What is so new about the promised “mountain of the Lord” is not that the wolf and the lamb are both there, but that the wolf remains a wolf and the lamb a lamb, and yet they dwell together without harm or hurt in God’s kingdom. Under God’s rule, conversion and obedience do not mean the loss of identity but the discovery of our true identity as one in Christ. ¤ ¤ ¤ ¤ Magnificat, December 2014, Pages 37-38 ¤ ¤ ¤ ¤
A Right Understanding of Worship
The way back to God is the way of worship. If all that we are and become and do in our many-leveled life could be made one in worship, we should be saints. Some people think that Christian morality is no more than a series of don’ts; others a little less ill-informed think it is no more than a series of dos. These things are included, for being and doing are interdependent, but it is being that comes first in importance; and Christian morality tells us first of all not what we should do, still less what we should not do, but what we should be.
That is why you cannot possibly separate, as some people would have us do, the Church’s moral teaching from its beliefs about God’s revelation of himself to the world. You cannot possibly separate them, because the moral teaching is entirely determined by the doctrine; and if you try to isolate it, you destroy it. You could isolate this or that element in it; you could cling to the ideals of justice, kindness, generosity, fortitude; but these virtues would then cease to be the Christian virtues, because they would be divorced from worship.
FATHER GERALD VANN, O.P.
Father Vann (+ 1963) was an English Dominican and a popular preacher, lecturer, and author.
George Washington’s Inauguration
( A Prayer for the Fourth of July 2014)
Almighty and eternal God, you have revealed your glory to all nations. God of power and might, wisdom and justice, through you authority is rightly administered, laws are enacted, and judgment is decreed. Assist with your spirit of counsel and the President of these United States, that his administration may be conducted in righteousness, and be eminently useful to your people over whom he presides. May he encourage due respect for virtue and religion. May he execute the laws with justice and mercy. May he seek to restrain crime, vice, and immorality. We, likewise, commend to your unbounded mercy all who dwell in the United States. Bless us and all people with the peace which the world cannot give. We pray to you, who are Lord and God, for ever and ever.
R. Amen. — Archbishop John Carroll (alt.)
A Blessing for Fathers…
We bless you and we praise you, God of our Fathers, You are the God of Adam, father of the human family. You are the God of Abraham, our Father in faith, who was ready and willing to give up everything to be faithful to you. You are the God of Isaac, who was born of laughter and old age, and the God of Jacob, whose clever trick gained an inheritance for twelve tribes of sons and daughters, You are the God of Jesse, from whose loins a nation sprang, a sturdy family tree of monarchs, prophets, and priests. You are the God and Father of Israel, your child whom you love with all heart.
You are the God of Zechariah, who fathered St. John the Baptist and taught him the Torah, and of Joachim, the grandfather of Jesus. You are the God of Joseph, who loved and raised Jesus as his own. You are the God and Father of Jesus, and our Father in heaven, too: Holy is your name!
We thank you, God, for the gift of our fathers, for grandfathers, and godfathers and fathers-in-law, too. Send your Holy Spirit upon our fathers, in whose laps we were cradled, on whose knees we were bounced, by whose hands we were fed, instructed, and at times, corrected, in whose company we learned to work and play and pray, at whose side we hear your word and celebrate your mysteries.
Heal their pains and disappointments. Forgive all that needs to be forgiven. Give them the good that they have given others. Welcome into your arms those who have died.
Fill this world, O God, with a father’s love!
We ask this through your son Jesus Christ who taught us to pray to you as He lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, who is Father of the poor, one God forever and ever. Amen.
The Most Holy Trinity June 15, 2014
Ordinary Time: Summer
What do the words Ordinary Time mean? Dorothy Day said, “The words ‘Ordinary Time’ in our prayer books put me in a state of confusion and irritation. To me, no time is ordinary.” She was right. The Ordinary in “Ordinary Time” refers to ordinal counted time, not to a lack of something to celebrate. The Roman document, General Norms for the Liturgical Year and Calendar, says: “Apart from those seasons having their own distinctive character (Advent, Christmas, Lent, Triduum, Easter), 33 or 34 weeks remain in the yearly cycle that do not celebrate a specific aspect of the mystery of Christ. Rather, especially on the Sundays, they are devoted to the mystery of Christ in all its aspects.
How do we celebrate “the mystery of Christ in all its aspects”? We gather every Sunday. Sunday is our original feast day. Christians have gathered every Sunday — the day of Christ’s resurrection, the first day of the week — ever since there were Christians.
When we gather on Sundays in Ordinary Time, as always, we hear the scriptures proclaimed. The Church reads straight through “the Gospel of the year,” either Matthew, Mark or Luke, each week often picking up where we left off last week. (We read John during Lent and Easter, and on feasts.) The first readings, from the first testament of the Bible or the Hebrew Scriptures, have been chosen for their relationship to the gospel passages. Many voices are heard through summer Ordinary Time. We also read through some of the letters of the Second Testament or New Testament or the Christian Scriptures. The mystery of Christ “in all its aspects” unfolds.
What is the heart of our Sunday celebration? We do our Eucharist; that is, we do our thanksgiving. We praise and thank God for all creation; we pray for the whole world, as we remember Christ’s life, death, and resurrection. We share the bread and wine, the Body and Blood of Christ. We are sent forth to be the body and blood of Christ in our homes, neighborhoods, our towns, our cities, our country, our world.
“What happens in our churches every Sunday is the fruit of our week. What happens as the fruit of the week past is the beginning of the week to come. Sunday is simultaneously a point of arrival and departure for Christians on their way to the fullness of the kingdom. This is not ordinary at all. This is the fabric of Christian living.” (Saint Andrew Bible Missal (Brooklyn: William J. Hirten Co., 1982.)
Monsignor Jack 1-3-5
How Much More Will the Father Give
- Only for today, I will seek to live the livelong day positively without wishing to solve the problems of my life all at once.
- Only for today, I will take the greatest care of my appearance: I will dress modestly; I will not raise my voice; I will be courteous in my behavior; I will not criticize anyone; I will not claim to improve or to discipline anyone except myself.
- Only for today, I will be happy in the certainty that I was created to be happy, not only in the other world but also in this one.
- Only for today, I will adapt to circumstances, without requiring all circumstances to be adapted to my own wishes.
- Only for today, I will devote ten minutes of my time to some good reading, remembering that just as food is necessary to the life of the body, so good reading is necessary to the life of the soul.
- Only for today, I will do one good deed and not tell anyone about it.
- Only for today, I will do at least one thing I do not like doing; and if my feelings are hurt, I will make sure that no one notices.
- Only for today, I will make a plan for myself: I may not follow it to the letter, but I will make it. And I will be on guard against two evils: hastiness and indecision.
- Only for today, I will firmly believe, despite appearances, that the good Providence of God cares for me as no one else who exists in this world.
- Only for today, I will have no fears. In particular, I will not be afraid to enjoy what is beautiful and to believe in goodness. Indeed, for twelve hours I can certainly do what might cause me consternation were I to believe I had to do it all my life.
— BLESSED JOHN XXIII
Blessed John XXIII (+ 1963) was beatified September 2000, and canonized May 2014.