Category Archives: Liturgy/Prayer

A RIGHT UNDERSTANDING OF WORSHIP

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.

ORDINARY TIME: SUMMER 2014

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

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 6, 2015     TWENTY-THIRD SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIMEMtRushmore

Lectionary 128:   1)   Isaiah 35:4-7a;   2)   Ps 146:7-10;     3)   James 2:1-5;     4)   Mark 7:31-37.

http://usccb.org/bible/readings/090615.cfm

FOCUS:    Boldly we embrace our mission to proclaim the good news that salvation and eternal life are through Jesus Christ.                                                                                           We are familiar with the message of Jesus and the mighty deeds which accompanied it, such as the healing of the deaf man. As we accept the Gospel in faith, we embrace the life and mission of Jesus as our own. It then becomes our mission to bring the Gospel message to others so that they will embrace the love and mercy of God and come to salvation.                                                                                                                                          The advent of the age of salvation is upon us: the deaf hear, the blind see, and those bowed down are raised up (1, Ps, 3). The kingdom is made manifest around the Eucharistic table, where rich and poor alike are invited to feast (2).

LITURGY OF THE WORD

Isaiah offers a message of consolation and hope to those who are poor and weak. The second reading reminds us of the importance of showing no partiality in regard to our treatment of others. In the Gospel, Jesus heals a deaf man who had a speech impediment.

PN (USA) Tomorrow, Labor Day, marks the end of summer vacation and the beginning of many regular parish and school activities. All might be encouraged to participate in the spiritual and temporal works of the local faith community. See BB, 17

 

Monday, September 7, 2015     MONDAY OF 23RD WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME

(Labor Day in United States of America)

Lectionary 437:   1)   Colossians 1:24—2:3;   2)   Ps 62:6-7, 9;   2)   Luke 6:6-11.

http://usccb.org/bible/readings/090715.cfm

Mass for Labor Day (USA); For the Sanctification of Human Labor, Lectionary 437: Colossians 124 – 2:3; Psalm: 6-7, 9; Luke 6:6-11. Lectionary            Lectionary 907-911.

FOCUS:    There is never a wrong time to do good works in the name of Jesus.         There is never a wrong time to do good works. Jesus cured people on the Sabbath, even though it caused trouble with the religious leaders of his time. We are to be just as ready to help someone in need, even if it is inconvenient or difficult. What can we do today to ease someone else’s misery? When we help someone in need, let us do it in the name of Jesus.                                                                                                                                                                                            Christ is our wisdom, our hope of glory (1, Ps). True Sabbath obser­vance is concern for the lowly and the poor (2).
LITURGY OF THE WORD

In the first reading, Paul says his sufferings are endured for the sake of the Church – to help believers perceive more fully that Christ is our hope of glory. In the Gospel, Jesus cures a man with a withered hand. He does this on the Sabbath, in full view of the synagogue leaders who condemn the act as a violation of Sabbath law.

 

Tuesday, September 8, 2015 THE NATIVITY OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY – FEAST

Lectionary 636:     1)   Micah 5:1-4a or Romans 8:28-30;   2)   Ps 13:6abc or 1:18-23;      3)   Matthew 1:1-16, 18-23 or 1:18-23.

http://usccb.org/bible/readings/090815.cfm

FOCUS:    We honor Mary as our spiritual mother.

Today’s feast originated in the late fifth century, and corresponds to the dedication of the Basilica of Saint Anne, the mother of Mary. Mary’s birth is significant in salvation history because she was chosen by God to be the mother of Jesus. While on the cross, Jesus told the beloved disciple, John, Behold your mother. By doing so, Jesus made Mary our spiritual mother.                                                                                                          Let us rejoice (Ps) in the birth of Mary, the mother of Jesus (2). She was predestined (lb) to give birth “by the strength of the Lord” (la).

