Thursday, November 29, 2007

Michael Voris of the One True Faith to Speak at Grotto on Sunday

Fr. Perrone and Michael Voris in a discussion on Assumption Day 2007 just before the evening, outdoor Mass

I'm still running very short on time, thus little blogging of late. My mother has not been well and a number of other things are going on, but I want to pass this piece of news along to you for this Sunday.

Michael Voris, President of St. Michael's Media and host of the One True Faith TV will be speaking at Assumption Grotto this Sunday after both the 9:30, and Noon Masses.

Archbishop Raymond L. Burke of St. Louis blessed the studio when he visited in 2006, and Fr. Pablo Straub has also been supportive of St. Michael's Media.

Fr. Perrone wrote in last week's bulletin:

Next Sunday, Dec. 2, Michael Voris
of ST. MICHAEL MEDIA will speak
on Fighting the Good Fight (an
appropriate title when invoking the
patronage of Saint Michael the
Archangel!). Many of you have seen
Michael’s clear, hardhitting and
unabashedly Catholic TV series
given before a live audience at his
Fernadale studio. There’s no cost for
his talk here next Sunday, and he’s
agreed to give it twice, after both the
9:30 and the noon Masses. These
will be in our gym where you still
may, if you wish, have your
hamburger, sausage or hotdog, as is
usual for our parish socials. Please
do come and hear Michael. He’s an
unusually gifted and dedicated
Catholic man. I have a hunch that
what he will tell you will swell your
Catholic pride.

Just a note about the Sunday socials: They happen each and every Sunday with only a few exceptions per year so if you ever drop in for Mass, follow the crowd over to the gym for a bite to eat, something hot to drink, and conversation.

We socialize in the parish hall, not in church - especially during the Mass.
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Saturday, November 24, 2007

News and Catholic Blogging Roundup - Nov 24, 2007

There is much to convey, yet I've had so little time. I'm going to lead you to some blog posts by other bloggers and newslinks and I hope to be back posting soon. Do check up on these stories, the first of which concerns the consistory which just took place at the Vatican (you can see the beautiful miter worn by Pope Benedict (click the pic at right to enlarge). 23 men were elevated to Cardinal:

In other news:

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Monday, November 19, 2007

Orchestra Mass at Grotto: Sunday at 9:30

Actually, I should say it is this Sunday - the 25th and it will be in Tridentine form.

Next Sunday Assumption Grotto will be having an Orchestra Mass with the following:

Mozart Mass in C
K. 257 (Credo)

Mozart Tantum Ergo in D
KV 197

Mozart Sub tuum praesidium
KV 198

"Concertino im alten Stil" for Organ and Orchestra
by Karl Hoyer Op. 20

I will post more on this during the week. I have to run off to work!

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Abp Ranjith: Opposition to Summorum Pontificum "beneath the dignity of a shepherd"

Abp Ranjith, the secretary of the Congregation for Divine Worship, for which Cardinal Arinze is the head, had something to say again, about bishops who oppose the Pope's motu proprio, liberating the Tridentine, Summorum Pontificum. As much as I love Cardinal Arinze, Abp Ranjith is a very direct and quotable man. He says it like it is. Here is a short excerpt from Apcom which Fr. Z has up in English.

Mons. Ranjith criticizes the insubbordination of bishops over Latin

"No to dances, ditties and sermons of a socio-political nature"

Rome 16 Nov. (Apcom) –


The attitude of "autonomy" demonstrated "among some ecclesiastics", but also "in the highest ranks of the Church" certainly doesn’t help "the noble mission Christ entrusted to His Vicar", the Pope, the Archbishop affirmed in an interview with Fides, the news agency of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples. [Here it is.]

"You hear in certain countries or dioceses that there have been issued by bishops rules which practically countermand or distort the intention of the Pope. Such behavior is not consonant with the dignity and nobility of the vocation of a pastor of the Church."

Mons. Ranjith then calls to mind the motivation which lead the Pope to sanction formally the validity of the liturgy before the Second Vatican Council. "The post-Conciliar reform is not entire negative", the Archbishop affirmed. "On the contrary, there are many positive aspects which were achieved. But there are also harmful things for the faith and the liturgical life of the Church." In particular, "the use of dances, musical instruments and songs that have little to do with liturgy", Ranjith stated "are not in any way in keeping with the sacred context of the church and of liturgy; I would add also certain sermons of a socio-political nature, often poorly prepared. All this perverts the celebration of Holy Mass and turns it into a backdrop (coreografia) and demonstration of theatricality, but not of faith."

Fr. Z's original post

Teresa-Benedetta at the Papa Ratzinger Forum has translated the entire interview by Fides and it is found on this page (scroll down to the second post).

Related Posts

Abp Ranjith: Those resisting Summorum Pontificum are guilty of the sin of pride

Examples from Fr Z and discussion of opposition tactics:

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Sunday, November 18, 2007

Tridentine Talk - Post 1: Judica Me

The "Judica Me" at Grotto's first Tridentine on the Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross

This is something that we do not see in the Novus Ordo (the Mass of Vatican II). I was intrigued by the psalm as it is placed in this Mass. Emphases in bold are mine. These are the words of Dom Prosper Guéranger, O.S.B., Abbot of Solesmes (source link is below at the Sancta Missa website)

Having made the sign of the Cross, the Priest says the Antiphon: Introibo ad altare Dei, as an introduction to the 42nd Psalm. This Antiphon is always said, both before and after the Psalm,which he at once begins: Judica me Deus. He says the whole of it, alternately with the Ministers.

This Psalm was selected on account of the verse Introibo ad altare Dei: I will go unto the altar of God. It is most appropriate as a beginning to the Holy Sacrifice. We may remark here, that the Church always selects the Psalms she uses, because of some special verse which is appropriate to what she does, or to what she wishes to express. The Psalm, of which we are now speaking, was not in the more ancient Missals: its usage was established by Pope Pius the Fifth, in 1568. When we hear the Priest saying this Psalm, we understand to whom it refers:- it refers to our Lord, and it is in his name, that the Priest recites it. We are told this by the very first verse: Ab homine iniquo et doloso erue me: deliver me from the unjust and deceitful man.

The verse here used as an Antiphon, shows us, that David was still young when he composed this Psalm; for, after saying, that he is going to the Altar of God, he says: Ad Deum, qui laetificat juventutem meam: To God, who giveth joy to my youth. He expresses astonishment at his soul being sad; and, at once, cheers himself, by rousing his hope in God; hence, his song is full of gladness. It is on account of the joy which is the characteristic of this Psalm, that holy Church would have it be omitted in Masses for the Dead, in which we are about to pray for the repose of a soul, whose departure from this life leaves us in uncertainty and grief. It is omitted, also, during Passiontide, in which season, the Church is all absorbed in the sufferings of her divine Spouse; and these preclude all joy.

This 42nd Psalm is an appropriate introduction to the Mass, inasmuch as it in our Lord whom it will bring among us. Who is He that is to be sent to the Gentiles, but He that is Light and Truth? David foresaw all this; and, therefore, he uttered the prayer: Emitte lucem tuam et veritatem tuam. We take his prayer and make it ours; and we say to our heavenly Father: send forth Him, who is thy Light and thy Truth!

