Sunday, May 31, 2009
The Rite of Peace has a largely misunderstood symbolic dimension. While it should be "some sign of (the faithful's) ecclesial community and mutual charity for each other before receiving sacramental Communion" (General Instruction, 82), it often lapses into just another occasion to greet friends, sometimes in a loud and boisterous way. But this portion of the Mass has a much deeper meaning. As we've seen earlier, the Mass has a richness of signs and symbols that ultimately point to a reality greater than ourselves, and greater than the gathered assembly. The sign of peace is no different.
Think about where we are within the Mass. The Holy Spirit has prepared us through the Liturgy of the Word to enter into the saving act of Christ. He has chosen each of us from all eternity to be present. We have prayed for a unity echoing the divine communion, and to become part of that divine communion ourselves. Our "Amen" is a freewill choice to acknowledge that truth. Praying the "Our Father," with the Lord's Real Presence now with us on the altar, underlines the supernatural relationship we share with each other in Jesus Christ.
The Rite of Peace helps us to witness this truth publicly. First, with a gesture of embrace, the priest wishes the assembly, "Peace be with you." The assembly answers together, "And also with you." Here we see the roles of Head and Body, Bridegroom and Bride, clearly demonstrated. And this is why the priest is asked not to go out into the assembly — this is a moment meant to accent the different but complementary meanings of the ordained and the common priesthood.
The peace we speak of in the Mass is not the passing and precarious peace of this world, nor even our good wishes to one another, but the peace of Christ, which the priest extends to the assembly. It is a peace of soul we can confidently acknowledge because we are inseparably united with one another and the Lord through baptism.
The deacon or priest now invites the assembly to share a sign of peace. As one member of the body of Christ to another, we confirm by our actions the supernatural relationship we share. And we are doing more. The simple handshake, nod of the head, or embrace (the Church mandates no specific gesture) to those around us signifies our spiritual kinship in Christ with every other person in the church. As each of the assembly wishes peace to the persons nearby, we acknowledge the call of each person within the body of Christ.
Liturgical symbolism has a rich beauty. Understood in this deeper way, the dignity of the common priesthood emerges through active participation in the Mass. Our everyday human gestures take on a supernatural meaning. Our actions here should be simple and brief, so that we honor the dignity of the participants (including ourselves) and especially the great dignity of the moment. The General Instruction tells us: "It is appropriate that each person offer the sign of peace only to those nearby and in a dignified manner." A more relaxed time of greeting and friendship can certainly be cultivated outside the celebration of the Mass. Some parishes already encourage this with coffee and donuts after Mass at the parish hall.
When parents and all the faithful commit themselves to a richer understanding of liturgical moments such as the Rite of Peace, we pass on to our young people lasting truths of our faith. There's no greater gift — at Christmas and throughout the year.
Sign of peace signifies spiritual kinship with Christ, each other
December 25 , 2002 Denver Catholic Register
Most Rev. Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap.
Archbishop of Denver, Colorado
I've been trying to find out if the 'sign of peace' has always been during Mass. If someone has the answer, please comment. Was it in the Early Church at the time we have it now? Sometimes I'm distracted by it, at other times, it seems ok. But I've also witnessed two priests in our archdiocese leave the altar and go down among the flock to shake hands, and I've always thought that was not good for them to do. Should they be gently "reminded" by a parishoner, even if that parishoner is not a 'member' per se, of their parish? Or, is it that they know, (which would seem most likely to me) but don't care about the rubric, and are making up their own 'rules?' I'm kind of puzzled by it all, and frankly wouldn't mind if it [sign of peace] was made earlier during Mass. I noticed this is from 2002 and have seen other articles from Nov. and Dec. 2008 about this 'gesture' but what's the most recent finding about this "debate" from Rome? I've not come across anything from 2009 in my search.
Saturday, May 30, 2009
This I read on link above and thought it was a great answer to the question:
Why go on pilgrimage?
A priest friend of ours wrote the following: The Catholic Encyclopedia defines a pilgrimage as traveling to a place "to receive [a] spiritual benefit.." Still, why is it necessary to travel? Can't we just pray at home and in our Churches? Of course, we can---and we should. However, at home and in our parish Church our day-to-day life, with all its cares and concerns, is close at hand, and often impinges on those prayers. Traveling to a holy site gives us a healthy separation from day-to-day life. Then we are more free to open our hearts to the movement of the Spirit. Furthermore, I believe there are some places on this earth where the veil that separates the natural from the supernatural is very thin---Lourdes for example. To go to such a place and pray is to avail ourselves of God's gifts for us there, to gain new spiritual insight, new hope, and a new understanding of our heavenly Father's will for us. These are ample reasons to go on pilgrimage. The rewards always make the effort more than worthwhile.