This 5th c. feast marks the anniversary of the dedication of a basilica in Jerusalem built, according to tradition, on the location of the home of St. Anne (26 July), the mother of Mary; patroness of Cuba.

LITURGY OF THE WORD

Saint Paul’s letter to the Romans recalls God’s plan for humankind. God’s call leads us to justification and to glory. In the Gospel, we hear of the angel’s visit to Joseph informing him of God’s plan for Mary. Mary is one of only four women mentioned by name in the genealogy of Jesus.

 

Wednesday, September 9, 2015   WEDNESDAY OF 23RD WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME

OBLIGATORY MEMORIAL: Saint Peter Claver, Priest

Lectionary 439:   1)   Colossians 3:1-11;   2)   Ps 145:2-3, 10-13ab;     3)   Luke 6:20-26.

http://usccb.org/bible/readings/090915.cfm

FOCUS:    In baptism we are raised to new life in Christ and become a new creation in him.                                How many times have we heard the old adage, “count your blessings”? As with many sayings, there is a grain of truth contained within it. When we stop to reflect, we realize that we are indeed blessed in many ways over a lifetime with small and big blessings. God’s blessings help us to carry those unwelcomed burdens that come into our lives.

LITURGY OF THE WORD

Paul admonishes the Church at Colossae to aspire for greater spiritual values, and to seek all that is above in accord with the new life they have been given in Christ. Today’s Gospel presents us with Saint Luke’s introduction to the Sermon on the Plain, which parallels the Sermon on the Mount found in the Gospel of Saint Matthew. In both of these sermons, Jesus gives us the Beatitudes.                                                                         Set your heart on Christ (1) and his kingdom (Ps). Thus will your reward be great (2).

Peter Claver, † 8 Sept. 1654; Catalonian Jesuit who served in the Colombian mission in Cartagena; for thirty-eight years devoted to car­ing for African slaves, baptizing over 300,000; called himself “the slave of the slaves forever”; patron of Colombia and of all missions to black peoples. This memorial has been newly included in the Universal Calendar in the revised Missale Romanum, editio typica tertia, as an optional memorial (observed as an obligatory memorial in USA).

 

Thursday, September 10, 2015     THURSDAY OF 23RD WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME

Lectionary 440:   1)   Colossians 3:12-17;   2)   Ps 150:lb-6;     3)   Luke 6:27-38.

http://usccb.org/bible/readings/091015.cfm

FOCUS:    Jesus commands us to love others, even our enemies, and to do good to those who hate us.                Jesus commands us to love one another. Today we are reminded that Jesus includes everyone – even our enemies – in that command. It is important to remember that loving someone is more than a feeling, it is a decision we must make.
Disciples must live Jesus’ command of love (2), and forgive even as he forgives (1), giving thanks (Ps) in all they do.

LITURGY OF THE WORD

In the first reading, Paul describes the characteristics needed in order to practice Christian love: heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience and forgiveness. He also tells us that love is the bond of perfection. In the Gospel, Jesus lays it on the line as he commands us to love one another, even our enemies.

 

Friday, September 11, 2015 FRIDAY OF 23RD WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME

Lectionary 441:   1)   1 Timothy 1:1-2, 12-14;   2)   Ps 16: 1b-2a, 5, 7-8, 11;     3)   Luke 6:39-42.

http://usccb.org/bible/readings/091115.cfm

FOCUS:    God’s power and goodness are beyond our ability to understand.                                                                   Is it possible to imagine our lives without God? Perhaps we take God for granted in our daily lives. It is true that God remains constant, but we may turn away from a relationship with God, although he reaches out to us at all times. If we are not in a relationship with him, we must ask ourselves if our hearts are open to God’s goodness. Paul speaks of the vocation he received by God’s grace (1), a path to eternal life (Ps). Our vocation in Christ is rooted in self-knowledge, not blind deception (2).