The Psalm having been terminated by the Gloria Patri, and the Antiphon repeated, the Priest asks for God's assistance, saying Adjutorium nostrum in nomine Domini: Our help is in the name of the Lord: To which the Ministers reply: Qui fecit coelum et terram: Who hath made heaven and earth. In the Psalm just recited, the Priest expressed his ardent desire to possess our Lord, who is Light and Truth: but the very thought, that he, - a sinful creature, - is about to meet this Lord of his, makes him feel the need he has of help. True, - God has willed this meeting; he has even vouchsafed to prescribe it as one of our duties: and yet, notwithstanding, man is continually made to feel his unworthiness and nothingness. Before going further in the holy Sacrifice, he is determined to humble himself, and confess that he is a sinner. He encourages himself to this, by making the sign of the Cross, and imploring God's aid. He then begins the avowal of his sins.

Source link at Sancta Missa under Tridentine Spirituality - From the Conferences of Dom Prosper Guéranger, O.S.B., Abbot of Solesmes

It's unfortunate that this is omitted in the new Mass. For one, it brings us to the realization that this is not a celebration in the context of "party". The new Mass was never intended by Vatican II to change the sense from the Mass as sacrifice to Mass as celebration.

Secondly, our Lord was a model of humility and obedience. The priest leads us in that sense of humility. The gestures of priest and servers at the foot of the altar left me with a lasting impression: This, which is about to take place is very holy. It reminds me of Moses before the Burning Bush, removing his sandals before he gets any closer. Approaching the altar for the priest demands purity of heart and soul, not only his, but ours. This cannot be fulfilled in a forceful way. Rather, in imitation of Christ, and as a free-will offering, we humble ourselves in consideration for what the Mass truly is - a sacrifice.

Thirdly, the Judica Me also set's the tone in another regard. This is about what we give to God, not about us. The focus is on Him, where it rightly belongs. The banality of hymns today especially, projects a different image - one in which "we", the assembly, are the object of the Mass. Vatican II never intended this, at least, I would challenge anyone who thinks so to show me where, in the documents of that Council, it can be found.

Here is the Judica Me in the context of priest and servers at a High Mass (Missa Cantata)

V: I will go to the altar of God.
R: To God the joy of my youth.

V: Do me justice, O God, and fight my fight against an unholy people, rescue me from the wicked and deceitful man.
R: For Thou, O God, art my strength, why hast though forskaen me? And why do I go about in sadness, while the enemy harasses me?

V: Send forth Thy light and thy truth: for they have led me and broughtme to they holy hill and Thy dwelling place.
R: And I will go tothe altar of God, to God my, the joy of my youth.

V: I shall yet praise Thee upon the harp, O God, my God. Why are thou sad, my soul, and why art though downcast?
R: Trust in God, for I shall yet praise Him, my Savior, and my God.

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Saturday, November 17, 2007

Pope Benedict on St. John Chrysostom - a must read

Please follow the link below and go to the blog of Fr. Z who is providing, in English a letter written by Pope Benedict that was not covered, at least as thoroughly as should have been, in the English speaking Catholic media. The letter itself, if I understand Father correctly, was only available in Italian at the time of his post.

I was awestruck by the one excerpt he pulled out. If that doesn't make you want to run to Mass, I don't know what will. It is some of the most beautiful writing on the Liturgy I've seen. If there are any young men out there considering the priesthood, revisit these words below frequently.

You can catch the whole thing in this link, but if you are tempted to skip Father's post and the full document, which he is providing in Microsoft Word (downloadable), I give you that excerpt he provided. As you can see by the title of Father's text, the letter goes beyond the liturgy. Father has a wonderful lead in.

Benedict XVI’s nearly unnoticed Letter on St. John Chrysostom: reconciliation of Churches, liturgy, social justice, patristics

I am maintaining Fr. Z's emphases which are in bold:

St John’s faith in the mystery of the love that binds believers to Christ and to one another led him to express a profound reverence for the Eucharist, a reverence that he fostered in the celebration of the Divine Liturgy, as is demonstrated by the fact that one of the richest expressions of Eastern liturgy bears his name to this day. St John understood that the Divine Liturgy situated the believer spiritually between his life on earth and the heavenly reality which was promised to him by the Lord. He expressed his awe at celebrating these sacred mysteries to St Basil the Great in these words: “For when you see the Lord sacrificed, and laid upon the altar, and the priest standing and praying over the victim, ... can you then think that you are still among men, standing upon the earth? Are you not, on the contrary, straightway transported to heaven …?” These sacred rites, says St John, “are not only marvelous to behold, but transcendent in awe. There stands the priest … bringing down the Holy Spirit, and he prays at length … that grace descending on the sacrifice may thereby enlighten the minds of all and render them more resplendent than silver purified by fire. Who can despise this most awesome mystery? St John urged this same sense of reverence before the Eucharistic mystery on those who heard his preaching: “Reverence now this table from which we all are partakers, Christ, who was slain for us, the victim that is placed thereon.” John spoke movingly of the sacramental effects of Holy Communion upon believers. “Christ’s blood causes the image of our King to be fresh within us, produces unspeakable beauty, and does not permit the nobleness of our souls to waste away, but waters it continually, and nourishes it.” For this reason, St John, echoing the Holy Scriptures, insistently and frequently exhorted the faithful to approach the altar of the Lord worthily, “not lightly and … out of custom and form,” but with “sincerity and purity of soul”. He insisted that interior preparation for Holy Communion should include repentance for one’s sins and gratitude for Christ’s sacrifice on behalf of our salvation. He thus urged the lay faithful to participate fully and devoutly in the rites of the Divine Liturgy and, with this same disposition, to receive Holy Communion. “Let us not, I beg you, slay ourselves by our irreverence, but with awe and purity draw near to it; and when you see it set before you, say to yourself: ‘Because of this Body am I no longer earth and ashes, no longer a prisoner, but free: because of this I hope for heaven, and to receive the good things therein, immortal life, the portion of angels, to converse with Christ’.”

When I read something like that, it removes all doubt from my mind that the Eucharist is meant to be more of a contemplative or interior experience, not something which manifests itself in "celebration" of the kind seen in many parishes today. Those words of St. John to St. Basil should lead us to get to Mass early, to sit quietly in preparation, and to know that Mass is a sacrifice. Above all, those words should lead us to want to be pure before we receive the Eucharist. Sacramental Confession should be frequent for all assisting at Mass.

I want to pull out one sentence in full for further reflection:

These sacred rites, says St John, “are not only marvelous to behold, but transcendent in awe. There stands the priest … bringing down the Holy Spirit, and he prays at length … that grace descending on the sacrifice may thereby enlighten the minds of all and render them more resplendent than silver purified by fire. Who can despise this most awesome mystery?

