April 30, 2005
A profile page from a British pro wrestling site about a Methodist "minister" who fought in British and South African rings in the 60s and 70s.
Pope St. Pius V
I said Holy Mass in honor of the great Dominican Pope today asking him to intercede on the Church's behalf as we begin this period under a new Pope, that the liturgy might be restored to its proper place and dignity. Pope St. Pius V was the Pope who instituted the Tridentine Mass.
April 29, 2005
Has anyone read the rest of this article?
Well, for one the tiara is gone. The story about the bear is POD. But why does he have an earringed Mahometan on his coat of arms?
April 28, 2005
St. Louis de Montfort
Today is the memorial of St. Louis de Montfort, my favorite saint. I preached on his beautiful Prayer for Missionaries today (a truly relevant prayer for our times), then after Mass I blessed everyone with his relic and finally we retired to the church hall for some champagne.
April 27, 2005
Readings in the Work of Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger
Although I have not set dates for our excursus in the thought of Ratzinger, I have chosen 11 readings from his works that we will look at. His body of work is so vast, I had a hard time choosing.
1. Faith: “Belief in the World of Today.” From Introduction to Christianity (Ignatius 2004)
2. Relativism: “Relativism: The Central Problem for Faith Today.” From an Address in Guadalajara, Mexico (May 1996)
3. Theology: “Questions about the Structure of Theology.” From Principles of Catholic Theology (Ignatius 1987)
4. Christology: “Taking Bearings in Christology.” From Behold the Pierced One (Ignatius 1986)
5. Ecclesiology: “A Company in Constant Renewal.” From Called to Communion (Ignatius 1996)
6. Mariology: “Thoughts on the Place of Marian Doctrine and Piety in Faith and Theology as a Whole.” From Communio (Spring 2003)
7. Morality: “The Church’s Teaching Authority-Faith-Morals.” From Principles of Christian Morality (Ignatius 1986)
8. Liturgy: “The Altar and the Direction of Liturgical Prayer.” From Spirit of the Liturgy (Ignatius 2000)
9. Eucharist: “The Wellspring of Life from the Side of the Lord, Opened in Loving Sacrifice.” From God is Near Us (Ignatius 2003)
10. Eschatology: “The Resurrection of the Dead and the Return of Christ.” From Dogmatic Theology: Eschatology, vol. 9 (CUA Press 1988)
Appendix. The Papacy: From God and the World (Ignatius 2002)
April 26, 2005
Since Popes and Anti-Popes have been so much in the news lately, I thought I would re-visit my old e-mail exchange with Cardinal Bateman, Anti-Pope Pius XIII's old anti-papal secretary. This story and the e-mails are absolutely true. Not a single thing was fabricated.
Interview with Pope Michael I
There'll Be No One to Stop Us This Time
We are changing the outcome of the CTA survey. Keep voting and let the folks at CTA know what you think!
Sideburned late 60's Elvis croons with Mary Tyler Moore who plays a nun.
I need to see this movie. From the review it seems that it was a harbinger of all of the nuttiness that overran the Church in the 70s.
This film surely demonstrates that Elvis was the Anti-Christ.
Darth Sibley Strikes Back
Goodness gracious, that Jeff Miller is a funny guy.
A valuable resource for traditional vestment patterns.
Maybe they can put up patterns for cassocks and albs?
LSU Students for Life
LSU Students for Life praying at Baton Rouge abortion mill this AM
Over the past 24 hours I have been blessed to spend a fair amount of time with members of LSU's Students for Life group. I gave a talk to them last night on "The Language and Logic" of abortion and this morning we went to one of the abortion mills in Baton Rouge to pray (they go every Tuesday and Thuesday morning).
Two things struck me about the entire experience. First, being with a group of students like they are always fills me with hope for the future. Their vitality is contagious and I pray that they blossom on the campus. The next is the sad fact that during the entire time we were there only minorities went into the abortion mill. Further evidence of the genocide being perpetrated.
Call to Action has a survey on what the new Pope should be like during his papacy and the questions are more biased than any Gallup poll.
