Saturday, August 31, 2013

Catholic virtual wars 01 - Time for a Cease Fire

This kind of help, Holy Mother Church does not need

Someone hit the pause button...

Its with great sadness and disappointment that I see Catholics using social media to berate other Catholics in a recent string of discussions.  To be clear, I'm not talking about Catholics who discuss the positions of other Catholics in a calm and rational way, but Catholics who are going after others in a very personal way and sometimes  over mere splinters in the eye (of course, it seems like a log to them, but it is probably just the log in their own eye giving them this impression).

I won't point to any part of the discussion because A) I'm disgusted by what I have seen and, B) the lines of virtue, and perhaps even morality, have been crossed in some of those discussions - most especially by some com-boxers (hiding behind anonymity, of course).

Just like I see no need to name names to discuss a position, I see no need to label or identify groups or factions involved, or to analyze these things because it would only throw fuel on a raging fire. This distracts from a larger discussion on Catholic virtue in social media and new media. So, that's just another lightening rod and it always gets people in trouble.

As for the present controversy, I have seen some good points raised in certain posts and some thoughtful comments, as well.  I wanted to link to them, but those discussions give names and that is what I am trying to avoid.  Naming names rather than discussing positions in general can be a lightening rod.  This means, it goes from personal, to very personal.

I began blogging in 2006 after about a year of involvement in several Catholic forums and I don't recall seeing back then the kind of division, and even factionalism, I see today. It's troubling. In fact, criticizing other Catholics online has become a sport for some individuals and their followers, charity and virtue be damned.

Some think they have a license to defend the Church in ways that are lacking in charity and virtue because they have been hurt and are angry.  In fact, the very word "charity" drives them nuts and in the process of mocking false charity, the baby gets thrown out with the bath water.  This kind of behavior isn't done for love of others; it's done to scratch an unbearable itch called, "venting."  Venting is not a virtue. In fact, everything we read from the saints tells us venting (or complaining) is faulty.  Any confessor worth his salt, if you confess stewing in the sins and faults of others, will tell you to knock it off and go spend the time on something more productive.  The spiritual dangers the pharisees were in come to mind.

It would be good if we could all get back to talking about positions rather than people and groups. I can understand why some would want to respond directly once another shoots from the hip in an apparent trip down rash-judgment-lane in a public way.   In fact, part of the problem is Catholics policing of other Catholics - dangerous for the policed who may feel a need to respond (and in an intemperate way if they are not careful), dangerous for friends of the policed (who may derail a good defense with an inflammatory expression or two), and those doing the policing for obvious reasons (who seem not to realize they are giving evidence of judging the motives or hearts of their targets).

At times the world of Catholic social media - especially where anonymity reigns, such as in comment boxes, resembles a virtual Catholic gang war where mouth and keyboard serve as powerful weapons used to hurt others in rival faction(s). What is getting lost in all of this is that every one of us are on display for the world to see.  Someone else is watching too, and He misses nothing. All motives, whether we recognize them yet in ourselves or not, do not escape God's notice.

Concupiscence - Human Fallen Nature and Gravitation to Critics

We who engage in any kind of media or new media, be it simply sharing things on Facebook or running a blog to making audio and video for TV, radio, or internet, need to do a collective examination of conscience.  If a member of the online Catholic community persists in spending an inordinate amount of time focused on what they believe are the faults of  other Catholics, then we need to recall the free will given to all by God and leave it in his hands. We could do a Holy Hour for the person instead of trying to reason with the unreasonable.

This is also true regarding those who use their free will to feed at watering holes which get more hits for their criticism of bishops and other Catholics than it does for anything catechetical or instructive they may offer.  Concupiscence will lead people into talking about the faults of others, and it will lead people to follow others who talk about it, then talk about it themselves.  Truly, that kind of "evangelization" the Church does not need. While we can count the number of people commiserating with such critics; we cannot count the number of people who were turned away from the faith by the caustic behavior they witnessed.  Followers need to reflect on whether they are really growing spiritually through such things, or are they satisfying their itching ears to hear things they probably have no need to hear, but for the sheer pleasure of hearing the thing. If it doesn't move you to love others, including those with whom you disagree, you probably don't need to hear it.  Pope Benedict XVI disagreed with others, but was always mindful of their dignity.

People who are learning the painful realities about why we have lost so many Catholics the last 50 years become outraged and don't understand why everyone else around them is not outraged.  But this presumes that disquiet and visible anger are some kind of "virtues." That's something you may experience when you first learn about something disturbing - and that's okay for a brief period. But, if you are experiencing this on a daily basis, you need to get off the web and go read the Way of Perfection by St. Teresa of Avila or the Introduction to the Devout Life by St. Francis De Sales. First, see a good confessor and tell him how much time you were spending on line and what you were watching and viewing that left you in such state of anger, outrage and disquiet.  You might want to ask how you know when you've crossed the line from anger into hatred to get enlightened.  If the words from a fellow Catholic is causing hatred to stir in you, then cut off that relationship (Mt 5:29,30).  Find sources that will  help you to not just grow in your knowledge about the faith, but in virtue, as well.