Wow! The Novus Ordo is a valid Mass, but I can't help think of that highlighted line and the Tridentine. It is in the Tridentine (and perhaps in the Divine Liturgy, as it is called, of other Eastern Catholic rites, and other Churches) that we see such depth of prayer, and length, in this regard. That is what attracted me so strongly to the Tridentine once I experienced it the first time, following along in the missal and seeing the humble words of the priest spoken on our behalf. I find it now difficult to be in a Novus Ordo because of what it lacks, but this in no way devalues the legitimacy or sacramental effectiveness of the New Mass. A sacrifice, in which Christ is the spotless, pure Victim takes place in both Masses, but it is the TLM which makes this visible to me - an ordinary lay person. Or, shall I say that it enables me to to see what St. John is describing. And, I might add, the TLM for whatever reason is driving me to want to be at church early, preparing with the many beautiful prayers offered in my 1962 missal.

1962 Missal - Motu Proprio Edition
For those of you at Grotto, Cathy in the Assumption Grotto Gift Shop is purchasing some of the new, Baronius Press motu proprio edition Missals (comes in white, black, and red), with foreword by Bishop Bruskewitz. They should be in, perhaps next week. My missal was lost at Grotto somewhere and I'm hoping it will turn up, but so far, I have not found it. My name is on the inside front cover. Cathy has two lost missals in the gift shop so if you have lost one, be sure to see her. Mine was not there. I prefer it be turned in to the rectory or sacristy if it is found.

New Series on the Mass
Yesterday on my day off, at the 7:30am High Mass which is held Monday thru Saturday at Grotto, I decided that I would begin yet another series (I have so many that need to be completed - oy vey). That series will be on the TLM and the words, with commentaries found in missals and in the booklet at Grotto. We have to understand what is taking place and these are well worth sharing in small bits and pieces for us to meditate on.

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Friday, November 16, 2007

NY Times creates scandal with misleading headline

*If you already read this, please see my update below*

My jaw almost hit the floor this morning as I looked at the four articles offered, as of yesterday morning via CWNews on the USCCB's voter guidelines. Please note the distorted title issued by the New York Times.

Catholic Bishops Offer Voting Guide, Allowing Some Flexibility on Issue of Abortion

I don't see "flexibility" on abortion issue mentioned anywhere. There should be a public outcry over such a misleading title.

Somebody please let me know where the USCCB was "allowing flexibility on issue of abortion"?!?

Here are all the titles offered at CWNews:

NOV 16th UPDATE 7:10am:

I sent a copy of the article to Abp Chaput in Denver because the USCCB offers no way that I can see, to contact them by email and Abp Chaput is good about reading email from my past experience. He is also a pro-life champion.

I read at the bottom that on November 16th a correction was made. However, the problem is the title, which is completely scandalous and misleading. I strongly believe a commentary in the NY Times should come from the USCCB to correct the problem. Please send your feedback to the NY Times or get word to your bishop or diocese.

The truly sad part is that other news outlets will jump at the title. Here you see a political blog with the following title based on NY Times article. This is totally irresponsible reporting by the NY Times and anyone following that title with out appropriate research.

Bishops give leeway on abortion

UPDATE November 16th, 11:40am:

I received an email back from Abp Chaput who suggested I contact the USCCB at their media relations dept. I have done this and included in my email not only a link to the original article, and the blogpost link directly above, I have included yet another paper which has run with the same article. It is the same author and there is no correction at all in this one. Unfortunatly, the International Herald Tribune is spreading this fallacious idea, as well.

Both the NY Times Editors and those of the IHT, and others using this language are showing clearly irresponsble reporting and editing. The buck stops in the editor's department.

I have emailed the USCCB, the New York Times, Human Life International, and Priests for Life.

You can find the USCCB's media relations email address at the bottom of this page, if you want to join me in asking them to please, on behalf of all faithful Catholics, respond to this scandalous headline with a Commentary in the New York Times and IHT. Anything less is not going to be sufficient and even at that, the damage is probably already done. I know poorly catechized Catholics who read the NY Times (unfortunately). Of course, any properly catechized Catholic would know better than to give them the time of day, let alone any money for what they call "news".

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Bishop Finn celebrating Mass in Ephesus with Benedictines of Mary

Some of the Benedictines of Mary enter Our Lady's House at Ephesus in Turkey

I know I posted on this before, but there was another picture-post up with a single, interesting shot (see below). On their blog, the Benedictines of Mary - a traditional monastic order, write about that photo :

Here you can have a little glimpse of eternity touching time. Most Reverend Robert W. Finn, DD, offered Mass for us in Our Lady's House at Ephesus, Turkey, each day of our pilgrimage, very early, before the typical crowd of 6,ooo other pilgrims arrived.

This is a bishop who truly understands and values a cloister in his diocese and he is a frequent visitor there as indicated by the many photo posts on the sister's blog. This time, it was some of the sisters who accompanied Bishop Finn to Ephesus, Turkey. It just so happens that they make their home at the Priory of Our Lady of Ephesus in the diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph. You can see more photos in this blogpost at the Benedictines of Mary.

Bishop Robert W. Finn, D.D. is one of our Bishops with Backbone for many reasons, including a pastoral letter he wrote back in February against the plague of pornography.

Home page for the Benedictines of Mary

More about Bishop Finn, including a collection of his letters and statements at the Catholic Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph.

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Thursday, November 15, 2007

Focus Conference in Texas - January 2-6, 2008

For those of you in the Grapevine, Texas area - or those willing to travel, there will be a FOCUS Conference well worth exploring for college and university students.

FOCUS is the Fellowship of Catholic University Students. I have seen members of this group talk on EWTN and have heard them on Catholic radio. Folks, this is a solid Catholic movement within college campuses. They are Eucharistic, Marian and bent on evangelizing others on campus and in their missionary work. From the several interviews I've seen and heard, including this evening on EWTN's Life on the Rock, it is inspiring to see young Catholics as enthusiastic about the true faith as these young people.

FOCUS has a blog called Luceat, which I have added to my blogroll at the bottom my sidebar. Explore the posts to get an idea of just how well anchored this group is in authentic Catholicism.

Read through their page on FOCUS Spirituality. St. Therese Lisieux is their patron saint. Their brand of spirituality is yielding vocations. In fact, Mother Assumpta Long from nearby Mary, Mother of the Eucharist Dominicans will be a speaker at the conference in January. In fact, here is a list:

The highlighted keynote speakers include Fr. Benedict Groeschel, Jeff Cavins, Alex Jones, Mother Assumpta Long and Curtis Martin.

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Fr. John A. Hardon on Detraction

It would seem helpful in light of discussion surrounding Fr. Benedict Groeschel's admonishment to not engage in detraction on blogs, to share more on this grave matter by another humble priest: Fr. John A. Hardon, SJ. Fr. Hardon goes in depth on the catechesis of this issue.

I'll start you out here, but please read the entire section at the site where this is stored.

Commandments of God - Detraction and Calumny
by Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J.

The immediate focus of the Eighth Commandment is falsehood that does injury to one's neighbor. Harm to another person's reputation, therefore, is the special prohibition of this divine mandate.