What my husband and I like to do, since we don't have exceeding cash/wealth, is go to places near where we live. Last weekend we went to Missouri. Last Fall we went to South Dakota and last summer to a shrine in western Nebraska. So within a few miles, even to a rural Catholic Church,or a state away are many Shrines, consecrated holy ground and when your heart is 'seeking God' can be just as rewarding as a pilgrimage to Europe or Mexico. We are pilgrims and the most important thing is to have that 'seeking more of God' that desire for deeper conversion in our hearts. I do recommend a pilgrimage to Rome if possible, which I was blessed to be on in 2007. But don't overlook the simple weekend or even a day trip to a nearby retreat center or Catholic Church or shrine you can find listed by state. You'll be surprised how a change of scenery can bring a new calm to your soul, a new hope in your heart, and when you're seeking God, or Our Lady, they will show up in many places most obscure, like little beacons, little "light houses" to illumine your mind, and bring you back to a silence inside that we so often are able to neglect due to the busyness and sometime hectic nature of our day to day schedules and routines. "Go" and "Come and see" are what we need to hear the Holy Spirit saying to our hearts. "Come away" for even Jesus needed to do so, how can we think we don't need to or continue to put off that little day trip? That road trip to a new place close in proximity could open up your heart and soul to God anew, and it's pleasing to God and Our Lady that you take the time to 'go' to them, seeking them and then listening to that "still small voice" whispering to us. A long drive in the car for a day WITHOUT radio or much talking is a wonderful way to 'see' God in a new place and hear His voice.
Friday, May 29, 2009
This morning, it is a glorious day, the breeze gently blowing throug my window, across my head, is fragrant with Spring and the sounds of birdsongs, chirping merrily. It's my Friday with Mary, the day I've come to love and appreciate so much. My Blessed Mother is my "life, my sweetness and my hope."
I came across this medal on EBay. I decided to join EBay and hope to purchase this medal of Our Lady of Einsiedeln.
I'd heard of her, and I think posted about this sometime last year? I can't remember right now when, but I became intrigued by this image, and read further about her, the origin of the "Black Madonna and Child Jesus." Now I know why my heart is drawn to this image, she is also known as Our Lady of the Hermits. Those of you who know me know that I have a "hermit heart!" : )
My friend Sarah and I are going to Blue Cloud Abbey in South Dakota in a couple of weeks to spend two days in "hermitage cabins" there for a retreat. (yes, I even liked Herman's Hermits as a girl but that's neither here nor there now)
Please read more about Our Lady and this dear, holy man St. Meinrad, who was beaten to death in his hermitage in the 9th century. St. Meinrad, pray for us! Pray for me to be a "good and holy daughter" of Our Lady. Pray that this pilgrimage that Sarah and I make will be most efficacious for our souls, and to offer up any discomforts, physical, or emotional that we may be going through or experiencing during that weekend, for the conversion of sinners, for the Poor Souls and for Our Lady's priest sons.
As I heard more about Fr. Cutie this a.m. on FOX News, that he's leaving the Catholic Church to become an Episcopal priest, it broke my heart. I'm sure Our Lady's heart is broken, too. This June becomes the Year of the Priest, so I pray for all of them, that they'd remain true to their vows and for the strength they need to do so, and that more than anything else, they would have a deep, and most firm devotion to Our Mother, their Holy Mother Mary. They need her more than ever now, in this time of apostacy of the elect!
I offer up my pain, discomfort, and the sadness I've experienced of the past 3 weeks for the deeper conversion of the hearts and souls of your priests, dearest Mother. I pray that the Sacred Heart of Jesus, beating for them, would have mercy on their souls, and that your Precious Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart would draw them to you, to your bosom for your motherly graces to give them strength, courage, fortitude, and perseverence! We need our priests! Without them, we've no Eucharist or Confession or other sacraments, and the Evil One is not playing "Tiddly Winks" with their souls. He's devouring them! He is after every priest and they need our prayers and fasting! Forgive me when I've become lax in my prayers for these men of God. Please help me to remain faithful in prayer for them all. Blessed Mother, protect them from the wolves that are in the Church, and pray for us to be ever vigilant in our prayers for the priests who are so faithful, that they'll fight the enemy diligently, as he seeks to devour the souls of their brothers and us all! Amen.