Why doesn't every reader here fill out a poll and see how it skews the results!
Steroids Are Bad
Onthe news this morning, they were saying that girls are now starting to take steroids.
If you are a young girl thinking about using steroids (or anyone thinking about using steroids) please read Samuel Fussell's Muscle.
I was actually at this talk in Rome.
You know, it would be nice if someone could make a compendium of things he has said on the Liturgy that can be found on the web.
I Knew They Would Have Something Soon
Our anti-Catholic bigot friends over at IconBusters have some reflections on the death of the Holy Father. Here you can see how the new Anti-Christ is chosen. And here is John Paul II's last will and testament.
April 25, 2005
How U2 and Pope Benedict Intersect...
From a reader:
I was cruising back home... this weekend listening to U2 and thinking about a lot of things, including how joyful I was when I heard that Cardinal Ratzinger is now Pope Benedict XVI.
One thought I had was this: Everyone I know personally (including myself), and those who post on your blog were all filled with elation at the news. We weren't just happy; we were elated. I was pretty happy with W won the White House, but this was joy on a different, much greater scale. And, it appears to have been felt throughout the world by the faithful. I belief that this was a great gift of grace from the Holy Spirit, an acknowledgement that, indeed, the Paraclete is still with us to guide the Church in Truth.
Secondly, and the reason I am writing to you, as I was listening to U2's"War" CD I was struck by how one of the songs was so appropriate to our new Pope's values and mission. And I offer it as the anthem for Pope Benedict, one that could speak to the millions of youth and young adults who grew up on terriffic rock music.
Before I get to the song title - and the lyrics, which I will post below - I first want to tie it in directly to the Gospels and to the words of Cardinal Ratzinger just days before he was elected Pope.
Matthew 14:22-33: Meanwhile the boat, already a few miles offshore, was being tossed about by the waves, for the wind was against it....At once Jesus spoke to them, "Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid." Peter said to him in reply, "Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water." He said, "Come." Peter got out of the boat and began to walk on the water toward Jesus. But when he saw how strong the wind was he became frightened; and, beginning to sink, he cried out, "Lord, save me!" Immediately Jesus stretched out his hand and caught him, and said to him, "O you of little faith, why did you doubt?" After they got into the boat, the wind died down.
Text of Cardinal Ratzinger's homily at conclave's opening Mass: ...How many winds of doctrine we have known in recent decades, how many ideological currents, how many ways of thinking. ... The small boat of thought of many Christians has often been tossed about by these waves ....Having a clear faith, based on the creed of the church, is often labeled today as a fundamentalism. Whereas relativism, which is letting oneself be tossed and "swept along by every wind of teaching," looks like the only attitude (acceptable) to today's standards. We are moving toward a dictatorship of relativism which does not recognize anything as for certain and which has as its highest goal one's own ego and one's own desires.
Today, Pope Benedict is Peter; and the Church, our boat, is being battered by winds and waves. We will find shelter in the boat when Peter decides to take Christ's hand in Faith, crying out for salvation. This appears to be the mission of Pope Benedict, to hold the hand of Christ while protecting the Truth that shelters us from the swamping waves of our times.
So, what U2 song matches this? "The Drowning Man". Today, we are all the Drowning Man. We need someone to take Christ's hand for us to be pulled into the boat, out of the drowning waves. This song could be seen as Christ speaking to that man, Pope Benedict, who will take his hand on our behalf.
"The Drowning Man"
Take my hand.
You know I'll be there, if you can.
I'll cross the sky
for your love.
For I have promised for to be with you tonight
and for the time that will come.
Take my hand.
You know I'll be there, if you can.
I'll cross the sky
for your love.
And I understand these winds and tides.
This change of times
won't drag you away.
Hold on, hold on tightly.
Hold on and don't let go
of My love.
The storms will pass.
It won't be long now.
The storms will pass,
but My love lasts forever.
And take my hand.
You know I'll be there, if you can.
I'll cross the sky
for your love.
Give you what I hold dear.
Hold on, hold on tightly.
Hold on, hold on tightly.
Rise up, rise up with wings.