I've been through my outrage and disquiet phase years ago.  Every day there was some scandal being discussed in Catholic circles that got me all bent out of shape.  I can tell you from experience, there is nothing virtuous about remaining there and feeding on sources that fuel it.  It doesn't mean you give up discussing the problems, but outrage has to give way to prayer, trust in God, and learning how to win others over in a way that is most likely for them to use their God-given free will in a God-pleasing way.  If you put your time in to reading Sacred Scripture, the CCC, Church Documents, the Church Fathers, the Doctors, and other saints; and serious time in Adoration and prayer, you will find that disquiet and anger abating.  You will also find the kind of tools needed for evangelizing others - something hindered when you are in a chronic state of disquiet and anger. We need to purify our work online and mirror the love of Christ.  That's grace and when we make room for that by pushing out the anger and outrage, it has room to work.  I find this quality in some of the greatest pro-life workers like Msgr. Philip Reilly who founded the Helpers of God's Precious Infants.  You can't be effective unless you reach a point where love for the sinner is greater than the anger you may have for the sins they commit.  We don't win others for Christ; Jesus wins them through us if we give grace a place in our hearts, but it cannot co-exist with chronic outrage, disquiet, and anger turned into hatred.

The apparent addiction of some faithful to online Catholic equivalents to scandal  or gossip rags can only be tempered by learning about virtues and making an effort to practice them.  Learning about virtues, seeing them in practice in the saints, offsets the effects of human fallen nature, or concupiscence.  In fact, every effort to evangelize others must include this or things get out of whack.  That's what I believe we are witnessing with all this infighting between Catholics online. There is a rapid growth of understanding the Church, and what it teaches, but a lack of understanding in what really made saints - white martyrdom brought on by practicing virtues.

Once, when a very holy priest I knew at Grotto some years ago, who was serving as spiritual adviser to me as I worked through an article I was writing for Homiletic and Pastoral Review called, "Unconditional Worship in the God-Centered Mass" (April 2006), taught me an important lesson without saying a word.  In my draft were some expressions about the kinds of Masses I had been to and I got "snarky" about some of those experiences trying to be "cute."  Father, who has a doctorate in theology and in philosophy, shook his head in disapproval without looking up, then scratched out that text.  Seeing apparent disappointment on the face of that virtuous priest was pretty effective.  The pursuit of white martyrdom will often mean depriving ourselves of saying what we really feel like saying.  It's easier to let the words fly, especially if we think others will be entertained by them (or if we think they will bring more traffic).  As it turns out, my article was better without those things.  He kept me on the high road while teaching me a humbling lesson I have never forgotten. It was instrumental in giving up that bad practice in this blog (not that I don't slip now and then).

There are certainly problems caused by members in the Church who fall to the effects of their own concupiscence.  Anyone leading you to believe this is something new and exclusive to their point of view is looking for higher traffic and all that comes with it.  Go read the Fathers of the Church.  Go read the Omnibus of Sources on St. Francis of Assisi.  See what scandals they dealt with in their day.  They were with us since the Fall and will remain with us until the Second Coming.

How does Scripture tell us to deal with these things?  Here is the first part of Psalm 37 (Catholic RSV).

Fret not yourself because of the wicked, be not envious of wrongdoers! For they will soon fade like the grass, and wither like the green herb. Trust in the LORD, and do good; so you will dwell in the land, and enjoy security. Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him, and he will act. 6 He will bring forth your vindication as the light, and your right as the noonday. Be still before the LORD, and wait patiently for him; fret not yourself over him who prospers in his way, over the man who carries out evil devices! Refrain from anger, and forsake wrath! Fret not yourself; it tends only to evil.

A word about defending the faith 

The sword is a symbol for defending the Church.  St. Michael the Archangel is often depicted as a warrior holding it for his defeat of the dragon (Apoc. Ch. 12)  In our quest to slay evil in our lives, we have to take care not to slay others or cut off their ears lest we perish by the sword of our own mouth or hand (Lk 22:50-51).