A person's reputation may be injured in various ways, notably by detraction and calumny or slander. Detraction is the unjust violation of the good reputation of another by revealing something true about him. Calumny or slander differs from detraction in that what is said or imputed about a person is not true.

A good reputation is the esteem that one person has formed and entertains about another. It may regard his moral qualities, such as honesty, chastity, or truthfulness; it may regard physical and mental qualities or attainments. In either case, reputation is the object of an acquired right, and consequently to take it away or lower it becomes an act of injustice. Not only the living but also the dead have a right to good esteem. During life we wish to remain in the grateful memory of mankind, and such an expectation can lead us to great exploits.

What needs to be stressed, however, is that a person's good name is something he cherishes even though we may not think he deserves it. No matter; it is his good name, not ours. We may, if we wish, forfeit our good name provided no harm is done to others. But another person's good reputation belongs to him, and we may not do it injury by revealing, without proportionately grave reason, what we know is true about him.

Detraction is consequently a sin against justice because it deprives a man or woman of what they ordinarily value more than riches. Socrates' statement that the way to gain a good reputation is to endeavour to be what you desire to appear highlights the effort required to acquire a good name. All of this, more even than accumulated wealth, can be destroyed by a single criminal act of detraction.

The seriousness of the sin committed will mainly derive from the gravity of the fault or limitation disclosed. But it will also depend on the dignity of the person detracted and the harm done to him and others by revealing something that is hidden and whose disclosure lowers (if it does not ruin) his standing in the public eye.

Not unlike the restitution called for in stealing, detraction demands reparation as far as possible to the injured person's reputation. Often such reparation is next to impossible to make, either because of the number of people informed or the complexity of the situation. But this merely emphasizes the warning of Scripture to "Be careful of your reputation, for it will last you longer than a thousand hoards of gold. A good life lasts a certain number of days, but a good reputation lasts forever" (Si. 41:12-16).

The essence of detraction is the unwarranted disclosure of a hidden failing, which implies that there are occasions when the disclosure can and even should be made.

When the revelation of another person's fault is necessary or very useful, as in defense of self or of others, no injustice is done in revealing it. This would be the case when the failing or defect is made known to parents, or superiors, or for the purpose of seeking counsel or help, or to prevent harm to others, though again, there must be adequate proportion between the lessening of a person's reputation (which is not intended) and the good to be achieved by the disclosure (which is intended). This would cover such contingencies as anticipating unjust harm to oneself in the law courts, or even seeking consolation of a trusted friend by revealing the injustice done.
Go read the full section by Fr. Hardon at the Real Presence website

Fr. Hardon's Library moves from Assumption Grotto to St. Louis as his cause is investigated

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Canon Law Society of Great Britain on Summorum Pontificum

A very interesting article at the blog of Fr. Z on the Canon Law Society of Great Britain and it's explanation the controversial issue of "stable group" with regards to Summorum Pontificum.

As you know, certain bishops have issued letters, which Fr. Z has been reviewing extensively for months now.

Go read the article at Fr. Z's blog with his comments

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Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Opus Angelorum: Imitating the Blessed Virgin Mary

A truly wonderful watering hole of deep spiritual reading can be found at the site of the apostolate, Opus Angelorum or Work of the Holy Angels.

They offer a good formation program for those considering the apostolate, but much of the spirituality they work to cultivate can be found through their website. For example, they have "Circulars for Laity".

You can explore the list there in that link but I want to call attention to one example. In their section on "Character Traits" in that link, you will find #7 is a call to imitate Mary.

One thing I like about the written work of the priests of OA, and their seminars and retreats is that they reference everything. You will see notations of scripture and other sources throughout each article they have.

Go read, Opus Angelorum on Imitating the Blessed Virgin Mary

Similar posts:

Opus Angelorum on Why Pray to Our Lady?
Opus Angelorum on the Angel of Fatima

You might also look through the Opus Angelorum online store for some excellent audios and booklets. One of my favorites is "On Holy Silence", which can be found on this page.

Opus Angelorum Homepage

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Happy Feast Day to Carmelites

On the 14th of November each year, Carmelites honor All Saints of the Carmelite Order, known and unknown.

may the patronage
of the Blessed Virgin Mary, our Mother,
and the prayers of all the saints of Carmel
help us to walk steadfastly in their footsteps,
and by our prayers and good works
to further the cause of your Church.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.

Prayer Source Page

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Tuesday, November 13, 2007

USCCB Meeting Coverage

I don't have much time for posting, but want to direct your attention to some very good and thorough coverage of the USCCB meeting taking place in Baltimore. It is assumed that Cardinal George, the current VP, will take the helm. Many are wondering who will be the next VP which would indicate to us the likely successor after this coming term.

Tom Peters - the American Papist - is posting throughout each day with continuous updates and many links. Here is Day One. Check the Papist's homepage for coverage of day two and three.

Ed Peters weighs in on two candidates for the USCCB's committee on Canonical Affiars - Abp Raymond L. Burke and Bishop Thomas Paprocki.

Fr. Z looks at the document on sacred music the bishops on which they will be voting. Will it be merely guidelines which do not require the approval of Rome? Do read through some of the comments in Fathers blogpost.

In other interesting news:

Pope Benedict XVI's visit to the US Confirmed: April 15-20 (AmP)

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Monday, November 12, 2007

Fr. Benedict Groeschel admonishes Catholic bloggers on discussing Fr. Francis Mary's leave: Don't engage in detraction

The humble priest, at the end of yesterday's Sunday Night Live, made an appeal to Catholic bloggers: Don't engage in detraction, and if you have, know that it is a mortal sin. As Father pointed out, even if something is true, it can be a mortal sin to pass it along. I must say that Father appeared disappointed, and was firm in his catechesis on detraction which is not well understood these days.

EDIT 14-Nov-2007: I think some may be misunderstanding the message. Father did not say "do not discuss", but "do not cross the line into detraction". And, he provided a simple explanation of detraction. I offer examples in the comment box about 4-5 posts down. Perhaps we should ask, how much discussion is too much discussion? The time spent seeking out details is better spent in adoration praying for priests. If you really want to do something worthwhile, adopt a priest spiritually.

First, what is detraction? From the CCC:

2477 Respect for the reputation of persons forbids every attitude and word likely to cause them unjust injury. He becomes guilty:
  • of rash judgment who, even tacitly, assumes as true, without sufficient foundation, the moral fault of a neighbor;

  • of detraction who, without objectively valid reason, discloses another's faults and failings to persons who did not know them;

  • of calumny who, by remarks contrary to the truth, harms the reputation of others and gives occasion for false judgments concerning them

Fr. Groeschel reminds us that detraction involves revealing faults that may very well be true. Because they are true, does not mean, unlike what secular society teaches us, that they are to be disclosed. This is a fallacy that belongs to the world and the media, which earns a living off of gossip.

If one spreads something they know to be untrue, then it is calumny. Both are mortal sins, requiring sacramental confession should we discover we have engaged in them.

In the case of the recently departed priest from EWTN, to which Fr Groeschel was referring, something led him to believe people were engaging in detraction in Catholic blogs. This could have been actual blogposts, or it could have been commenters, or both. Perhaps it was all sparked by speculation with the words of his brother priest saying that, "sin will not prevail". That one statement opened the door to that speculation and certainly this was not Father's intention when he said it.