LITURGY OF THE WORD

In the first reading, Paul recounts receiving God‘s grace in a profound way. He recognizes that what he became was due to the grace of God. Paul’s response to such an acute awareness of God’s power and goodness at work in his life was an overwhelming feeling of gratitude. In the Gospel, Jesus reminds us how important it is to examine our own lives before we consider passing judgment on another.

 

Saturday, September 12, 2015     SATURDAY OF 23RD WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME

Optional Memorial: The Most Holy Name of Mary;     Saturday in honor of BVM.

Lectionary 442:   1)   1 Timothy 1:15-17;   2)   Ps 113:lb-7;     3)   Luke 6:43-49.

http://usccb.org/bible/readings/091215.cfm

FOCUS:    Jesus came into the world to save sinners.                                                                                                    Many people do not like to use the word sin. They may be uncomfortable with the word because it describes negative human behavior. Sin simply acknowledges that an imperfect human has a broken relationship with the perfect God, and is in need of reconciliation. Jesus came to save sinners and restore broken relationships.     Blessed by God (Ps) who sent his Son to save sinners (1). May we always hear his word and live it in faith (2).

LITURGY OF THE WORD

In his letter to Timothy, Paul acknowledges that he is a great sinner. Paul’s conversion clearly displays the power of Jesus to save. In the Gospel, Jesus uses a series of images to teach his disciples some of the truths they need to learn in order to live as his followers. The good person is the one who bears good fruit, and the wise person is the one who acts upon the teachings of Jesus.

God the Father is glorified by the exalted role in salvation of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Thus, her name is a name of honor, a holy name, a maternal name, and a name responsive to the needs of the Church.

 

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 13, 2015   TWENTY-FOURTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME

Lectionary 131:   1)   Isaiah 50:5-9a;   2)   Jas 2:14-18;   3)   James 2:14-18; 4)   Mark 8:27-35.

Chihuly Glass

         Chihuly Glass

http://usccb.org/bible/readings/091315.cfm

FOCUS:    Believers will not be abandoned as they take up their crosses and follow Jesus. Jesus suffered and died for the sake of our salvation. Each of us is called to take up our cross and follow him. We can take comfort, however, knowing that Jesus will not ask us to carry a burden we cannot bear. He watches over us with an everlasting love.         Isaiah would suffer and call upon the Lord for help (1, Ps). Jesus speaks of his own suffering and death and of the demands of discipleship (3). What use is faith, to confess that Jesus is the Christ (3) without works of love (2)?

LITURGY OF THE WORD

In today’s first reading, Isaiah tells of God’s suffering servant, who will bring salvation. The letter from Saint James reminds believers that faith without works is dead. In the Gospel, Peter proclaims Jesus to be the Christ, the anointed one. Jesus instructs those who would be his followers to deny themselves, take up their cross and follow him.

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                                Cycle B: The Year of the Gospel of Mark—The “Messianic Secret”

The theme of Mark’s Christology, that is, his understanding of Jesus, is stated immediately: the “good news of Jesus, Messiah, Son of God” (1:1). Mark’s purpose is not to prove this statement but to unfold its implications for faith and discipleship. He uses the perplexing “Messianic Secret” to convey a proper understanding of Jesus’ life. Demons acclaim him as Son of God, but he silences them. At other times Jesus tells people who have experienced his power to remain silent. Two things are communicated: first, knowledge of Jesus’ identity comes from suprahuman power, either that of the heavens or of the demons; second, proper confession of Jesus should not be made on the basis of the miracles, but only after following him to the cross. The first human in Mark who correctly addresses Jesus as Son of God is the centurion who, at the moment of Jesus’ death, says, “Truly this man was the Son of God” (15:39) (John R. Donahue, S _J., “Mark,” Harper’s Bible Commentary [Harper & Row, Publishers, San Francisco], see p. 985).

PN On a convenient weekday in September it is customary to celebrate a Mass of the Holy Spirit to mark the opening of the academic year. Similarly, since the 12th century, a Red Mass may be held for the reopening of Law Schools and Courts of Law. See Order for the Blessing of Students and Teachers, BB, nos. 522-550. See also Prayers to Begin a School Year and Prayer for Students and Prayer for Teachers, HB, pp. 300-302.