Something worth pondering are some words from St. Gregory Nazianzem (Oration 33)
Was He betrayed with a kiss? He reproves with a kiss, but smites not. Is he suddenly arrested? He reproaches indeed, but follows; and if through zeal you cut off the ear of Malchus with the sword, He will be angry, and will restore it. And if one flee in a linen sheet, Mark 14:51 he will defend him. And if you ask for the fire of Sodom upon his captors, he will not pour it forth; and if he take a thief hanging upon the cross for his crime he will bring him into Paradise through His Goodness. Let all the acts of one that loves men be loving, as were all the sufferings of Christ, to which we could add nothing greater than, when God even died for us, to refuse on our part to forgive even the smallest wrongs of our fellowmen.
Jesus did not want to be defended that way in Gethsemane and He doesn't want to be defended that way today or in any age.

Don't dwell in anger and pain; move past it by giving it to God.  

So many Catholics are wounded and hurt over things members in the Church have done over the past 50 years from the destruction of churches and loss of reverence in liturgy - falsely in the name of Vatican II - to the priest sex abuse scandal and cover-up.  Righteous anger is a topic I plan to get into, but it is deep and one that should be studied through the lens of Scripture in all it's fullness, and through the eyes of the Church Fathers and Doctors.  People will point to Christ turning over tables in the temple and it is not that simple as I will prove when I get time to share what I have found.

Don't take it out on other Catholics or even other Christians.  I see painful things said about Protestants, and even those who have become Catholic. Those of you who vent about Protestants-turned-Catholic who earn a living running a Catholic apostolate grieve me by what is said sometimes.  Here again, if you disagree with something someone says, talk about their position, and try contacting them to see if you can get a dialogue going. But, leave the boat anchor in the bay. People should be mindful of the parable of the workers in the vineyard (Mt 20:1-16).  This does not put an inviting face on our faith.

It's easy to lob condescending remarks about those who don't have the full Catholic understanding - be they Catholic or not; it takes work and virtue to learn how to engage people in thoughtful discussion; and, it takes fortitude and wisdom to know when to remain silent lest more harm than good be done.  Scripture tells us to bear with the others whose faith is weak (Romans 15:1).  That weakness can manifest itself in a question someone asks, but I think it most often manifests itself with attitudes and behavior that are not in harmony with the teachings of the Church.  You have to give people room to be human and let God do the judging (we can and should judge actions for what they are - i.e., we can judge a theft is happening when we see it - but motives and hearts can only be judged by God*).  When these people - others showing apparent weaknesses or faults - become the butt of jokes online, for all to see, how does that square with what St. Paul is teaching?  Don't waste your God-given talents this way.

When you respect the fact that God gave to all a free will, you then understand the need to use reason and to be a good witness in every respect.  Mocking, having fun at the expense of others weakness' in faith, or their sinfulness (grave or venial), "scoring points" on the best put downs or expressions that will get the highest traffic  - none of these things are God-pleasing. In fact, it's corrosive to authentic evangelization.  Think of someone you really love who has strayed from the faith and picture them witnessing some of the "edgy," and "in your face" stuff going around in Catholic circles online, complete with sophomoric name-calling and labels. This is the stuff of gutters, not the high road Catholics should be taking to be good witnesses.  Just because the latest fad in reporting involves this kind of behavior does not mean it has a place in Catholic media or social media used by Catholics.  A popular approach to writing, speaking, or reporting in any given age does not mean it's the virtuous approach.

A caution about subtle forms of vengeance

Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God; for it is written, "Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord." No, "if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals upon his head." Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. (Romans 12:19-21)

Some get satisfaction when another is called out in a very public way . This can be, for some, a subtle form of interior vengeance, in my humble opinion.  Imagine all of those men waiting to throw stones at Mary Magdalene and how their own self-righteous anger brought them a fleeting satisfaction. One could imagine them laughing at her as they were about to move in for the kill until Jesus stepped in and humbled them all. ** In addition, there is no regard for whether every element of the thing called out is true, and just as importantly - whether any attempt was made to get validation from appropriate sources, including the targeted person.

Before we accept  and run with a public criticism of another we should stop and ask ourselves whether the critic made any attempt to have a rational discussion over his concern with the parties in question, or did he just repeat something to a broader audience found elsewhere.   A truly virtuous person, who has a concern over something someone else has done, will look first for alternative explanations, rather than attribute, even if only in his heart, immoral, unethical, or simply un-virtuous motives.  Fr. John A. Hardon says imprudence is usually involved in rash judgment.  It helps to know his definition of imprudence.  I've used underling for added emphasis.

Sins against prudence that are either by defect or by excess. Sins by defect against prudence are: rashness, which acts before due consideration has been given; thoughtlessness, which neglects to take the necessary circumstances into account; and negligence, which does not give the mind sufficient time for mature deliberation.

Everyone should reflect on that before typing another key or producing any other media.  Please pray for me, as I pray for all of you.

NOTE: The Catholic Virtual War Series continues with many more posts made.  Click that label link, then scroll to see the many titles.