Thursday, May 28, 2009
Was it not our Lord and Savior Who led us into the desert, as a mark of His favor, so that there He might speak to our hearts with special intimacy? It is not in public, not in the market place, not amid noise and bustle that He shows Himself to His friends for their consolation and reveals His secret mysteries to them, but behind closed doors.
To the solitude of the mountain did Abraham, unswerving in faith and discerning the issue from afar in hope, ascend at the Lord’s command, ready for obedience’s sake to sacrifice Isaac his son; under which mystery the passion of Christ–the true Isaac–lies hidden.
In the solitude of Mount Sinai was the Law given to Moses, and there was he so clothed with light that when he came down from the mountain no one could look upon the brightness of his face.
In the solitude of Mary’s chamber, as she conversed with Gabriel, was theWord of the Father most high in very truth made flesh.
In the solitude of Mount Tabor it undoubtedly was, when it was His will to be transfigured, that God made man revealed His glory to His chosen intimates of the Old and New Testaments.
Top the solitude of mountain or desert it was, then, that our Savior retired when He would pray; though we read that He came down from the mountain when He would preach to the people or manifest His works. He who planted our fathers in the solitude of the mountain thus gave Himself to them and their successors as a model, and desired them to write down His deeds, which are never empty of mystical meaning, as an example.
It was this rule of our Savior, as rule of utmost holiness, that some of our predecessors followed of old. They tarried long in the solitude of the desert, conscious of their own imperfection. Sometimes however–though rarely–they came down from their desert, anxious, so as not to fail in what they regarded as their duty, to be of service to their neighbors, and sowedbroad cast of the grain, threshed out in preaching, that they had so sweetly reaped in solitude with the sickle of contemplation.
Father,You called St. Simon Stock to serve You in the brotherhood of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel.Through his prayers help us, like him, to live in Your presence and to work for man’s salvation.Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, Who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
h/t Hidden One
Monday, May 25, 2009
Saint Philip Neri looked at this young man of good will and softly encouraged him: "Be brave, my child. I recommend to you only two practices: recite the Salve Regina and meditate on death every day. Imagine that your body is buried deep in the ground, half decomposed, both eyes hollowed out, and eaten up by worms. Then ask yourself this question: Is this the reason why I'm chasing after the pleasures of the flesh and wasting my chance to go to Heaven?"
Friday, May 22, 2009
Thursday, May 21, 2009
The last 2 days in Nebraska it has been windy. It's nothing unusual on the prairie, winds are most constant and it's more unusual for a calm day or two or three in a row. HOWEVER, the unusual aspect of this wind is the "whirlwind" of it, because the wind and the sun, to me, have been different the last few months. The sun's not as bright or golden and the winds have been "chaotic" changing directions and making my dog even nervous, when she never used to be. If "confusion" could be made visible, or tangible it would be the winds of the past few days. While we can't see wind, we do see the effects in the tree tops and in branches being broken and falling on rooftops and yards, and flags being frayed by the constant whipping about. There's a confusion and sadness "in the air" as it were, but not to sound completely morose, I am heartened reading this poem and also going to daily Mass. Praying the rosary soothes my soul and dispels some of that sadness, but not ALL of it. For I think we need to be aware and prepare for the dark times ahead which are moving at breakneck speed. Not to 'dwell' on it, not to become despairing, but to offer up that pain, that emotional turmoil, that sadness and suffering of the heart...offering it at Mass to our Lord as our "sacrifice of praise." The Eucharist is the gift of God, Jesus giving Himself to us, to His children and we must receive our Lord as often as we possibly can now, in that precious Gift. We don't know how long we'll be able to do so, do we?
Father Corapi, on The Abundant Life with Johnette Benkvoic last week, (listen to the MP3 if you can or order the dvd, it was SUPERB!) spoke on the coming darkness and it's rapid approach and how much worse it is going to get. No matter how I 'feel' at this moment, I will clink to Our Lady's hand with her rosary and ask her to pray for me. It's time we get our own 'house in order' for we know not the hour or what is coming, but we do know we've been warned. I need to be changed and the best way to be changed is to receive the Holy Eucharist and to sit in Jesus' presence before the Blessed Sacrament, no matter how I feel.