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Reflections – Meditations

Reflection   Sunday, September 6, 2015         23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time

The rite of Baptism concludes with the ephphatha, a liturgical replication of Jesus’s miracle of healing the deaf mute. The prayer reads: “May [Jesus] soon touch your ears to receive his word, and your mouth to proclaim his faith, to the praise and glory of God the Father.” Thus, the Sacrament of Baptism pro­claims that our ears and mouths are instruments for glorifying God. We are to keep our ears clean and our mouth pure so that we may filter out what does not testify to the good that Jesus has done for us. May our ears and our mouths be opened by Christ so that others will say: “He has done all things well.”               Daily prayer 2015, page 281.

 

Reflection Monday, September 7, 2015     Weekday  —   LABOR DAY  USA

Paul provides us with a worthwhile phrase for our reflection today: “in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ on behalf of his Body, which is the Church.” Think about it for a moment . . . how can our struggles and trials add anything onto, let alone “fill up,” the pain which Christ endured? The answer is that Christ’s work of salvation continues on in the Church, in his living Body. All that you endure in hope and in Christ’s name is added onto the work of the Cross and contributes to the salvation of the world. Ponder for a moment a trial or a struggle that you face. Name it, and add it to the work of Christ for the perfection of his body.                                                          Daily prayer 2015, page 282.

 

Reflection Tuesday, September 8, 2015                                                                                                            Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Today we celebrate a feast that has no scriptural reference or reliable historical fact. The Church celebrates the birth of Mary nine months after the Immaculate Conception (December 8) and interprets this feast as a prelude to the birth of Christ. Such an incomparable event as the Incarnation needs joyful prepara­tion, and the Nativity of Mary is just that: God’s perfect love in Jesus is fore­shadowed by Mary’s birth. We celebrate this day as an opportunity to pray in hope for the dawning of a more peaceful and perfect world.            Daily prayer 2015, page 283.

 

Reflection Wednesday, September 9, 2015                                                                                                        Memorial of St. Peter Claver, Priest

Jesus preached the Beatitudes not as a blueprint for what might be someday but as a mandate for viewing our world now. “Blessed are you who are poor, for the Kingdom of God is yours.” The poor dwell in God’s Kingdom now. It is our job to peel back the levels of injustice to see that this is true. The saint we cele­brate today did just that. St. Peter Claver left Spain to travel to the New World and ministered there among newly arrived African slaves. As soon as a ship pulled into port, he endured the inhumane conditions to provide its pas­sengers with medicine, food, and tobacco. There is no doubt that St. Peter Claver pulled back levels of injustice to see God’s Kingdom in the midst of cruelty and poverty. Daily prayer 2015, page 284.

 

Reflection Thursday, September 10, 2015      Weekday

Paul’s words to the Colossians come to us today as a list of priorities for living the Christian way of life. We are called by Christ to live as members of his one Body. Parts of the body must work together for its full and healthy func­tioning. Does a rupture in the relation­ship of two Christians have an impact upon you? As members of Christ’s one Body, it should. It is not only the respon­sibility of the Head to admonish or chal­lenge members of the Body; each of us has a role to play in maintaining the “bond of perfection” which unites us all. Take a moment to read Paul’s man­date once again.               Daily prayer 2015, page 285.

 

Reflection Friday, September 11, 2015      Weekday

Fourteen years ago today, our nation witnessed the cowardly acts of radical bombers destroying innocent life and changing our sense of freedom forever. For most, the wounds of this tragedy are still very fresh. Today is a day of remembrance, and as we remember, we are also challenged to forgive. Jesus would certainly not suggest to us that forgiveness, especially in this case, is an easy task. It is nearly impossible to “remove the wooden beam” of this day from our eyes and our hearts, but remove it we must. May we be agents of the ongoing healing and restoration that is needed in our land.                Daily prayer 2015, page 286.