Updates and notes:

*Added for clarification.
** Added to help make the point
- Quote in St. Francis picture changed since it does not appear in his writings. 

For interesting news items I don't have time to blog on, check out my Twitter Feed: @TeDeumBlog

Te Deum Laudamus! Home

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

- Diane M. Korzeniewski

Note: The recommended links below are automatically generated by the tool, so they are not necessarily related content.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Friday Night Traditional Latin Mass at Blessed Sacrament Cathedral in Detroit

Tomorrow night, Friday, at Blessed Sacrament Cathedral, the Most Reverend Donald Hanchon, auxiliary bishop of Detroit, will celebrate Mass using the 1962 Missal for Juventutem Michigan.  The Mass is open to all, but those 35 and under may want to join this great group of young people for the social afterwards.  Juventutem is an apostolate for young people who are devoted to the traditional Latin Mass.  It may be the first time since the 1960's that the usus antiquior is celebrated the Detroit cathedral.  Here is the updated announcement from Juventutem:

The young adults of Juventutem Michigan are happy to announce that Bp. Donald Hanchon will celebrate a Traditional Latin Mass at the Cathedral of the Most Blessed Sacrament on Friday night, August 30, 2013, the Feast of St. Rose of Lima*, at 7:00 p.m. The Mass will be celebrated by a young priest of the Archdiocese and will be musically assisted by a choir under the direction of Joseph Balistreri, the Diocesan Director of Music. Anyone may attend the Cathedral Mass.

Archbishop Allen Vigneron and Msgr. Mike LeFevre blessed the organizing of this Mass.

7:00 p.m. Mass will be preceded by a 6:30 Rosary, at which members will pray for an increased acceptance of vocations to the priesthood and religious life. After Mass, clerics and young adults (18-35 years old), singles and families, will gather for dinner, fine conversation, in the cathedral dining hall.

The Mass is, of course, open to all ages and it is hoped that many of all ages will come.

The name "Juventutem" itself is the Latin word for "youth" and it appears in the opening prayers of the Traditional Latin Mass.

*In the calendar of the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite, St. Rose of Lima is celebrated on August 30th. In the calendar of the Ordinary Form, she is celebrated on August 23rd.

See more information at the Juventutem Michigan home page and Facebook page.

For interesting news items I don't have time to blog on, check out my Twitter Feed: @TeDeumBlog

Te Deum Laudamus! Home

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

- Diane M. Korzeniewski

Note: The recommended links below are automatically generated by the tool, so they are not necessarily related content.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Boom! Nashville Dominicans expanding ... to Scotland!

A sign of a vocationally fertile religious community is that it grows and branches out.   The "Nashville Dominicans" are definitely a fertile community.  Our own Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist in Ann Arbor, have their origins with the Dominican Sisters of St. Cecelia in Nashville.  Mother Assumpta Long, OP came from there with 3 others and established blossoming community here in Michigan about 16 years ago, and is now well over 100 in number.

The Nashville Dominicans admitted a whopping 28 women on August 15, 2013. They are bursting at the seams and stretching their wings as a community.  From Catholic Culture, we learn today that they are sending some sisters to Scotland:

Bishop Hugh Gilbert of Aberdeen has welcomed the Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia, popularly known as the Nashville Dominicans, to his diocese. 
The congregation’s charism includes devotion to Mass and the Blessed Sacrament, the choral recitation of the Divine Office and Rosary, the wearing of the habit, and reverence for the Magisterium, according to its website. 
“I’m old enough to remember Westerns,” Bishop Gilbert preached. “And here we are, wagons drawn close, feeling our last days have come and our scalps about to be removed, when – lo and behold – the US 7th Cavalry appears over the hill. Here they are, armed not with carbines but rosaries. And we can breathe again.”

LOL - Read the rest at Catholic Culture and check out the links at the bottom of their news story.

I've had a theory that if God were truly building a new springtime in the Church it would have to include turbo-charged Dominicans because they filled our schools as teachers back in the day.  I also believe God would put fuel in the engine with an increase on religious in contemplative communities. They are the power train and any bishop worth his salt knows of the great need to have both active, and contemplative, religious in his diocese.

In any case, the communities who have embraced the traditional model of religious life, are the ones to which young people are drawn.  The average age in many of these newer, traditional communities is the late 20's and they are having no problems with vocations.

For interesting news items I don't have time to blog on, check out my Twitter Feed: @TeDeumBlog

Te Deum Laudamus! Home

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

- Diane M. Korzeniewski

Note: The recommended links below are automatically generated by the tool, so they are not necessarily related content.

St. Augustine: Late have I loved You, O Beauty, ever ancient...