I MUST contemplate as did Our Lady, pondering in her heart, in silence before my Lord. I must let that Holy Hush penetrate my own disheveled soul, in need of humility to change it into a more compassionate, giving soul, purging it daily of that icy grip of self-love that tries to destroy the peace of Christ. This is war, but the 'War Room' is the Adoration Chapel...there's where you'll get your marching orders and also your armour and all you need to win the battle you're in right now. No matter what it is. GO TO JESUS and SIT IN SILENCE. Let HIM change you.
"As a host of spiritual explorers from all ages have
testified, a marvelous change in identity happens
from the simple act of sitting quietly in the presence
of the chaos of disorganized thoughts, feelings,
and rhythms of heart and breath.
Watching the whirlwind that occupied
the center of my sense of self,
I gradually changed from being
the diseased one to being
compassionate-objective observer who
could transcend the chaos and remain calm.
In the middle of that battleground
which is my personality –
swept with confused alarms of struggle
and flight where the ignorant armies of
the superego and id clashed by night –
I discovered a peaceful kingdom.”
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
I just watched 1.5 hours we'd recorded of the National Catholic Prayer Breakfast. Unfortunately, our DVR didn't record the entire event. So, three cheers for YOU TUBE! There are 5 parts posted of the Archbishop's talk, which was brilliant, so when you have the time, visit You Tube for those. Thank God for brave and courageous bishops like Archbishop Raymond Burke! Justice Antonin Scalia's talk was also luminous with hope, clarity, and courage, but not all of it is posted on the You Tube website. Our DVR did get all of his talk, so Rich will make copies if anyone wants one.
And I ask all the Saints and Angels, pray for our sick and degenerate nation and for the Church. We, God's children, must humble ourselves, pray, seek His face and turn from our own wicked ways. Then from Heaven will our God hear, and heal our land. We must cling to the HOPE that where sin abounds, GRACE also and even more abounds! Ask for God's grace, plead for His Divine and generous Mercy that is NEW this morning and every day, for each of us to receive. Pray for hardened hearts to become soft, for eyes to be opened, and ears to hear Truth proclaimed and hearts willing to obey our God, through His Word and the teachings given to the Church in and through Sacred Tradition. Pray for our own souls, for deeper conversion and the conversion of other sinners lost in the nebulous confusion and the evil murkiness of relativisim that has clouded the minds of even the elect. Truth is CLEAR, never murky. We need leaders with CLEAR vision, and I applaud Archbishop Burke and Justice Antonin Scalia for being two such leaders. Lord have mercy. Christ have mercy. Lord have mercy. St. Thomas More, pray for us! Our Lady of Perpetual Help, pray for us!
MARY FULL OF LIFE
Contact: Valerie Aschbacher FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tel. 503-659-8259 (not for release) May 18, 2009
# # #
A FRESH RAY OF HOPE at the Crossroads in South Bend Indiana
This past week, overshadowed by controversy and adversity, apart from the arrests and protests, unshaken by President Obama’s arrival to South Bend, Indiana, and approximately a mile away from the center of Notre Dame University, a fresh ray of hope made its way to shine upon the community from higher ground. At the crossroads of North Hill Street and East LaSalle Avenue, an unusual image, a fully and visibly pregnant Mother Mary is literally “showing” life. Presented on a billboard in the vicinity of St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center, Jesus, as an unborn child, is portrayed under the protection of his mother’s mantle. In its message, Mary Full of Life appears to bear the weight of humanity into the world and to bring new life.
In 2004, Valerie Aschbacher, a Catholic woman in Portland, Oregon, commissioned a sculpture through an anonymous artist, requesting an image of the Blessed Virgin Mary to be “barely showing”. The intended purpose of this artwork was to reproduce and sell it, as a way to raise funds for starting a charitable, nonprofit organization.