 

Reflection Saturday, September 12, 2015      Weekday

Trees are known by the fruit they pro­duce; we are known by the good we produce. How do you think others would name you? Would they look upon all you have accomplished and name you “hard-working”? Might they see your selflessness and name you “gener­ous”? Is it possible that some might see your self-confidence and dub you “arro­gant”? What kind of tree do you think you would be if others had to depend upon you for good fruit? If we want people to receive “grapes” of goodness from us, we cannot live our lives as “brambles.” Ponder for a moment the kind of tree you would really like to be.               Daily prayer 2015, page 287.

 

Reflection Sunday, September 13, 2015                                                                                                                Twenty-Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Peter acts in this story as many of us would. Jesus’s forecast of the future seems like doom and gloom to the disciples. They must have felt he was just having a bad day, and so Peter tries to pick him up and encourage him. Jesus will have none of it. Sometimes we are guilty of trying to move people too quickly to a place of comfort without giving them the chance to make peace with their sin, their illness, their loss. Rather than listening to people work things out for themselves, we are quick to pose a solution to their problems, an easy way out of their dilemma. As Jesus suggests, however, the cross is burdensome and worthy of lengthy contemplation.                                                                  Daily prayer 2015, page 288.

 

 

HOW THE CHURCH HAS CHANGED THE WORLD

The Abbott and the Peas — Anthony Esolen

I’m not going to dispute the greatness of Darwin’s achieve­ment. But at that same time there was another biologist at work on heredity, who was dissatisfied with the Englishman’s theories regarding it. He didn’t have the advantage of travel over the world, or the trumpet of the press. He had to work with the plants he had available where he was, or with strains of bees that he had sent for from other lands. He was un­known during his lifetime, but he didn’t care, saying that his time would come. He had use for poetry, music, and prayer many times a day. He had to, because he was the long-time abbot of the Augustinian monastery of Saint Thomas, in the city we know as Brno, in the Czech Republic. His name was Gregor Mendel, the father of modern genetics.

♦ PEAS IN A POD? ♦

Father Mendel did his groundbreaking work with pea plants. He noticed that some of the plants were tall, and some were dwarfs. Some had round seeds, some had wrin­kled seeds. Some had yellow seeds, some had green seeds. Over the course of seven years, before his duties as abbot severely curtailed his work, he bred and cross-bred pea plants, twenty-nine thousand of them, logging the traits of each, carefully breeding and cross-breeding, and noting the results. Think of the painstaking work! And without the romance of the sea, without the encouragement of profes­sional recognition.

What did Father Mendel discover? What would you get if you bred a pure tall strain with a pure dwarf strain? What do you think? Darwin believed that the traits would average out, and so we might say that the parents “disappear” into the children. The next generation of pea plants would be neither tall nor dwarf, but in between. Evolution would be a process whereby the past is lost for ever. We know now tails, tails and heads, and tails and tails. Only in the last case will you wear the strawberry tie. In the other three cases, you’ll wear the pistachio tie—with the “strawberry” hidden, so to speak, in two of those cases, in those tails that you’ve allowed to be overruled by the heads.

An oversimplification, but there you have it. Father Mendel theorized that each plant carried two markers for the opposed traits, one from each of its parents. We call those markers genes. One of the genes dominates over the other, so when you have a gene for brown eyes and one for blue eyes, your eyes will be brown, not blue, and not some muddy color in between. But the “recessive” gene, the one that is not dominant, survives.

Suppose you and your wife have brown eyes, but each of you had a parent with blue eyes. That means that each of you carries a hidden gene for blue eyes—for the straw­berry tie. If you have sixteen children—and God bless you if you do!—some of them may have eyes like the sky; four will be the most likely number.