In the new calendar, yesterday was the feast of St. Monica - the mother of St. Augustine; today, his feast day.  This is the second reading, taken from the Confessions of St. Augustine, a book I heartily encourage reading. It's a short book, and one not always easy to understand in the absence of historical context, but something well worth mining for gems like the one below.
Urged to reflect upon myself, I entered under your guidance into the inmost depth of my soul. I was able to do so because you were my helper. On entering into myself I saw, as it were with the eye of the soul, what was beyond the eye of the soul, beyond my spirit: your immutable light. It was not the ordinary light perceptible to all flesh, nor was it merely something of greater magnitude but still essentially akin, shining more clearly and diffusing itself everywhere by its intensity. No, it was something entirely distinct, something altogether different from all these things; and it did not rest above my mind as oil on the surface of water, nor was it above me as heaven is above the earth. This light was above me because it had made me; I was below it because I was created by it. He who has come to know the truth knows this light. 
O Eternal truth, true love and beloved eternity. You are my God. To you do I sigh day and night. When I first came to know you, you drew me to yourself so that I might see that there were things for me to see, but that I myself was not yet ready to see them. Meanwhile you overcame the weakness of my vision, sending forth most strongly the beams of your light, and I trembled at once with love and dread. I learned that I was in a region unlike yours and far distant from you, and I thought I heard your voice from on high: “I am the food of grown men; grow then, and you will feed on me. Nor will you change me into yourself like bodily food, but you will be changed into me.” I sought a way to gain the strength which I needed to enjoy you. But I did not find it until I embraced the mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who is above all, God blessed for ever. He was calling me and saying: I am the way of truth, I am the life. He was offering the food which I lacked the strength to take, the food he had mingled with our flesh. For the Word became flesh, that your wisdom, by which you created all things, might provide milk for us children. 
Late have I loved you, O Beauty ever ancient, ever new, late have I loved you! You were within me, but I was outside, and it was there that I searched for you. In my unloveliness I plunged into the lovely things which you created. You were with me, but I was not with you. Created things kept me from you; yet if they had not been in you they would not have been at all. You called, you shouted, and you broke through my deafness. You flashed, you shone, and you dispelled my blindness. You breathed your fragrance on me; I drew in breath and now I pant for you. I have tasted you, now I hunger and thirst for more. You touched me, and I burned for your peace.

For interesting news items I don't have time to blog on, check out my Twitter Feed: @TeDeumBlog

Te Deum Laudamus! Home

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

- Diane M. Korzeniewski

Note: The recommended links below are automatically generated by the tool, so they are not necessarily related content.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Fr. Mitch Pacwa discusses Vocations Placement website with Natalie Smith

I don't always get to watch EWTN Live with Fr. Mitch Pacwa, but he is among my favorites.  He always has interesting guests on his Wednesday evening show at 8:00 PM ET.  The shows are archived and if you have a YouTube account, you can subscribe and watch most of the prime time programs, and then some, online after they air.  This 1 hour segment aired two days ago.

In this show, Fr. Mitch interviews Natalie Smith about her website,  This is the first I've seen of it and it looks like an interesting site, but I only clicked around in the minute or so that I had. I'll go back there at some point and look some more.   It's best to watch the interview.

One thing I liked was how Natalie Smith emphasizes that marriage is a vocation and young people need help discerning the full package.  I understand what she is saying.  People will sometimes pursue a religious vocation when they are really called to marriage, and vice versa. And, marriage is a vocation. Fr. Mitch makes sure, near the end, that people understand it's not a sin to not follow a presumed call.

When listening to this discussion consider that there are two kinds of parishes in which young people reside: A) Vocationally Fertile and B) Vocationally Sterile (don't confuse this with fertile as in families upholding Humanae Vitae, though this is an important factor).  In a vocationally fertile parish you see someone heading off to seminary or religious community almost yearly. This is visible to young people who then have the greatest "advertisement" right in front of them, causing them to reflect and ponder whether they too are called.   In a vocationally sterile parish, you can look back decades and not find a single vocation - one that followed through and stayed.  This also means there are no examples to follow - at least ones that are close in age.  In a vocationally fertile parish, it's obvious that the parish environment is friendly to the actions of the Holy Spirit.  I don't believe God has called so few men and women to the priesthood and consecrated life in these decades of decline; people just haven't been able to hear the call from God over all the noise in the culture and even in their parishes.  The key is to remove the "noise." This whole issue is the subject of more posts as I have many thoughts on what makes a parish vocationally fertile and vocationally sterile.  I need to get more wonky than I have here to detail it out, but this is not the post for that.