Like eagles you'll run, you'll run,
you'll run and not grow weary.
Take my hand, take my hand.
Hold on, hold on tightly.
This love lasts forever.
This love lasts forever.
Take my hand.
So if you think this or any other pope is just plain wrong on celibacy or homosexuality or anything else big, and this upsets you so much it interferes with your spiritual life, you’d be well advised to find yourself another church. Otherwise you’re like the orthodox Jew who, in light of recent developments, has taken it upon himself to decide that it’s all right for him to eat pork. You can be an orthodox Jew, and you can eat pork. You’re free to do either one. But folks, you just can’t do both. There are names for Catholics who don’t accept that they can’t do certain things and still receive the sacraments, and one of those names is Senator John Kerry.
Awesome article! A must read!
Thank you Ms. Dowd!
April 24, 2005
He is "The German Shepherd."
The Thought of Joseph Ratzinger
Beginning in a few weeks, I will start a series of classes on the thought of Joseph Ratzinger. I am not sure how I will do it as of yet - it will either be a guided reading of "Introduction to Christianity" or a guided reading of various articles and chapters of his work. I will post more information when it becomes available.
While I was up at Cornell, I was introduced to this fine campus publication. From what I hear, it is perpetually the bane of the liberals on campus. I was able to read a couple of issues and thoroughly enjoyed them!
A must read article by Fr. James Schall.
We've already sang it a number of times, and will continue to do so in the weeks to come. Please get your copy and sing it in your homes and parish! Very POD!
“And, of, course, from the Jewish Forward to People magazine, we have learned that the new pope previously governed a Catholic office once associated with the Inquisition. After listening to these people rant, the idea of bringing it back is awfully tempting.”
April 22, 2005
It's all latin friends...
I Don'y Wanna Be Buried...
in a Pet Cemetery.
My Favorite Quote from Ratzinger
From "Feast of Faith":
We cannot reach Christ through historical reconstruction. It may be helpful, but it is not sufficient and, on its own, becomes mere necrophilia. We encounter him as a living Person only in the foretaste of his presence which is called "Church".
Guess The Movie
I give you three "clues" and you have to name the movie. This should be a hard one...
"A Big Bird"
Benedict XVI - Hate Monger?
How many winds of doctrine we have known in recent decades, how many ideological currents, how many ways of thinking… The small boat of thought of many Christians has often been tossed about by these waves – thrown from one extreme to the other: from Marxism to liberalism, even to libertinism; from collectivism to radical individualism; from atheism to a vague religious mysticism; from agnosticism to syncretism, and so forth. Every day new sects are created and what Saint Paul says about human trickery comes true, with cunning which tries to draw those into error (cf Eph 4, 14).
(From his pre-conclave homily)...
A Great Quote From Ann Coulter
"They're terrible people, liberals. They beleive - this can really summarize it all - these are people who believe, you can deliver a baby entirely except for the head, puncture the skull, suck the brains out and pronounce that a constitutional right has just been exercised. That really says it all. You don't want such people to like you!
(Taken from the recent Time Magazine article.)
Two Fine Articles on Pope Benedict XVI
April 21, 2005
Me, Right After the Announcement of the New Pontiff
The Word from Rome
From my lay consecrated friend in Rome:
I had completely convinced myself that there was no chance for Ratzinger. So you can imagine my cry of amazement when I saw our new Pope. I think I have never experienced sheer joy as I did yesterday evening in St. Peter’s Square.
I was attending a lecture on St. Mary Magdalene, which began at five o’clock. My plan was to dart out the door to make it to the Vatican by seven in order to see the black smoke. Suddenly I heard my friends running down the stairs, interrupting the lecture, announcing Habemus Papam!
I screamed and plowed through the audience (who were sitting like deadbeats in their seats) and I started sprinting. I knew it was a forty-five minute walk to St. Peters, so I had to find a taxi to make it in time. People on the streets still had no idea. So I was able to hail a taxi and jump in with my friends. Then we hit the traffic jam. The ten minutes of slow advancement was making me crazy. But I knew this was my only choice - I was still too far away to start running. I am a short distance runner. So I had to be patient. But that was a joke. I kept tapping the taxi driver on the shoulder saying, “Vai! Vai!”. Luckily, he didn’t find it too annoying. In my nervous excitement I kept clasping my hands together and repeating the Lord’s name. There was nothing vain about it.
