Thursday, February 23, 2012

Ripped from the Catholic Headlines - Some Interesting Reads

Pope Benedict has ashes imposed by a method I recall when I lived in Europe.
Ashes are sprinkled on the head in the form of a cross, rather than on the forehead. 

I don't usually do this - make a reading list - because I'm often passing along many links on Facebook and Twitter.  These tools allow me to just click a button and share it on social media in seconds.  Now and then, I like to pass a long a post like this with a sampling.  But, there are some very good things out there I'd like to pass along.  It's also a good reminder that when you don't see me blogging, hit my Twitter feed link at the bottom of any post and see what I'm passing along.  A re-tweet does not necessarily signal agreement, but may be a way to make others aware of what is being said at a particular media source.  That is why I follow sources I will often agree with, as well as sources that often give me heartburn.

First up, here is the homily of Pope Benedict XVI from Ash Wednesday.

Father Z is beginning his LENTCAzT's.  You can subscribe in iTunes or listen at his website.  Here is today's. 

The ever, clever, Msgr. Charles Pope is blogs on, The Key to True Fasting

Fr. Ryan Erlenbush explains that now is a great time to do the 33-day prep for the Total Consecration to Jesus through Mary.   Just because you are a day or two late, doesn't mean you can't catch up. Just do an additional day or two.

George Weigel has a great piece at First Things on Clerical Narcissism and Lent.  He talks about the new Missal translation and how laity, and priests, are adjusting (or not).  Says Weigel:

One implicit purpose of the new translations, with their deliberate recovery of a sacral vocabulary and their adoption of a more formal literary rhythm, was to discipline the tendency of priests to turn the Mass into an expression of the celebrant’s personality. The difficulties some priests have had with adjusting to the changes suggests that this tendency was, in fact, a real problem in implementing the reforms of the Second Vatican Council. Prominent Catholic psychologist Paul Vitz once wrote of this as a problem of “clerical narcissism,” and while the phrase undoubtedly stings, there’s something to it—something that needs correcting.

You might want to think twice before letting your daughters be involved with the Girl Scouts.  Steve Ertelt at LifeNews is reporting that Planned Parenthood Created the Indiana Girl Scouts Sex Ed Program.

The National Catholic Register (note, I did not say "Reporter"), tells us that in Washington state there is a victory for conscience

Catholic Culture reports that 2500 evangelical pastors, baptists and other protestant leaders have ripped on Obama over the HHS mandate, along with the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of North America have joined the protest.  In the meanwhile, 100% of diocesan bishops have spoken out, and there is a growing list of Catholic and other Christian institutions speaking out, and/or filing lawsuits.

EWTN's President and CEO, Michael P. Warsaw, managed to get a column in the New York Times explaining why EWTN cannot comply with the HHS mandate. That's pretty amazing considering the trouble then Archbishop Dolan had trying to get a word in edgewise.

At Catholic Vote, Dr. Janet Smith is thanking President Obama for making Catholics more Catholic.  Just seeing the headline, I had a feeling where she was going, and I was right.  It seems the HHS mandate on contraception, sterilization and abortifacients has prompted priests to start talking about these things from the pulpit. From the sin of this HHS mandate, abounds much grace that clerics are now acting on (Rom 5:20).  She writes about something I touched on a couple weeks ago in this post.

Sadly, we pew sitters never hear priests preach against greed, racism, drunkenness, adultery, laziness, fornication, pornography, gossip, wasteful spending of money and time, etc. let alone contraception. Many Catholics have heard at least one good homily on abortion, though few have heard more than one. We hear a lot about the need to believe God loves us and to be loving and forgiving and most of us take those words to heart and try to advance in those respects. But we don’t hear priests preach on moral topics.
Later she writes:

It would be unjust to accuse the current crop of US bishops as being at fault for the failure of priests to preach on contraception. Some individual bishops in recent years have issued pastoral letters on Humanae Vitae and finally in 2006, the US Bishops issued Married Love and the Gift of Life, their first pastoral document on marriage in over 40 years. But what would the world look like if bishops and priests had been educating their flock on contraception for the last 50 years rather than ignoring the issue nearly entirely? Fr. Roger Landry tells us that 50% of those coming to him for marriage preparation do not know that the Church teaches against contraception.

I agree with her about not piling on the current crop of bishops - especially at this time.  Fr. Perrone, stood at the pulpit after all of this broke some weeks ago and urged Catholics not to fix blame on the bishops right now over what was or was not done in the past.  He rightly pointed out that now is not the time for that kind of thing when the Church is being attacked so viciously from outside forces. Fr. Perrone offered sound advice:  "Now is the time to give the bishops our full, moral support."  Just as Janet pointed out, we are seeing priests and bishops starting to talk about the Church's teachings on contraception publicly and from the pulpit.  THANK GOD!!!  We need more to do so.  I don't think it will decrease from here, but only increase going forward.  Give thanks to God, no matter what prompted it, and pray for more.  In the process of time, for educational purposes, there will be a right time,  and place, to analyze what went wrong so it's not repeated.  For now, just encourage your priests and bishops to catechize from the pulpit.  Here, again, is the link to her full article which I heartily recommend.

In a like way, Jennifer Fulwiler says in her post:  Father, We're Ready for that Homily on Contraception Now. 

Book Recommendation for Lent: Last, but not least, I want to recommend to you a great classic that every Catholic household should have, after the Bible.  Divine Intimacy was a book written by an Italian Carmelite, the late Father Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen, OCD. The first English translation was published in 1964.  I have the 2008 edition by Baronius Press (below).  The book has a meditation for every day of the year, based on the liturgical calendar. While it is based on the old calendar, most major feasts are in the same place, and the seasons are timeless anyway.  It is written in simple language, and is not lofty.  Teens should be able to read from it without a problem.  On any given day, you will read no more than 2-4 pages.  It offers a meditation, followed by a colloquy.  There are rich quotes and references throughout from Scripture and other sources.

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The obedient are not held captive by Holy Mother Church; it is the disobedient who are held captive by the world!
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