I mention this issue because as I listened to this episode, I thought the website was a great concept in general (without having looked it over fully yet). It might be most helpful to the discerning soul who comes from a vocationally sterile parish (or diocese - and yes, some dioceses have a higher vocational fertility rate just as parishes do!). At the same time, a site like this might help someone in a vocationally fertile parish who may not be called to the same charism that others before him or her were.  Communities have been blossoming for the past 15 years and they are varied.  Men wanting a diocesan vocation, as was pointed out in the interview, must go to their own diocese, with few exceptions.  I suppose one could move to another diocese for a while then apply, but there is no guarantee that a bishop with the same qualities and personality of a current bishop will replace him when he retires or gets moved. So, sometimes that works out, and some times it does not.

I'm aware of another great discernment tool out there and will talk about this in another post.

Without further delay, here is the video.

For interesting news items I don't have time to blog on, check out my Twitter Feed: @TeDeumBlog

Te Deum Laudamus! Home

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

- Diane M. Korzeniewski

Note: The recommended links below are automatically generated by the tool, so they are not necessarily related content.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

A few quick reads on the Queenship of Mary (new calendar)

Today in the new calendar it is the Queenship of Mary (celebrated on May 31st in the Old Calendar). Today in the 1962 Missal is the Immaculate Heart of Mary or St. Timothy and Companions are celebrated.

My work grind continues, as does my need to catch up at home.  But I would like to pass along a few items of interest...

Fr. Barron has a pretty good explanation of the Queenship of Mary.  It's not a sentimental feast day and it's not just for grandma. Fr. Barron gets deep into Scripture...

Robert Pentin discusses some interesting quotes in the press by our beloved Pope Emeritus in "Report: Pope Benedict XVI's resignation followed 'mystical experience.'"

St. Dominic Savio is one of my favorite saints.  The teenage saint died at 14 and was known for the expression, "Death before sin." I really enjoyed the book of his life by St. John Bosco.  So, when I saw the headline at New Advent, "St. Dominic Savio, the boy who insisted on growing up" I clicked the link and landed at Dawn Eden's blog.  It's not always easy to find that book, but I got it on Kindle.

Fellow parishioner and "9:30 Grotto TLM'er," Kevin Tierney, has had some interesting posts on the condescending expression, "RadTrad."  He says it's time to put away these kinds of labels.   There are two posts at his blog, Common Sense Catholicism, to which I would like to draw your attention

*Painting at top: Fra Angelico's  Coronation of the Virgin
1439-1443  Cell 9, Convent of San Marco, Florence
For interesting news items I don't have time to blog on, check out my Twitter Feed: @TeDeumBlog

Te Deum Laudamus! Home

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

- Diane M. Korzeniewski

Note: The recommended links below are automatically generated by the tool, so they are not necessarily related content.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Status update on August 15 Photos...

Taken on August 15, 2007 at Assumption Grotto during the candlelight procession following Mass in the grotto.

So, that pic above is not from 2013, but from 2007, but if you were there, you know this is what it is like.  At one point, Fr. Perrone and the priests had returned (they were in the lead), and for a good 10 minutes after, you could still see a line of candles lighting the parking lot, in motion to the tune of Immaculate Mary.

Our feast of the Assumption is now behind us, as are many photos for me to go through and post.  For the first time since I began spending August 15th literally all day at Assumption Grotto back in 2005, I did not get there until 4:00.  As I mentioned previously, my hours have gone up as some tight deadlines are storming through with a high volume of work, so I've been on overtime.  I usually turn it down because it is easy to become lukewarm in the faith when you don't have free time for things like spiritual reading and basic prayer.
As a secular Carmelite, there are obligations I must fulfill daily, so that is where free-time goes first.  Anything left goes to basic things like doing laundry, cleaning the house, grocery shopping, and doing bills.  After that, there might be time to scan a few headlines.  For me, this is a short term thing - the long work  hours, but one that will likely last a few more weeks before I can trim back some and get back to my normal mode.   At this time, I am not sure when I will get to process the Assumption Day photos, so we may be re-visiting the feast day at some point in the early fall.  That may not be all bad because October is Mary's month.

I am "kind of" making into Facebook and  Twitter, but I can see I've been missing a lot.

I regret not having my tripod with me this year.  I wanted to try to improve on the photos I took in 2007 with respect to the night shots. Perhaps next year, Deo volente!

