened to the Divine Mercy chaplet on EWTN for the first time probably a little over five years ago. I didn't know much of anything about it, I just knew that I liked what I was hearing. I went to the Catholic bookstore and asked if there was a 'Divine Mercy' chaplet in the collections of other chaplets - dumb me, didn't know that it was said on ordinary rosary beads, had never heard of St.Faustina, knew nothing except that I had heard this prayer on EWTN and that is hit a chord in my heart.

The Catholic bookstore had a packaged trifold and a one decade rosary that it sold as a "Divine Mercy Chaplet". I think that it was around Easter of 2002 that I bought it. I took it with me to Atlanta for the ACNM conference and ended up losing it (along with a favorite suit coat) at the hotel or possibly in a taxicab. I was so very bummed. But somewhere along the way, I realized that I really didn't need that crutch to pray the chaplet. And I remember that eventually I saw in the missalette that the Sunday after Easter was to be celebrated as Divine Mercy Sunday. I also remember my disappointment that little or nothing was said about this from the pulpit or in the bulletin.

I love the rosary, but I have also developed a love for saying the prayers of the Divine Mercy Chaplet. I can say them, I can chant them, I can sing them. It helps me a lot to meditate on the great gift that God gave us in His Mercy.

Almighty Father, I offer you, the body and the blood, soul and divinity, of your dearly beloved Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, in atonement for our sins, and those of the whole world.
For the sake of His sorrowful passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world.
Holy God, Holy Mighty God, Holy Immortal God, have mercy on us and on the whole world.

Me and the divine mercy devotion

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Yesterday started the novena for divine mercy sunday, and I thought about posting something thoughtful and meaningful, but I didn't. By the time I got home from Good Friday Liturgy, scrounged something small to eat, and read Dawn's blog (which, by the way, you need to read also) I was tired. It seems lately that I spend way too much time being tired, anyhow. Fighting for the culture of life at work, trying to persuade my professional colleagues to quit harassing the patients to make the choices that the colleagues think the patients should make, trying to meet the nearly impossible production goals that our grant funding entities think are reasonable (seeing 2.8 patients/hour which means that you have to book 3 patients per hour because so many of them just don't show up - except that lately mine have all been showing up AND needing much more than the 20 minutes per visit). And then the computer system that we are transiting into using for all the office visits except prenatal has crashed twice in the last week.
So I guess that I'm not going to commit to anything that requires daily posting, not even something as dear to my heart as the Divine Mercy. The only reason I am even online now is that the 17 y/o has several friends over to color Easter Eggs - an annual tradition of hers. The music is way too loud and I have retreated upstairs to my room, where I can watch the bluebirds from my window and hear the chirping from the nest beneath the window air conditioning unit.

The Divine Mercy is something that I learned about from EWTN. Before we moved to NH, I had never seen nor heard EWTN. I'd heard of it, mostly negatives, but the whole time we lived in OR and our last few years in CA we didn't have cable. I'm not a TV person, anyhow. I prefer radio. But when I started taking call at the hospital, there was no way I could get a radio signal inside those thick walls and I had limited access to a computer with internet access. So I ended up turning on the TV in the call room for background when I was sleeping. (can't sleep too soundly on call). I was looking for something that would have quiet music, and thought I might have luck finding gregorian chant on the Catholic channel. Instead, I happened to turn it on during a chant of the Divine Mercy chaplet. I was hooked. (more later, gotta get changed to run to the Easter Vigil liturgy - my favorite liturgy of the year though I am afraid that this new parish administrator will cut it as short as he thinks he can get away with).

Sure to be ignored across the USA again


Washing of the Feet on Holy Thursday
ZENIT - The World Seen From Rome
ROME, MARCH 28, 2006 ( Answered by Father Edward McNamara, professor of liturgy at the Regina Apostolorum university.

Q: I understand that it is in fact liturgically incorrect to have the main celebrant at the Holy Thursday Mass wash the feet of women. Correct? -- J.C., Ballina, Ireland. During the Holy Thursday liturgy at our parish, there are a number of foot-washing stations set up around the Church, and the people in the pews get up and bring someone else to one of the stations and wash their feet. Most of the people in Church take part in this, washing feet and in turn having their feet washed. It takes quite a while. Is this liturgically correct? Are there any norms for foot-washing during the Holy Thursday Mass? -- B.S., Naperville, Illinois. On Holy Thursday, at the washing of feet, the people, mostly youth, after having their foot washed, preceded to wash the next person's foot. Then they placed four bowls of water and four places before the altar, and the congregation was told to come forward and have their hands washed by the same people who just had their foot washed. We didn't. Everything felt out of order. -- E.K., Freehold, New Jersey

A: We already addressed the theme of washing women's feet in our column of March 23, 2004, and the subsequent follow-up on April 6.

Since then, there has been no change in the universal norm which reserves this rite to men as stated in the circular letter "Paschales Solemnitatis" (Jan. 16, 1988) and the rubrics of the 2002 Latin Roman Missal.