Just before the traffic halted completely I pulled my friend Stefania out of the car screaming “Run!” Everyone on the street was heading for the Vatican. I started weaving through cars because the people on the side walk were too slow. Horns were blowing. People were laughing and crying as they ran. Something about it felt like Armageddon. I lost my friend during the sprint and I figured I’d never find her. But we spotted each other just after crossing the bridge, and grabbing hands we ran together until we made it into the square.
I don’t know how to explain the moment they announced his name. And hearing Benedictus XVI. And then the curtain opening and seeing him. And he was smiling. And his words to us were so humble and beautiful. I guess the Holy Spirit accepted my tears and squeals of delight as my “tante grazie”. Oh, the hope I felt for the Church at that moment! Not only was everything going to be “ok”, but I knew great things would happen in the Church with the leadership of this Pope. So we thanked the Cardinals for voting for this great man. Did you see that on TV? The crowed was shouting “Grazie” to the men in red.
Many of us stayed in the Square to celebrate. It was great being with people my age (in our 20’s) who were so fired up about the “Hammer of Heresy”. That was another great thing – the crowd was so young. We tried making new cheers for Benedict XVI. When it was dark, my group of friends sang the Salve Regina together. Immediately afterwards we spotted two men with black coats and hats trying to walk casually through the square. But bits of red were poking out. Most of the girls kissed their hands and thanked them. Their faces were beaming as they in turn patted the young people’s faces. Part of their joy I think was seeing the young people so happy and supportive. They were humble cardinals from Zagreb and Sarajevo. One of them granted our request for a blessing. So we knelt to receive it in Latin. Not long after, we went out for German beer, shouting “Viva il Papa!” along the way.
Maybe some sort of deal was made in the conclave between the two over votes and this is the fulfillment of Benedicts part of the bargain?
April 20, 2005
Check out the whole web-site. This is all such a riot. It can't be real!
April 19, 2005
This is the favorite thing I have ever read by the now Pope Benedict XVI.
With what he has said about the threat of relatavism in the opening Mass of the conclave - it is certainly worth reading.
Please feel free to leave links to sites or quotes from other sites that bemoan the election of Ratzinger as the new Pope. It should provide a large amount of amusement.
Just wait until this weekend!!!
As you can imagine, I terribly happy at this moment. I haven't been this happy since my ordination. Indeed, Christ still provides shepherds for his Church.
I am at Cornell right now with a group of radically orthodox Catholic students. A few of us were watching Fox News when Ratzinger was named Pope. The two men I was with received something from me that very few men have ever gotten - a hug. We were hooping and hollering in the hall where we were watching the proceedings and then went to a chapel to celebrate a lovely mass in lingua latina where sang "Long Live the Pope" (and recited the Te Deum). It was one of the most moving Holy Masses I have celebrated.
Of course, I have plenty of comments on all of this, but I will leave you with two for now.
1. I think the name Benedict XVI is significant since Benedict XV was the Pope during world War I - the war that was the real decisive moment in the deterioration of Europe. I think Ratzinger is sending the message that the situation in Europe will be high on his list.
2. The Glory of the Olive - For followers of the prophecies of St. Malachi out there, the Olivetans are a Benedictine order. Ooooooh freaky.
April 18, 2005
This shows that the media will go to no limits to try and stop Ratzinger from being elected Pope.
Eucharistic Reflection no. 27
In his final book, Memory and Identity, John Paul II leaves us these weighty words on the nature of the Eucharist, “Christians, as they celebrate the Eucharist in ‘memory’ of their Master, continually discover their own identity.” As we remember the passion, death, and resurrection of Christ we come to better realize first the redemptive value of suffering in our lives; through grace we are better able to unites our sufferings to those of Christ. But we are also reminded of our destiny—that of the resurrection, the transformation of our lowly bodies, and as John Paul II says, “the divinization of man and the new creation in Christ.” We recall that we are meant for union with the Trinity and to share in God’s very divine nature! So in recalling the past we are gently lead to the future and our ultimate destination!