For interesting news items I don't have time to blog on, check out my Twitter Feed: @TeDeumBlog

Te Deum Laudamus! Home

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

- Diane M. Korzeniewski

Note: The recommended links below are automatically generated by the tool, so they are not necessarily related content.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Coming August 15: Assumption Day at Assumption Grotto! See Schedule

Assumption Grotto in Detroit doesn't use it's feast day as a day for a carnival.  One thing I've learned about the parish since joining in 2005 is that it's a back to basics kind of parish where devotion and the spiritual life take center stage (scroll through here for photos of Assumption Day from prior years).  The Grotto out back was built in the late 1800's by the first resident pastor after he visited the grotto in Lourdes, France.  He wanted those who could not travel to have a beautiful place to honor the Mother of God.  I'm glad the parish has kept it's devotional roots and not yielded to elephant ears, games and rides on it's feast day.  Some think we don't know how to have fun.  They just haven't seen us after Mass at our regular Sunday BBQ in the gym vestibule, our many ice cream socials, pancake breakfasts, Annual Fat Tuesday Cotillion, coffee houses, opera nights, and other such things that happen with much more frequency than I've seen at any other parish.

This year, I will be trying to balance this great feast day with an increased workload at work and a tight deadline.  I will make it there at some point, and I plan on taking pictures.  But form me, it is most important that I take the day to honor Mary.

Keep an eye on the Assumption Grotto homepage and if you have questions, it is probably best to direct them to the rectory.  Also, the schedule is available here, in the latest issue of the Lourdes Legacy.

The bottom line on Masses is that the 6:30 AM, 9:30 AM and Noon Masses will all be in the ordinary form (the new Missal).  I understand the 9:30 and Noon will be Latin Novus Ordo.

The 7:00 PM Mass will be in the Extraordinary Form (1962 Missal).  Fr. Perrone will be celebrating and I believe it will be a Solemn High Mass (with deacon and subdeacon).  The schedule and other text uses the expression "Fr. Perrone and Concelebrants."  Every year I get questions about this, but I can assure you it is a copy-paste issue with the text - a throwback to when we had the Latin Novus Ordo in the evening.  There should be booklets, but bring a Missal if you have one.  Or, you can print out this page which, at least, has the propers:  The choir sings at this Mass, usually with a small brass ensemble.

Weather permitting, the evening Mass will be down by the Grotto.  Weather forecasters are showing a beautiful day for Thursday - in the upper 70's for a high, low humidity, and sunshine on the day of, and the days before and after.  We will continue to hope that the Blessed Virgin Mary grant us a beautiful feast day. It might be wise to bring a jacket if you are planning on staying for the evening candlelight procession following the last Mass.

Parking could be an issue depending on the time of day you come.  There is a shuttle service from another parish and I would encourage you to take this option as parking is... well... interesting with so many people coming.  If you come middle of the day for spaghetti and stick around, it may be easier, but by 5:00 and later it begins to get difficult again.

If you come to Assumption Grotto plan on enjoying a spaghetti dinner, or visiting the gift shop with many books, movies, and general Catholic merchandise. There are many booths also allowing you to enroll your loved ones in Masses. A beautiful feature is the lighting of candles down by the Grotto.

A word about the Anointing of the Sick.  I would like to point some things out so there are no misunderstandings about what is happening at Assumption Grotto.  Some have abused the provision in the CCC permitting the Anointing in groups.  Before I came to Grotto, I was at parishes where Anointing happened after Mass to anyone who requested it.  There was no instruction or catechesis given so just about everyone had it, including me.  The priest would go up and down the aisles.  Later, I would learn this is not what the Church had in mind when permitting it to happen in a group setting.

Not just anyone may approach for this Sacrament.  The priests remind people who is eligible and who is not. People are reminded that if they seek the Sacrament of Anointing they must be free of mortal sin. Confession is available at 11:00, which is before the 3 PM Anointing; and later around 4 PM).  What I can tell you is that many people who are suffering life-threatening illnesses, cancers, or the infirmities of old age, come for the Noon Mass and stay for the Anointing.  Proof that this is not a free-for-all, is in the wheel chairs that are lined up outside the gates, and used by very sick people coming to the Shrine on this feast day.  I have seen people who appear otherwise healthy seek the Sacrament and the priest will ask some questions, and sometimes they tell them they cannot Anoint them.  EWTN has a very good page explaining the conditions for receiving the Sacrament of Anointing and who is eligible.  I also recommend you read the Catechism of the Catholic Church on the Sacrament of the Sick. 

Some years ago I made a slideshow video showing the Anointing followed by Benediction with the Blessed Sacrament.  You will see the wheel chairs lined up in the beginning.

Below is Fr. Perrone's column from the Grotto News this week:

Assumption Day 2013 is awaited with great anticipation. The feast day is so much part of the parish fabric that we can tend to forget that its purpose is not for our own benefit but for the greater honoring of the Mother of God. The Church’s textbook description of the doctrine reads that the Assumption celebrates the taking up of Mary “body and soul into the glory of heaven.”