Some think that when EWTN doesn't give more info, that they are hiding something or trying to protect their image. I believed right from the beginning that the friars would have revealed more if they didn't feel they would be crossing the line into detraction. There are facts that the priest in question may himself share, but others in the know, may not. This is why I believe cricitism of EWTN for not revealing more is a bit misguided. Fr. Francis Mary was one of the most visible public figures among the friars. It became necessary for them to strip reference to him on it's website and programming, something not uncharacteristic of a religious order when someone leaves. With this particular case, it would have been difficult without some kind of statement first to help everyone understand why this material was being removed. A greater scandal could have been created by saying nothing and simply removing his material - especially if Father were seen out and about in lay clothes.

All of this applies not only to bloggers, but to people who have left comments in various blogs, as well as in email exchanges. Each of us must do an examination of conscience on the matter. If there is even the slightest doubt that something crossed the line, the best thing we can do is share it in Sacramental Confession and let our confessors judge our deeds. I iinclude myself first in this regard.

I think it is a healthy thing for any blogger - to truly examine the morality of our writings, and with any doubt that arises with regards to detraction, discuss it with a solid priest who is well grounded in holiness.

As a truly holy man, and wise spiritual Father, I take Fr. Groeschel's words to heart and I hope you will too.

EDIT 15-Nov-2007: If you want more catechesis on the sin of detraction, I have made a post with the explanation of the late, great theologian Fr. John A. Hardon.

Bloggers, please pass along Fr. Groeschel's admonishment for all to consider.

EDIT 16-Nov-2007: There is much traffic coming to this blogpost from Spirit Daily. Please see my blogpost of today on the scandal being created by the NY Times in the way they are irresponsibly misrepresenting what the bishops said about abortion at the USCCB meeting.

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Bp Trautman and his view of active participation

(Note: scroll down or click this link to see pictures from Grotto's 40 Hour's Devotion)

Something interesting has emerged at the blog of Fr. Martin Fox, who is listed in the sidebar section under blogging priests, religious and deacons. He shares a publicized address given by Bishop Donald Trautman of Erie, Pennsylvania. Bishop Trautman is also the chairman of the USCCB's Committee on Liturgy. His Excellency is probably the greatest proponent among US Bishops of banal translations and inclusive language in the liturgy.

What is often at the root of conflict in many liturgical matters is an understanding of the expression "active participation". In a very thorough look at the issue in a March 2006 post, Fr. Z explains the difference between the latin word actuosa and activa (emphasis mine in bold):

In the materials the seminarian sent me, especially a handout their loony liturgy instructor distributed, it was argued that exterior active participation was the first and primary thing that the Council Fathers were after. The prof observed first that the Council’s document Sacrosanctum Concilium never employs the term participatio activa. That is correct, of course. And he was correct that the use of actuosa rather than activa is very significant regarding the sort of participation the Fathers desired for “the people”.


In philosophy, (not philology) philosophia activa refers to the practical, in contrast to philosophia contemplativa. NB: activa is contrasted with contemplativa. Activus contrasts also with spectativus (“speculative”). Activus and actuosus have connotations respectively of outward, practical activity on the one hand and, on the other hand, lively interior and spiritual activity. Make it simple. Activus = exterior. Actuosus = interior. This is why the Council Father’s chose to describe their goal of “active” participation as actuosa.


Let’s put things together now.

By actuosa we mean primarily that interior receptivity which comes from the baptized person making an act of will to unite himself with the sacred action being wrought in the liturgy by the real “actor”, Jesus Christ the High Priest. This actuosa (“active” in an interior sense) is distinguished from activa (“active” in an exterior sense).

What the Church wants for us first and foremost is the interior participation, founded on our baptism, which integrates the whole human person and then comes to be expressed also in activa participatio.

This is all manifest in what happens during Mass. For example, we are actively receptive to the proclamation of the Gospel. We are not asked to read it aloud together with the priest. At the offertory there is a procession of gifts to the altar. Not everyone in Church comes to the altar. Everyone is then called upon by the priest, who as alter Christus is the Head of the Body of Christ gathered there, to unite their offerings and spiritual sacrifices to his. This they do interiorly, with an act of will, not by physically going up and grabbing hold of the chalice, etc.

I wonder how many "expert liturgists" were listening when Pope John Paul II said in his 1998 ad limina address out west. I have more in bold than not, so do read it slowly and carefully in it's entirety:

3. Only by being radically faithful to this doctrinal foundation can we avoid one-dimensional and unilateral interpretations of the Council's teaching. The sharing of all the baptized in the one priesthood of Jesus Christ is the key to understanding the Council's call for full, conscious and active participation in the liturgy (Sacrosanctum Concilium, 14). Full participation certainly means that every member of the community has a part to play in the liturgy; and in this respect a great deal has been achieved in parishes and communities across your land. But full participation does not mean that everyone does everything, since this would lead to a clericalizing of the laity and a laicizing of the priesthood; and this was not what the Council had in mind. The liturgy, like the Church, is intended to be hierarchical and polyphonic, respecting the different roles assigned by Christ and allowing all the different voices to blend in one great hymn of praise.

Active participation certainly means that, in gesture, word, song and service, all the members of the community take part in an act of worship, which is anything but inert or passive. Yet active participation does not preclude the active passivity of silence, stillness and listening: indeed, it demands it. Worshippers are not passive, for instance, when listening to the readings or the homily, or following the prayers of the celebrant, and the chants and music of the liturgy. These are experiences of silence and stillness, but they are in their own way profoundly active. In a culture which neither favors nor fosters meditative quiet, the art of interior listening is learned only with difficulty. Here we see how the liturgy, though it must always be properly inculturated, must also be counter-cultural.

Conscious participation calls for the entire community to be properly instructed in the mysteries of the liturgy, lest the experience of worship degenerate into a form of ritualism. But it does not mean a constant attempt within the liturgy itself to make the implicit explicit, since this often leads to a verbosity and informality which are alien to the Roman Rite and end by trivializing the act of worship. Nor does it mean the suppression of all subconscious experience, which is vital in a liturgy which thrives on symbols that speak to the subconscious just as they speak to the conscious.

Now we come to some troubling words in an address given by Bishop Trautman, where he seemingly applies the errant understanding of active participation in the name of Vatican II.

"My words to you in that address [i.e., on October 9, 1996] are still true today. I said to you then, and I say again: 'A pre-Vatican II liturgical theology and practice have no chance of speaking to a post-Vatican II world... The full, conscious and active participation of all the people is the goal in the reform and promotion of the liturgy.' Do we accept this teaching of Vatican II? If we do, we should not be calling for a retreat from the reform of the liturgy of Vatican II. There should be no backsliding" (bolding added).

There is no retreat from Vatican II, your Excellency, just a misunderstanding and misapplication of active participation in your foundation.