Eucharistic Reflection no. 26
“Amen, amen, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains just a grain of wheat; but if it dies, it produces much fruit” (John 12:21). And unless the grain of wheat dies, the bread that will become the Body of Christ cannot come into existence. And it is this Eucharist, this “bread of life” that produces the fruit of grace in our souls leading us to eternal life. The Eucharist is the memorial of Christ’s sacrificial death and glorious resurrection and our participation in this mystery guides us toward the willingness to lay down our own lives for God.
April 16, 2005
My Summer Reading List
A reader asked for a Summer Reading List. Well, these are five of the books that I am hoping to read this summer:
The Final Revolution - George Weigel
Stalingrad: The Fateful Siege - Anthony Beevor
We, the Ordinary People of the Streets - Madeleine Delbrel
Truth and Tolerance - Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger (I'll be reading a lot more of him if he becomes Pope).
The Decline of Males - Lionel Tiger
Word from Rome - The Pope's Tomb
From My Lay Consecrated Friend in Rome
Early this morning I joined my spiritual director for Mass at one of the side altars at St. Peter’s Basilica. On our way from the sacristy we spotted the huge list of popes and their dates – and newly engraved was John Paul II.
During the homily, Father told me about his chat with the Missionary of Charity Sister who was specifically commissioned by Mother Teresa to spend her life praying for the Pope. It was Mother’s idea to have one Sister assigned to every diocesan priest in the world – to pray and to sacrifice for him. The Holy Father ok’d the mission on the condition he would not be excluded. This MC Sister said that the Pope asked for prayer after his death, so she was still busy praying for him.
After offering a mass for the Holy Father, we descended into the crypt to pray at his tomb (Does anyone else find it amusing that we pray for the man that we’re already praying to?). There was hardly a line since it was very early. His tomb looked especially simple after viewing all the elaborate ones up top. I imagined that at least they would have an easier time moving it upstairs. Shouldn’t the tomb of “John Paul the Great” be up top?
The final thing I want to tell you is my favorite. Now, I don’t know if you saw this on TV, but you can bring your rosaries and holy cards and the guards touch them to his tomb for you. One guard was sure to touch both sides of the holy card to the tomb! Now that’s POD!
April 15, 2005
The Cube and the Cathedral
Suprisingly, I have not seen much on George Weigel's new book The Cube and the Cathedral (published by Basic Books, to which I owe a big thanks for providing me with a complimentary copy for me to review). In fact, a number of folks that I know who keep up with American Catholic Intellectual life didn't even know that it had been published. It's a shame since it is a tremendously accessible little volume on the problems facing Europe - and if we are not careful that will become prevelant in American life in the future.
In The Cube and the Cathedral, Weigel expounds on his earlier essay entitled "Europe's Problem - and Ours" in which he warned that the destructive secularism of Europe would soon infect America if we did not take steps to prevent it. Weigel begins his book, by comparing L'Arche de Defense and Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris as embodiments of two varying European worldviews - one secular and one transcendental (guess which one stands for which).
From this starting point Weigel presents a number of very brief chapters dealing with the history of Europe, its current culture (this is the crux of his argument, that the root of Europe's problem is mainly a cultural one), and ruminations on its future, especially in regards to the spread of militant Islam. The book is filled with Weigel's usual acumen, a profound grasp of history and culture, and a subltle clarion call to Americans to be aware of what conspires across the Atlantic.
The two things I liked most about the book is the fact that Weigel takes a difficult and scholarly topic and makes it accessible and interesting to the average reader. What's more he does not propose many definitive statements, but instead raises questions. This is a fine way of encouraging discussion among readers of the book.
All in all, The Cube and the Cathedral should make a fine addition to your summer readign list.