Every saint who at the time of death is fit to enter heaven immediately without the need for purgatorial purification, is admitted in his soul, fully aware of himself and where he is and full of joy. But there’s a component of his humanity which is now missing in heaven–the body. The Virgin Mary is an exception to this rule. She reigns in heaven as its Queen in both body and soul. (Archeological excavations therefore will never discover her body in the earth; it’s simply not there but in heaven and in a state of glory like that of Christ’s risen body.)

We have to await the last day of this earth for our bodies to arise and enter heaven. Bodily death (and its exclusion from glorification) is the deserved punishment of the human race for its rebellion against God through Adam’s sin. Ever since original sin there is a residual interior conflict in every human being (Mary excepted) by which we tend to do what we know we shouldn’t. Hardly an ideal state of affairs. Every man notes the presence within himself of this wayward tendency; it needs no proof beyond his own experience. This interior war will come to an end once the body dies and a man’s spirit will go to its place according to how he died: to eternal heaven (for those who died already perfected); or temporarily to purgatory (for those in need of remitting the debt incurred by one’s sins); or to unending hell (for those who died in mortal sin).

Does the inner conflict of body verses soul mean that the soul is the good part of human nature and the body the evil? No. Both body and soul were damaged by original sin. Human nature itself (that is, body and soul united) remains good, though somewhat impaired. Only mortal sin can so corrupt one’s nature as to merit eternal loss. 

Many have erred, thinking the human body evil and the spirit (soul) good. This is a form of dualism that must be rejected. What God made is essentially good, that is, in its nature. It’s understandable, in a way, how some have made the error of thinking the body as evil because so many sins are committed in the body. The New Testament employs two different terms to make a distinction: body and flesh. This is not just a matter of semantics. It is the flesh, the evil-tending aspect of the body, that can make trouble for the soul.

The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary into heaven, body and soul, can be grist for a good meditation on our human condition. We may consider that the resistance needed to arrest the rebellion of the flesh against reason will merit us a huge reward in the next life–well worth the fight. It may also lead us to invoke the help of Holy Mary in our struggles because She, though never having experienced them Herself, is not unmindful of our difficulties. Again, looking up to Mary in heaven we may be more thoughtful in treating the human body–ours and others’–with due respect, modesty and restraint, rather than with harmful indulgence. One day we will recover those same bodies and, for those heaven-bound, they will be the cause of great rejoicing.

Degradation of human body is an especially grave contemporary problem. Not only do we have the usual sins of the flesh (impurity, illicit drug usage, over-eating, etc.), but also the massive scale aborting of infants, euthanasia of the aged and those otherwise deemed unfit, embryonic experimentation of an objectionable kind and enforced population control

The Virgin Mary is incomprehensible apart from the Incarnation of Christ, that is, without the truth of God having become man in Christ through Her. She helps us realize the nobility of the human body and its destiny as recipients of that eternal beatitude won for us by Her Son’s redemption. We ought then to assert the Assumption of Mary with particular pride as a motivation to make a proper and even holy use of the gift of the human body.

I look forward to seeing all of you here on Thursday to celebrate Her whom the Church appropriately calls “our nature’s solitary boast.”

Fr. Perrone

For interesting news items I don't have time to blog on, check out my Twitter Feed: @TeDeumBlog

Te Deum Laudamus! Home

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

- Diane M. Korzeniewski

Note: The recommended links below are automatically generated by the tool, so they are not necessarily related content.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Blog Update

To my many blog followers:

There's good news and bad news. 

The good news is that I am working extra hours because my industry has recovered well from the recession of a few years ago.

The bad news is that I have less time for blogging as I use what little time I have home for ordinary things like laundry and housework in between my Carmelite obligations.

I haven't even been as active in Facebook and Twitter, nor have I been doing my usual reading rounds.

Facebook and Twitter make it easy to continue to share things with the click of a button when I do read something.  You can find my accounts up in the right hand corner.  Anything that I would make public on my blog, I share with a public setting in Facebook. Therefore, you can simply subscribe to catch those kinds of posts there.

I have a number of serious spiritual writing projects on deck and can't wait to get to them.  But, I have had to set them aside for now.  Perhaps God is intending for me to continue pondering and praying on those subjects so I can offer a more complete set of thoughts.

Assumption Day is coming on August 15th.  I'll get details out on devotions and Masses that day in my next post, perhaps later today.

I continue to recommend you check daily, New Advent's home page which offers a really good variety of Catholic content, as well as places like Catholic Culture for it's excellent news briefs (they always provide links to additional and original sources), Life News, and especially the Vatican News Service.

For interesting news items I don't have time to blog on, check out my Twitter Feed: @TeDeumBlog

Te Deum Laudamus! Home

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

- Diane M. Korzeniewski

Note: The recommended links below are automatically generated by the tool, so they are not necessarily related content.