As the process evolved, it became clearer that the emerging image had a distinctly different mission, which was not, after all, to be barely showing, but rather to be quite apparently “with child”. With each new development, Mary Full of Life proved to have a life of its own. When Aschbacher began researching the thousands of titles and works of Mary throughout the centuries, she discovered, Mary Full of Life was undoubtedly special and she began to pursue copyright protection for the works. Over 250 photos, taken by a professional photographer, uniquely captured the cleverly crafted piece of art, which seems to be full of life from every angle. An inspired prayer, patterned after the Hail Mary, accompanies the image. The collected works are culminated into a website where visitors can engage in a virtual, spiritual experience - www.maryfulloflife.org
The expectant mother, Mary Full of Life first appeared November 13th, 2008, on a similar billboard, atop the city landscape, against a dark backdrop, among the poor and lost souls of Portland, Oregon. From that single billboard, the message of its mission continues to make its way around the globe, with daily visitors to the website in places where it might be least expected – such as China, Myanmar, Netherlands, Sweden, Australia, Indonesia, Belgium, Chile, Ivory Coast, as well as across the United States.
When several individuals from around the nation, including Jeanette O’Toole of Elmhurst, Illinois expressed an interest in having a similar billboard displayed in South Bend, Indiana, Valerie Aschbacher agreed to pursue it with a local advertising company. Donors from around the country helped to defray the costs. Now, for at least a month, it will stand, larger than life, and speak for itself, with the hopes of furthering its mission - to unite humankind to uphold the sacredness of human life.
Sunday, May 10, 2009
Saturday, May 09, 2009
No, it was not a Catholic priest.
No, it was not a pastor of any Christian church.
No, it was not me.
No, it was not a friend of mine.
No, it was not anyone I know.
No, it was not George W. Bush.
– Fidel Castro on transferring homosexuals to concentration camps
Castro had a "Campaign against social deviants." That's Castro folks, NOT the Catholic Church!
Groups such as homosexuals, Jehovas Witnesses, and other minorities were locked up in concentration camps in the 1960s, where they were subject to medical-political "re-education". Castro's admiring description of rural life in Cuba ("in the country, there are no homosexuals") reflected the idea of homosexuality as bourgeois decadence, and he denounced "maricones" (faggots) as "agents of imperialism".
And the LEFT (and no doubt many homosexuals) in this country swoon over this guy and slobber their lavish praise for Castro these days all over the place. What??? Maybe they need to READ HISTORY! Talk about REAL "hate speech!" Practicing, faithful Catholics and other Christians are labled by the LEFT as 'racist' 'biggots' and 'homo phobes' continuously. Well, whaddya know? Why do they LOVE and think Castro's the best thing since "green lightbulbs?" Wake up LEFTIES...smell the dissident coffee and start protesting the hate going on in Cuba that's been going on for 50 years. We Catholics don't hate gays, blacks or anyone. We're more tolerant of others than any of your so-called 'heroes' who imprison and torture Catholics and other Christians. Whaddya say, Bill Maher? How about you, Janeane Garofalo? Are you gonna attack Castro for his outrageous hate mongering Communist beliefs? Or are you such a pansy coward that you only attack Catholics, who're doing more good in the world than you ever will. Please.
But I do have to hand it to Castro for this, after Pope JPII's visit in 1998 when he:
[Castro] condemned the use of abortion as a form of birth control.
Hey, President Obama, how about at least going along with that one, huh?
And...I find this a tad remarkable as well, since Christmas Day is bashed here more and more every year by vicious anti-religious hate-mongering atheists:
In December 1998, Castro formally re-instated Christmas Day as the official celebration for the first time since its abolition by the Communist Party in 1969. Cubans were again allowed to mark Christmas as a holiday and to openly hold religious processions. The Pope sent a telegram to Castro thanking him for restoring Christmas as a public holiday.
Castro attended a Roman Catholic convent blessing in 2003. The purpose of this unprecedented event was to help bless the newly restored convent in Old Havana and to mark the fifth anniversary of the Pope's visit to Cuba.
The seniormost spiritual leader of the Orthodox Christian faith arrived in Cuba in 2004, the first time any Orthodox Patriarch has visited Latin America in the Church's history: Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I consecrated a cathedral in Havana and bestowed an honor on Fidel Castro. His aides said that he was responding to the decision of the Cuban Government to build and donate to the Orthodox Christians a tiny Orthodox cathedral in the heart of old Havana.
After Pope John Paul II's death in April 2005, an emotional Castro attended a mass in his honor in Havana's cathedral and signed the Pope's condolence book at the Vatican Embassy. He had last visited the cathedral in 1959, 46 years earlier, for the wedding of one of his sisters. Cardinal Jaime Lucas Ortega y Alamino led the mass and welcomed Castro, who was dressed in a black suit, expressing his gratitude for the "heartfelt way the death of our Holy Father John Paul II was received (in Cuba)."