Update: Here is my report. Seinfeld did a routine for about 1:15 minutes and yes there was some curising, but no F-bombs and nothing you would not hear on prime-time TV. He maybe said 15 curse words. And as for crude humor, he did about 3 minutes on the Cialis commercials - but only to show how ridiculous they were. Most of the time he spent making jokes on cookies, news channels, weather, etc. It would have been PG-13 at the most.
The thing was he was not all that funny (surely not worth the $60 bucks we paid for tickets). The best joke was from Mario Joyner who opened up for him. He did a super funny thing on why with all the advances in medical science are prostate exams still so primitive. Funny. Funny.
Oh, about the comments. You cann all look to Blaine on how to disagree with me on this weblog. He does a fine job - never getting condescendingly pious. Good job Blaine!
Sibley explains, “For many of the young priests, especially those who never knew another pope but John Paul II, the legacy of the pontiff who meant so much to them will certainly live on; not only in their love for the people of God but in their radical fidelity to the truth of Christ and his Church even in the face of a culture violently hostile to the message of the gospel.”
April 14, 2005
Does anyone know why red was/is being worn for the novendiales masses (and the Papal Funeral) at the Vatican instead of violet, black or white?
April 13, 2005
The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work
Here is my final book review of the day - Dr. John Gottman's The Seven Principles or Making Your Marriage Work. I first read about Gottman's work in Macolm Gladwell's Blink, so I was happy to pick it up when a Catholic marriage counselor friend recommended it to me as a fine resource for marriage counseling. The book really cannot be read from cover to cover, since it is mostly a compilation of excercises for married couples - however, the principles Gottman elucidates appear solid and I have began using some of them in my own work with married couples.
The Broken Image
I also finished Leanne Payne's "The Broken Image." This is a must-read for anyone dealing pastorally with homsexuals. The book is packed with insights, so much so that I probably should read it again. If you are familiar with reparative therapy and healing prayer, then a lot of what she says will not be new to you. However her synthesis of the two is unique. I especially appreciated her understanding of the root causes of masturbation and lesbianism.
I finished reading Memory and Identity, the "sequel" (if you will) to John Paul II's Crossing the Threshold of Hope. Memory and Identity is focused much more in the politics of Europe (esp. Poland) than its predecessor. Therefore, for someone not versed in Polish history, it may not be as interesting. However the insights that John Paul II offers on Europe, and on evil, freedom, and democracy are seminal. It is not an easy read, but it does offer some fine reflections (especially when he discusses evil).
I am curious, how much the ideas present in this book will influence the thinking of some cardinals in the upcoming conclave, esp. in regards to the Euoropean question.
Manly Catholic Reading
Orthodox and virile!
No, not On Bryce Sibley.
I could not resist and I picked up a copy of the popular new tiny philosophy book "On BS." And I was surprised, it was an easy and insightful read. All in all, as he analyzes the phenomenon of BS, his writing style reeks of BS, yet he makes some fine points, especially at the end when he wonders why there is so much BS in our society. Guess what he blames it on? Relativism and the denial of authentic metaphysical knowledge.
One response to this loss of confidence has been a retreat from the discipline required by dedication to the ideal of correctness to a quite different sort of discipline, which is imposed by pursuit of an alternative ideal of sincerity. Rather than seeking primarily to arrive at accurate representations of a common world, the individual turns toward trying to provide honest representations of himself. Convinced that reality has no inherent nature, which he might hope to identify as the truth about things, he devotes himself to being true to his own nature.
Yep, this is the title of the new White Stripes album due out on June 7th. It is obviously an allusion to Matthew 16:22 (and the St. Benedict Medal). Now we must keep in mind that Jack White is a Catholic and thought about entering the seminary. He describes this new CD as an exploration of "characters and the ideal of truth."
The new St. Linus Review is out. It is a small journal of Catholic prose and poetry. If you get a copy of it, you will get to read one of my poems which was published in it.
Join the Dark Side...
Image will be up later - it was too big...
Darth Sibley Says: “Come to Church each Sunday, tithe, and go to frequent
April 12, 2005
Last Weekend's Homily
In mp3 format.
The Best Picture Ever
Pope Mike on his porch being interviewed.