A MAN OF TENACITY ♦

It all seems so clear, now. But that’s what great discoveries do: they open our eyes. Everyone knew, before Isaac Newton, that apples fell from trees and that the planets revolved about either the earth or the sun. But it was Newton who proposed that the apple and the planet were doing the same sort of thing. Everyone knew, before John Dalton, that if you combined one substance (say, sulfur) with another (say, lye), you might get something that was very different from either one. But it was Dalton who saw that certain discrete atoms were combining with others in specific proportions. Mendel’s discovery was on that tremendous order.

What can motivate a man to do the work he did? Consider that he had no university laboratory, no large fund to draw from, and no cadre of research assistants. He did publish his results in the local scientific journal in 1866, but his work was ignored until fifteen years after he had died.

We might find a clue in the battle he fought against the secularizing government of the Austrian empire. Every hundred years or so, it seems, men surge up in hatred of religious houses—of anything that suggests that there’s some­thing more important in life than “progress” in the pursuit of pleasure, glory, wealth, whatever. So it was in the time of Father Mendel. The government had slapped a special tax on religious institutions, one that other institutions did not have to pay. Father Mendel refused to truckle to the injus­tice. One by one, abbeys that had stood with him gave in. Only Mendel held out to the end, fighting. The government could come and seize goods by force; he would not sign.

We can imagine the feelings of the abbot when he prayed the psalm with the rest of his monks, Yea, my own familiar friend, in whom I trusted, who ate of my bread, has lifted up his heel against me (cf. Ps 41:9). Or when, in his later years, alone in his courageous stand, suffering from the kid­ney ailment that would end his life, his work submerged in obscurity, he could recover a ray of cheer, when he prayed before Mass, I will go in unto the altar of God, of God, who gives by to my youth (cf. Ps 43:4). He looked to the hills, whence came his help: our help that is in the name of the Lord, who made heaven and earth.

A BURR IN THE COAT ♦

How foolish and ungrateful is the notion that the Catholic Church has been opposed to science! It isn’t just that the history of science is filled with men of God, such as Gregor Mendel. It’s that the Church, following Scripture, had long taught that God had made the world in measure, weight, and number, an intelligible world, a world of wonders that declare the glory of God; and the man of faith can look closely at that world and praise God in doing so. But one misstep—Galileo ordered to propose his thoughts as a the­ory (which it was) rather than as established fact (which it certainly was not)—is enough for the calumny. It’s like what happens when a shaggy and careless dog rambles through the briers. He picks up a burr in his coat, and by the time he trots back home for dinner, his fur has matted it all around in a great stubborn lump. At that point you can’t pick it out. Even a comb or a brush won’t work. There’s nothing for it but to get out the scissors and cut the fur.

Remember Father Mendel, dear readers, the next time you meet that shaggy dog.

 

(Anthony Esolen is professor of English at Providence College, a senior editor of Touchstone Magazine, and a regular contributor to MAGNIFICAT. He is the translator and editor of Dante’s Divine Comedy (Random House) and the author of The Beauty of the Word: A Running Commentary on the Roman Missal MAGNIFICAT).                                                  Magnificat, August 2015, Pages 207-211.

 

MEDITATION FOR EVERY DAY

Failure to Reform

Meister Eckhart, for example, again and again in his talks and writings, sought to discourage his contempo­raries from engaging in infantile and illusory forms of religious practice and belief. “Some people,” he noted, “want to see God with their own eyes, just as they see a cow; and they want to love God just as they love a cow…[for her milk and cheese!” And, in another place, he declared: “A man ought not to have a God who is just a product of his thought, nor should he be satis­fied with that, because if the thought vanished, God too would vanish.”

More striking still, right in the middle of a sermon on one occasion, we find him exclaiming out loud, and no doubt to the astonishment of his hearers: “I pray God that he may rid me of god!” What Eckhart means here is, of course, rid me of the god who is merely the prod­uct of my own limited way of thinking, the invention of my own rather fanciful imagination, because that god simply does not exist.