Some excerpts from the commentary of Fr. Martin Fox:

And since he brought it up, who exactly does he accuse of proposing to "retreat" from the Council's vision? This is a dressed-up version of a polemic one hears in parishes: "oh, you just don't accept Vatican II"--directed at people who: like bells at Mass; use "old fashioned" vestments; use Latin and chant; sing the prayers; don't sing the prayers; use incense and so forth. I'm sorry to say you hear it from priests, who should know better; but then, we hear a version of it here from a bishop who ought to know better. The truth is, what's actually going on is people label as "pre Vatican II" things they don't like, aren't used to, or associate with the past. The great irony is that any number of things I've seen or heard dismissed as "pre-Vatican II" are, if anything, post-Vatican II. I will give you two examples:

(a) A priest singing the Canon of the Mass. This simply was not done, in the Roman Rite, in the years leading up to the Council. Right or wrong, the priest said it sotto voce.

(b) Using a Scripture- and Missal-based chant refrain, either Latin or English, for the opening procession in preference to a vernacular hymn. Using vernacular hymns in place of the proper chants for the entrance, offertory and communion is a practice that long predated the Second Vatican Council, displacing chant--resulting in Pius X calling for restoration of chant; it was the Council that called for restoration both of chant and of a greater use of Scripture texts in the Mass.

What I think we see here is exactly the sort of "hermaneutic of rupture" that the holy father has identified and faulted in relation to Vatican II. Of course, Bishop Trautman may be able to explain this better and who knows, maybe he will show up here and give that explanation; but it really looks like he has this idea that Vatican II marks the beginning of "full, conscious and active" participation.

Go read the post of Fr. Martin Fox on Bishop Trautman's address

h/t to Fr. Z on the same subject, with his comments and emphases.

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Sunday, November 11, 2007

40 Hours Devotion in Pictures - November 11, 2007

Some photos from today's 40 Hour Devotion and the closing ceremony at Assumption Grotto. It was reasonably well attended considering the fact that we are commuter parish. God graced us with the warmth of a functioning boiler too!

What more can I say? We'll let the photos do the talking. For those unfamiliar with Assumption Grotto, there was a candle-light, Eucharistic Procession within the church which emptied the pews. The people exit ahead of the Blessed Sacrament. Click on any pic to enlarge.

Click on the pic below to see a picture similar to the one above, but with the aperature opened up to create a flow of candlelight and blurred images. Some parts of the line are more stationary than others. The ghostly image of altar boys have turned the corner in the upper left hand side to lead the procession in front of the altar rail and down the right hand side.

After Benediction and the recessional, the lights were turned out and a few remained in quiet prayer. Click on this pic below to see a most beautiful shot of the Seat of Wisdom statue, previously covered during Expostion.

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Abp O'Brien takes a stand against liturgical abuse in Baltimore

The new Archbishop of Baltimore, Edwin O'Brien, took a stand against liturgical abuse by removing a priest who invited a priestess to join him in celebrating a funeral Mass.

See the story Abp O'Brien and Liturgical Abuse here at CWNews, and pray for this priest, who has apologized, that he truly finds his way back. The Archdiocese claims that Father has had repeated problems with liturgical abuse. If he is off at a monastery as a comment at the site of the original article above claims, then I give him credit for taking this kind of time out.

I like to share these articles where bishops and cardinals are taking action to give hope to those who have been scandalized by the inaction of other bishops and cardinals. Just scroll through the Bishops with Backbone label underneath this post to see more promising stories.

You can always find this label, and others now, at the bottom of my sidebar if you scroll down.

h/t: Fr. Erik Richtsteig at the Orthometer

EDIT: hat-tip to Fr. Z, who is also covering this story with another article from the Baltimore Sun. That article is a little more extensive, and I want to highlight one statement:

Martin, who has not been defrocked, said he has been barred from celebrating Mass publicly. He will go on an extended retreat and counseling at a monastery in Latrobe, Pa., he said.

See the Baltimore Sun article on this issue with Fr. Z's comments

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Read the Te Deum blog in 18 Languages!

As you can see, this blog is undergoing some restructuring. As I have noted below, I am deeply desiring to give this cookie-cutter template a distinctly "Grotto" look, which will take time. You will begin to see some of the benefits of my having switched templates in order to take advantage of the simple functionality of Blogger enhancements. This post is about one of those enhancements.

Te Deum Laudamus! has readers from around the world. That is what makes the internet so fascinating is that I write something today, and tonight someone in the Philippines, Norway, Italy, Dubai, China, Nigeria or some other distant land can read it. I have seen hits from every continent, including distant islands and the most interesting of places.

While some people are one-time visitors, finding a particular topic through Google or other search engine, we have regular visitors from many foreign countries. Having made my Total Consecration to Jesus through Mary in 2005 not long before I started this work, I pray for my readers by entrusting them to her care.

I ask all of you to keep Catholics and Christians in countries hostile to our faith in your prayers. Some may be reading this blog at great risk to themselves. We should never take for granted the freedom with which we may worship or live our faith. When it seems difficult to get up and go to Mass, we need to ponder those souls who risk their very lives still today for a chance to meet Our Lord in the Eucharist. These people would be overjoyed to freely pack Assumption Grotto, in the cold, at the closing ceremony of the 40 Hours Devotion.

Thanks to Google Translator, this blog can now be translated in to 18 languages. You will see a "widget" in the sidebar under my profile. It seems to be taking a little longer to load upon first getting to this site.

However, Google Translator is not perfect. But, it will give foreign readers some help if they need it. Click on the drop down list and look at the list of languages. Click one of them and see what it does.

Here is another snapshot from the other night.


Take some time to scroll through the sidebar and take note of what is there. I have added a feed which is linked directly to the blog of Fr. Z, revealing some of his latest headlines. I will be adding other news feeds from CWNews and Zenit. Unfortunately, my first attempt went bust.


I am also going to begin a new section which will carry profiles of secular orders, apostolates, and confraternities. Catholics are increasingly becoming interested in these things - surely prompted by the Holy Spirit. There are some really fantastic, solidly Catholic secular orders and apostolates out there and I hope to make them visible should God be calling you to one or more of them.

I am also going to create a sidebar section for series, for which I have started, and not finished, many. This will keep them in the forefront as a reminder to me and give new readers a chance to see them.

Keep in mind that this is a blog - or web log, not a web site. Information is not laid out in compact horizontal ways, but in a long vertical way. There is nothing that can be done about this. But, it comes free so we can't complain. My suggestion is that when I am not posting or you see nothing new, take some time to scroll the sidebar and see what is available. Explore these sites and links.

I am reconsidering how I might be able to construct a more comprehensive site out of to collect certain things in a way that is easier to see. First, I need to make time, which seems quite scarce. I had a different vision for the site when I first put that temporary park-page up. I suspended it when news of the motu proprio broke because some of what I wanted to do would be moot. Thus, God takes it in a different direction than I had thought.

Deo Gratias!

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Saturday, November 10, 2007

Te Deum Template Change

Yes - the blog looks different. It will take some time to get it where I want it visually, making it distinctly "grottoesque". Scroll down for more info.