April 11, 2005
Not Good at All
How can we stop things like this?
Is Apologetics Pointlesss?
I hesitated to post earlier on Peter's faith because I knew what it would end up as, but I did it anyhow. Now that lively discussion isn't good, but when it comes to apologetic dialogue with Protestantism, I am not sure it gets anywhere (as the comments for that post illustrate). Everyone ends up quoting their own passsages and often reason goes out of the window. For my part, I've never had an traditional apologetic discussion with one of our separated bretheren that ever led them to converting (although I have stopped a few in their tracks). Apologetics is best used for Catholics to bettter know, understand, and defend their faith - but is it an effective tool for conversion. I doubt it because with the way it always goes, the Catholic will end up getting frustrated, because or faith is not built on citing passages from scripture (our faith actually precedes scripture). So we end up fighting by their rules as it were, and there is little hope in that.
I am a beleiver that dialogue with Protestantism must be based on philosophy (as I have written before on this blog). So here we end up not discussing passages, but the "rules of discourse" themselves. Unfortunately, very few Protestants (esp. fundamentalists) know anything about philosophy and how it forms their approach to scripture, so there can be very little fruitful discussion.
Back when I did debate in college, one of ther publications we got for our extemp file was Utne Reader. I hadn't read it since I had been in college, so I picked up the most recent issue on God and Faith and I rembered why.
Some Good Advice
I don't normally read the syndicated advice columnists, but this one caught my eye. The young woman writing is shacking up, contracepting, and not going to Church, and is hesitant about approaching the Catholic priest about getting married (huh, they might be talking about me). Anyhow, here is the columnists response:
If you're the kind of cafeteria patron who drops by only once every year or three, and even then only under pressure from Mom, and you spend the whole time bitching about the coffee, then I think you need to avail yourself of a third option for showing respect for the church -- by admitting you don't belong there.
April 10, 2005
A Little Papal Apologetics
With the death of Our Holy Father, I think it would be a suitable time to engage in a little Papal apologetics.
An argument about the role of Peter that often arises states that Christ built his church on the rock of Peter's faith, not on Peter himself.
If we look up Matthew 16:18 in the original Greek New Testament, we will see that the Greek word for faith pistis is not present in any of its forms.
Therefore, we can only conclude that Christ built his Church on Peter himself and not on Peter's faith. For one to continue to claim such a thing would put them at risk of deliberately misiniterpreting the Word of God.
Two atheist groups have found fault with the government's decision to lower the U.S. flag in honor of Pope John Paul II.
The president of American Atheists called on President Bush to rescind his order that flags at the White House and other public buildings be flown at half-staff. The request was not honored.
April 09, 2005
Jammin' for the Holy Father.
Loyola U Compass Meeting
On Thursday night I gave a talk on my personal experiences with the Holy Father to the Compass group at Loyola U in New Orleans. There were about 25 people there (most of the students) and most everyone seemed to enjoy it. Compass is certainly doing some great work at helping these young people preserve their faith on campus.
Please help us move through sorrow with joyful expectation by joining us to pray the Novena for the Repose of the Soul of Pope John Paul II, as we gather and lift up the following special and collective intentions:
As we pray for the repose of the soul of Pope John Paul II, we express our joyful hope for his beatification, and to that end, we pray for the miracle of healing for Val Monteiro, who resides in the Diocese of Fall River, Massachusetts, USA.
Val is a servant of the Church in youth ministry who shares his witness at confirmation retreats and other gatherings, as he offers witness to the power of redemptive suffering and to the pascal mystery in our lives.
We pray for Val for the grace to continue to be a powerful witness to Christ in his sufferings and disabilities, and if it be God’s will, that the young man be healed of his muscular dystrophy.
Click here for the Novena from the Website of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.
Time to Start Your Novena
With nine days to the beginning of the Conclave, it is a perfect time to start a novena asking that the Cardinals pick the right Pope. I will be praying my novena to St. Boniface.
April 07, 2005
Great article. A must read.