FATHER PAUL MURRAY, O.P.

Father Murray is an Irish Dominican theologian and author who teaches at the Angelicum University in Rome.

Faith Catholic, July 2015.
Daily Prayer 2015, Pages  204-210.
Magnificat, June 2015, Pages   .

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Ordinary Time
Wasted time is not a prized commodity in American society. We are a people ruled by the clock. Time is money because time is to be filled with purposeful controlled activity which is productive of things which can be sold. We are convinced that we must be in control of time. The last thing the productive American would want to do is waste time playing around with realities that do not produce a saleable commodity.
But the Creator of heaven and earth is described by the scriptures as the original and the best of players. Creative activity is playful, and creative people do not feel that what they do is a job. Creative people also have a sense that their creativity and all that they fashion in the creative spirit are gifts they have received. The Christian can speak of this and the contemplative vision which sees all reality as gift or grace. Our thankful response we call worship or eucharist.
We cannot speak of Ordinary Time without speaking of Sunday. The every seven-day celebration of the Lord’s Day is the basic structure upon which the Church Year is built. The great liturgical seasons of Advent-Christmas and Lent-Easter are more expansive celebrations of particular aspects of the one paschal mystery which we celebrate every Lord’s Day. These special seasons focus our attention upon critical dimensions of one mystery, a mystery so overwhelming that we are compelled to separate out its various elements for particular attention. These seasons in no way minimize the critical importance of the Sunday celebration throughout the rest of the year. Ordinary Time is not very ordinary at all. Ordinary Time, the celebration of Sunday, is the identifying mark of the Christian community which comes together, remembering that on this first day of the week the Lord of Life was raised up and creation came at last to completion. Sunday as a day of play and worship is a sacrament of redeemed time. How we live Sunday proclaims to the world what we believe about redeemed time now and for ever.
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, like all sacraments, 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.
Taken from the Saint Andrew Bible Missal, reprinted with permission of William J. Hirten Co., Inc., Brooklyn, New York, Brepols IGP. © 1982. All rights reserved.

ORDINARY TIME NOTES:
“Besides the times of the year that have their own distinctive character, there remains in the yearly cycle thirty-three or thirty-four weeks in which no particular aspect of the mystery of Christ is celebrated, but rather the mystery of Christ itself is honored in its fullness, especially on Sundays. This period is known as Ordinary Time” (Universal Norms, 43).
•    Ordinary Time begins on Monday, 12 January, and continues through Tuesday, 17 February, the day before Ash Wednesday and the beginning of the Lenten season. It resumes when the Easter season ends, that is, on Monday, 25 May, the day following Pentecost.
•    In the weekday Lectionary, the first reading is chosen from Cycle 1.
•    Six forms of the solemn blessing (nos. 9-14) are provided in the Roman Missal (after the Order of Mass) for optional use during Ordinary Time, especially on Sundays.
•    The Eucharistic Prayer for Masses for Various Needs and Occasions with its proper prefaces and corresponding intercessions may fittingly be used with the formularies of the Masses for Various Needs and Occasions, which do not have their own proper preface.
PN In the celebration of the Eucharist on weekdays in Ordinary Time, the term “any Mass” indicates that any of the thirty-four formularies found in the Roman Missal for Sundays in Ordinary Time may be used, as well as any of the Masses and Prayers for Various Needs and Occasions and Votive Masses, as pastoral needs may suggest and as liturgical norms allow. The latter are celebrated in the color proper to the day or season, or in violet if they bear a penitential character. For this reason, suggestions are given to help presiders choose Mass formularies that complement the daily readings, especially the gospels, on all ferias, including optional Memorials, which allow such options.

THE  ORDO, The Order of Prayer in the Liturgy of the Hours and Celebration of the Eucharist 2015, Archdioceses of Kansas City & Saint Louis, Pages 30-31.

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The Holy Family, Brentwood, TN

The Holy Family, Brentwood, TN

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