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Heating at Grotto

I stopped in yesterday for 40 Hours and discovered the heat was still not on. Contrary to some light jokes, Fr Perrone is not trying to encourage us to use the "heating bill" envelopes through lack of heat, nor is he trying to give us a lesson in mortification. I'm sure no one feels worse about the situation than does he.

I saw about 4-5 electrical/mechanical contractor trucks, the basement door in the Church was open and there was an awful lot of clanging going on. I asked one of the maintenance people about it. He said that this was identified about 3 weeks ago and the contractors have been working on it ever since. It's an old boiler and getting parts can take time.

If you go to 40 Hours today, it could be fixed, or it could be cold. Ditto with Sunday Mass. Because of this possibility, dress in layers.

Whatever you do, don't avoid 40 Hours because it could be cold. Many churches in Europe are not heated. Offer it up for the Glory of God, the conversion of sinners, and the poor souls in purgatory.

Think about the saints like St. John Vianney who would sit still in a cold confessional for 12-14 hours daily. I'm sure there was no heat in his day during the coldest part of winter. Ditto with St. John of the Cross or St. Teresa of Avila, and St. Faustina.

Most of all, think about Our Lord, with so much blood having been lost, how cold he must have been through his crucifixion.

He awaits you in adoration.

Related posts:

40 Hours Devotion is now!!!

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Friday, November 9, 2007

Changing Blogger Templates

Don't panic. The look is temporary.

This is a work in progress. It may take a little time to get Te Deum Laudamus! where i want it visually.

I had to switch templates in order to take advantage of new tools available on blogger that will make life much easier for me.

NOTE: You may see the template changing several times. I'm looking for the best base template to work with in terms of editing. I don't necessarily like some of the color schemes, but that is one of the easiest things to change manually.

In the meanwhile, you may have to put up with one of these cookie-cutter, interesting themes.

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The Controversial, Campaign for Human Development

Diogenes over at CWNews', Off the Record, has a couple of interesting posts up about the Catholic Campaign for Human Development.

As I read his post, I wondered, just how Catholic is it? This is something Diogenes explores in these two posts:

Bait and Switch

Second Collection

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40 Hours Devotion beings today!

This is really a big deal and I alreay spoke about that in another post on 40 Hours Devotion.

I want to add something a friend and a fellow Grotto parishioner sent me in an email. I had sent out emails asking people to make a serious effort to get to 40 hours devotion, and if possible to pack the house in thanksgiving at the 3:00 closing ceremony, followed by a pot-luck dinner.

Mary writes:

A Papal audience sure must be an awesome
gift of grace,
but what about 40 Hours Devotion
and a personal audience with the One of whom
he is representative on earth, Christ the King

"Wherever your treasure is, there
you will find your heart."
Do you know where your heart is?

Hope He will see you there!
Please spread the Word..

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German cardinal decries seminarians' religious education

How come this doesn't surprise me? This could be some of the seminaries here in the US, or in many parts of the world. Thanks be to God a bishop recognizes the problem.

Munich, Nov. 8, 2007 ( - Cardinal Friedrich Wetter of Munich has complained about the lack of religious knowledge among candidates for the priesthood in Germany.

Cardinal Wetter told reporters in Bavaria that the Church might be compelled to add another year of seminary training, in order to provide remedial education for young men who begin priestly training without an adequate knowledge of their faith.

Extending the length of seminary training could aggravate a shortage of young priests in Germany. The DPA news agency reports that 264 young men entered the country's seminaries in 2006-- a number that is sharply down from figures that reached over 800 in the early 1980s.
Better to "aggravate the shortage" than to let poorly-formed men out where they will spread error through their own ignorance. That's why things have been so namby-pamby, and why fluff has been trying to pass as catechesis.

Hopefully, the seminarians are being taught also to have a deep prayer life, rooted in Eucharistic adoration and Marian devotion. Some rectors are now requiring adoration. Without prayer, all the knowledge in the world will not help a priest do a seemingly impossible job and keep his sanity, or even remain a priest.

Some of the finest parish priests I know, realize that with all that goes on, it takes getting up at 4:00 in the morning to get a solid, hour or two of prayer in. This is true of other priests with very busy schedules, such as Fr. Corapi, who has acknowedged his very early rising to pray.

An Example for Seminarians
The case of Fr. Albert Lauer, now deceased, is the perfect example of how seminaries can neglect proper development of prayer life, and what effect it can have on a priest. Fr. Lauer acknowledged nearly losing the priesthood to the effects of it. I profiled his story last year, discussing his near-fall, and complete rise - all on account of a solid prayer life.

We lay people could use to emulate this, even if it means getting up 15 minutes earlier to get in a Rosary, read Scripture, or just sit quietly in mental prayer.

Pray for our priests and seminarians!

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Thursday, November 8, 2007

Te Deum Blogger Maintenance

If the blog looks strange, it is undergoing restructuring to make life easier. Blogger made an easier package to use and I need to basically "nuke" my page and rebuid it in order to get it.

I have the template backed up in case it all backfires. However, the sidebar may be in disarray for a week or so.

Fr. Tom Euteneuer of HLI offers pastoral advice to fellow priest who "came out" during Mass

Well worth reading are the words that Fr. Tom Euteneuer of Human Life International provided in an open letter to a fellow priest who "came out" during Holy Mass.

In his usual candid way, Fr. Euteneuer nails it!

EDIT Nov 8, 2007: The actual open letter is published here in Spirit & Life

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New blog dedicated to cooking

Well, it's been in the back of my mind for over a year. I've needed a way to capture family recipes while mom is still living (she's one heck of a cook!). I also wanted to create a way to share them and keep them going, and make an easy way for me to retrieve them for my own use.

Many at Grotto probably do not know that I like to cook now and then, and it's cheaper, and healthier to make your own meals. So, if you want to follow that blog, it is called, The Old Country Kitchen. I may periodically point to it from here since I am not planning on frequent posting there. Perhaps a few times a month.

Today, I am home sick with bronchitis and letting the aroma and steam of home made chicken soup in the house keep my lungs happy. That chicken soup is what sparked me into action, and the need to do something while I recuperate besides lay around. I may, in fact, make that my first entry sometime today.

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Wednesday, November 7, 2007

More info on The Golden Compass

There is a preview of the December 2007 edition of This Rock magazine - a Catholic apologetics periodical.

Please go to my original post on The Golden Compass and it's anti-Catholic undercurrents and see the edit near the bottom.

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Tuesday, November 6, 2007

November 6, 2007 - Recent posts and other links

Fr. Perrone during Benediction at the Grotto on Assumption Day 2007

I will try to take a break from posting for a day or two here so I leave you with some recent posts, and with some excellent reading below that from our blogging priests, religious, deacons, and seminarians section.

Recent Posts on Te Deum

Since Cardinal Ruini suggested that priests and religious get blogging, I thought I would draw your attention to some of the good and interesting posts made by those within my blogging priests, religious and deacons section.

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Abp Ranjith: Those resisting Summorum Pontificum are guilty of the sin of pride

It's refreshing to hear bishops speak so frankly. I'll start you out here with the interview as Fr. Z provides it, and you'll need to follow up at his blog for an excellent commentary which follows. I still run into people who don't realize that Fr. Z is the author of the column in The Wanderer called, What does the prayer really say? He has a blog of the same name.