No. 51 of the circular letter states: "The washing of the feet of chosen men which, according to tradition, is performed on this day, represents the service and charity of Christ, who came 'not to be served, but to serve.' This tradition should be maintained, and its proper significance explained."

About a year ago, however, the Holy See, while affirming that the men-only rule remains the norm, did permit a U.S. bishop to also wash women's feet if he considered it pastorally necessary in specific cases. This permission was for a particular case and from a strictly legal point of view has no value outside the diocese in question.

I believe that the best option, as "Paschales Solemnitatis" states, is to maintain the tradition and explain its proper significance.

This means preparing the rite following liturgical law to the letter, explain its meaning as an evocation of Christ's gesture of service and charity to his apostles, and avoid getting embroiled in controversies that try to attribute to the rite meanings it was never meant to have.

Regarding the place and number of those whose feet are to be washed, the rubric, which has remained unvaried in the new missal, describes the rite as follows:

"Depending on pastoral circumstances, the washing of feet may follow the homily.

"The men who have been chosen are led by the ministers to chairs prepared in a suitable place. Then the priest (removing his chasuble if necessary) goes to each man. With the help of the ministers he pours water over each one's feet and dries them."

The number of men selected for the rite is not fixed. Twelve is the most common option but they may be fewer in order to adjust to the available space.

Likewise the place chosen is usually within or near the presbytery so that the rite is clearly visible to the assembly.

Thus, the logical sense of the rubric requires the priest, representing Christ, washing feet of a group of men taken from the assembly, symbolizing the apostles, in a clearly visible area.

The variations described above -- of washing the feet of the entire congregation, of people washing each other's feet (or hands), or doing so in situations that are not visible to all -- tend to undermine the sense of this rite within the concrete context of the Mass of the Lord's Supper.

Such practices, by greatly extending the time required, tend to convert a meaningful, but optional, rite into the focal point of the celebration. And that detracts attention from the commemoration of the institution of the Eucharist on Holy Thursday, the principal motive of the celebration.

In other circumstances, such as retreats or so called para-liturgical services, it can be perfectly legitimate to perform foot-washing rites inspired by Christ's example and by the liturgy. In such cases none of the limitations imposed by the concrete liturgical context of the Holy Thursday Mass need apply.

Yes, there is hope


(Text of the powerpoint presentation follows)
via Argent by the Tiber

Boston Catholic Women's conference

Made a last minute decision to go once I learned that a local parish is running a bus!

I love Bishop Vasa!


02/17/2006: Christ is reassuring and humble, as well as powerful, mighty

The primacy of conscience only applies to a properly formed conscience. Dr. John Rock (one of the inventors of the birth control pill) maintained to his death that his personal conscience trumped the clear teaching of the church - and stated that he was taught this by the priest who was the hero of his youth. So very sad........

Vatican investigates liturgical abuse


wonderful jesuit saints


Why be Catholic?


I'm going to be giving a testimony and teaching to the entire Confirmation I class (that's nearly 100 people between the kids and all the other small group teachers). I'm going to take my prepared speech and edit a little bit for those of you who have been waiting impatiently for me to finish telling my conversion story. You don't have to go back to part one to make sense of part two - I've repeated a few items to make it readable alone. But if you want to, part one is here.
I hope to have it edited and posted some time in the next few days. I'm also working on a few other items, will get them up as the spirit moves me. I have a little bit more time available the next 2 mondays, as choir rehearsal is on hiatus till the 20th. Of course, I have all kinds of other stuff that I'm supposed to be doing - but some how writing is more fun than housework.

What's My Eschatology?

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I found this quiz over at Keel The Pot.
I've moved the results to the extended entry, because otherwise it messes up my template.
It was an interesting quiz, given that the specific Catholic views were not really presented as options. For example, read the Catechism of the Catholic Church # 1038 to 1060
1060 At the end of time, the Kingdom of God will come in its fullness. Then the just will reign with Christ for ever, glorified in body and soul, and the material universe itself will be transformed. God will then be "all in all" (1 Cor 15:28), in eternal life.

From Summa Minutiae


3 more saints for the year. From his random saint's generator
St. Athanasius - January 31
Bishop caught in the Saracen invasion of Sicily. Athanasius was born in Catania, Sicily, and had to flee to Patras in Greece when the Saracens invaded his lands. He became a Basilian monk and was named the bishop of Modon.
St. Leonianus - November 6
Hermit confessor. Originally from Pannonia, he was captured by raiders and taken to France. Regaining his freedom, Leonianus became a hermit near Autun. He embraced the monastic life in his later years.
St. Begga - December 17
Begga was the daughter of Pepin of Landen, mayor of the palace, and St. Itta. She married Ansegilius, son of St. Arnulf of Metz, and their son was Pepin of Herstal, founder of the Carolingian dynasty of rulers in France. On the death of her husband in the year 691, she built a church and convent at Andenne on the Meuse River and died there. Her feast day is December 17th.

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The WeatherPixie

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