The highly estimable Secretary of the Congregation for Divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments, His Excellency Most Reverend Malcolm Ranjith Patabendige gave an interview to Bruno Volpe of Petrus where you can find the original Italian. Rorate has their own translation, but here is mine with my emphases:

Your Excellency, what kind of reception has Benedict XVI´s Motu Proprio which liberalized the Holy Mass according to the Tridentine Rite had? Some, in the very bosom of the Church, have got their noses bent out of shape…

"There have been positive reactions and, it’s pointless to deny it, criticisms and oppositing positions, also on the part of theologians, liturgists, priests, Bishops, and even Cardinals. Frankly, I don’t understand this distancing from, and, let’s just say it, rebellion against the Pope. I invite all, above all shepherds, to obey the Pope, who is the Successor of Peter. Bishops, in particular, swore loyaly to the Pontiff: they must be consistent and faithful to their commitment."

In your view, what are these demonstrations against the Motu Proprio due to?

"You know there have been, on the part of some dioceses, even interpretative documents which inexplicably aim at putting limits on the Pope’s Motu Proprio. Behind these actions there are hidden, on one hand, prejudices of an ideological kind and, on the other hand, pride, one of the gravest sins. I repeat: I call on everyone to obey the Pope. If the Holy father decided he had to issue the Motu Proprio, he had his reasons which I share entirely."

The derestriction of the the Tridentine Rite by Benedict XVI appears to be the right remedy for the many liturgical abuses sadly recounted after the Second Vatican Council with the ‘Novus Ordo’...

"Look, I don’t want to criticize the ‘Novus Ordo’. But I have to laugh when I hear it said, even by friends, that in a some parish, a priest is a ‘saint’ because of his homily or how well he speaks. Holy Mass is sacrifice, gift, mystery, independently of the priest celebrating it. It is important, nay rather, fundamental that the priest step aside: the protagonist of the Mass is Christ. So I really don’t understand these Eucharistic celebrations turned into shows with dances, songs or applause, as frequently happens with the Novus Ordo."

Monsignor Patabendige, your Congregation has repeatedly denounced these liturgical abuses…

"True. However, there are so many documents which have sadly remained dead letters, winding up on dusty shelves or, worse yet, in waste baskets."

Another point: one often hears very long homilies…

"This is an abuse too. I’m against dances and applause during Masses, which aren’t a circus or stadium. Regarding homilies, they must be about, as the Pope has underscored, the catechetical dimension exclusively, avoiding sociologizing and pointless chatter. For example, priests jump onto some political point because they didn’t prepare their homily well, which really ought to be scrupulously worked on. An excessively long homily is synonymous with poor preparation: the right length of time for a sermon should be 10 minutes, 15 at most. You have to remember that the high point of the celebration is the Eucharistic mystery, without of course intending to downplay the liturgy of the Word, but rather to make clear how to carry out a correct liturgy."

Returning to the Motu Proprio: some criticize the use of Latin during Mass…

"The Tridentine Rite is part of the tradition of the Church. The Pope has duly explained the reasons for his provision, an act of liberty and justice towards traditionalists. As for Latin, I would underscore that it was never been abolished and, what is more, that it secures the universality of the Church. But I repeat: I urge priests, bishops, and cardinals to obedience, setting aside every kind of pride and prejudice."

Now, go read Fr. Z's excellent commentary on this interview!

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Monday, November 5, 2007

Forty Hours Devotion - November 9-11th at Grotto

I recently told a group of people that I'm 45, a cradle Catholic who went to weekly to Sunday Mass, and had never heard of 40 Hours Devotion until I found Assumption Grotto just over two years ago.

I'll add to this. I had never heard of Adoration, nor Benediction either.

I encourage you to read a few things on 40 Hours to learn about this very rarely seen devotion. Sometimes I think Grotto-goers take for granted the treasure that we have with our pastor offering this to us. A reader of this blog sent me an email about 40 hours devotion and it was very humbling.

It can be difficult for some, as we are somewhat a commuter parish. But wouldn't it be "something beautiful for God", as Mother Teresa would say, if there was a resounding turn-out for 40 Hours, as there was for "Palla Eius"? What more fitting way to personally love, thank and glorify God for all of our 175 years, and especially for Our Dear Mother and Patroness, for all our Jubilee blessings? Maybe your readers will forward your posting and spread the word. St. Francis said that peace on earth must "begin with me."
For those who don't know, we estimate over 600 people crammed into the gym for the final showing of Palla Eius (scroll down), with some having come more than once. This was a wonderful show of support for the parish young people, while at the same time gaining some really great entertainment in return.

However, as our pastor, Fr. Perrone, has taught us in catechism, from the pulpit, and in other talks: We should come to Mass and to adoration not for what we get, but for what we give to God. This means, that we show up to give God "support", but we don't look for anything in return. We don't worry about making it at the most convenient time because if we look at the life of Christ and imitate it, we should be inconveniencing ourselves for him as he did for us.

It could be that we have had so many things going on, so many volunteer tasks, so many things with the kids and school, so many things with work, and the reasons go on and on. If we inconvenience ourselves and offer that up as a sacrifice, how much more treasured is the time we spend with God.

It takes spending just one or two hours less on the internet Friday if you can get there before 6:30. It takes missing half of a football game on Saturday afternoon. It may mean that you'll need to run an extra load of laundry during the week instead of on Saturday.

If you appreciate all that Grotto gives you, come to 40 Hours Devotion with your family and give thanks to God. It's not only the greatest gift you can give to God - your time without looking for anything in return, it's probably one of the greatest ways you can reward our pastor and priests. They see the fruits of their labor when people, especially young people, take time out of their day for such things. But, do it first for pure love of God.

If you care for the unborn and for those who counsel troubled mothers, come and petition the Lord to spare the precious infants.

If you care for priests like Fr. Francis Mary who have taken leave, come and pray for our priests.

I can tell you that the times closest to a Mass or Confession have the most people. The times where we need people to sacrifice are in between, such as around 10:00-2:00 on Saturday, or around commute times on Friday.

The closing ceremony will take place Sunday at 3:00. Fr. Perrone will have the choir sing the Noon Mass and last I heard the Tridentine will be at Noon instead of 9:30 unless he - "the worship committee" changed it after it was last discussed.

If you come to Noon mass, then there is time to grab a hamburger after Mass, go back to adoration until 3:00 at which time the closing ceremony will take place, then join us for pot-luck dinner in the gym.

Watch this video that Fr. Antoine Thomas has made on adoration for children called, Children of Hope. He is probably one of the most influential priests on adoration for the young that I have seen and his message is equally as profound for adults (we are suppose to be like children, no?)

Related Articles:

40 Hours Devotion (part 1) - Fr. William Saunders
40 Hours Devotion (part 2) - Fr. William Saunders
40 Hours with Jesus Christ by Fr. William Saunders

40 Hours Devotion (Catholic Encyclopedia)

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