The best nugget is in the last minute (about 10:50 into the interview), when the Cardinal is asked if he thinks the election of a new pope will bring a change in direction from “the beliefs and teachings” of John Paul. His response, concisely and elegantly stated: the “beliefs and teachings” of John Paul are those of the apostolic faith, from which there will be no change.
Old, but well worth the read as the media is clamoring for a more "tolerant" Pope.
A reader comments:
THIS is the guy who my heart aches for—he and the rest of that faithful household…perhaps simply because his loss reflects in but a more acute form the loss we are all experiencing.
April 06, 2005
April 6 - Word from Rome
Here is the latest update from my lay consecrated friend:
I must confess straight away that I cut in line. As the policeman helped me jump the fence, I kept repeating aloud, “This is not right”. But I did it anyway. To tell you my own story of the lack of sleep, the hours in line and the climactic feat of seeing the Holy Father would only add to the shame of my decision. So I will tell you the story of a real man – my friend from Guyana.
Yesterday at 12:30PM He began at the beginning of the line (which today has more than doubled). He stood for twelve hours and fifteen minutes. At times he could not feel his legs. Every twenty-five to thirty minutes he would advance, sometimes only three steps – the most seven. Once, he did not move for forty-five minutes. He had no food, but only a bottle of water. But he couldn’t drink much because if he left the line to use the restroom it would set him too far back. Every hour he chewed one piece of gum, but halfway there he allowed the legitimate pleasure only every two hours.
But he was surrounded by people as determined as he – even old women to the smallest of children. The crowd would break out into rhythmic clapping, chants in honor of JP II, and worship songs. Sometimes onlookers dropped chocolate candies from their windows. These were the little consolations that kept him going. He said that he had made up his mind to see the Holy Father and it did not matter the cost – the physical pain. His face was radiant as he told the story of his twelve hours of pain.
It was clear to me that his suffering was meaningful because it was all for love - for his hero, the Pope, who suffered so much in constantly giving himself to us. John Paul II taught us the meaning of suffering in his own life and in his apostolic letter Salvifici Doloris. On the human level, suffering allows the person to discover himself, his own dignity and his own mission (31). On the supernatural level, it allows the person to share in Christ’s own suffering – his work of redemption – his work of love.
Salvifici Doloris was my meditation as I kept my eyes on the cross atop the obelisk in St. Peter’s Square: Christ unites himself most closely to those who suffer. And so I know that in our own sufferings (however small they may be in comparison to others) that this is where Christ is closest to us. In a nagging wife, an insensitive husband, or a spineless bishop; in the temptations to sin, in the humiliation of getting up again. He is there. Christ has opened his suffering up to us. He has redeemed suffering itself. And all our suffering can be an act love for Christ and for sinners in need of redemption.
I realized that I did not want to waste one bit of my suffering in life. I decided to practice seeing it as a means to union with Christ and a way to serve souls. This is what will bring us joy and this is how we will learn to smile as beautifully as the Holy Father: When we learn to suffer like real Christians.
I ask that you offer up your sufferings this day for my lay consecrated friend. Nina is speaking tonight on one of the biggest new channels in Germany. It will be an hour long “battle” (beginning at 9PM) between two young people who love JP II and two who despise him. Lord, have mercy! Come Holy Spirit!
Evangelicals like the Pope.
New Catholic Author
Thanks to Pellerin Funeral Home for providing this lovely tribute.
Readers are sending me tons of things they are finding on the web about the Holy Father. I really appreciate it, and please feel free to send it. However, because of the volume I am not going to post all of it (nor necessarily respond personally to everyone who sends something). So take this post as my general expression of gratitude.
Eucharistic Reflection no. 25
As Catholics we receive the Eucharist as pure gift. Therefore we are not able to “lay claim” as it were to it. It was given freely by the Lord and we are to receive it with a profound sense of gratitude. In the same way, if the Liturgy is so intimately tied with the gift of the Eucharist (and in some way flows from it), then neither can we “lay claim” to the Liturgy. It is something given to us by Christ through his bride the Church. This is why the Second Vatican Council tells us that no one may change the liturgy on their own initiative. It is pure gift and we must receive it as such.
For those of you who are interested, my homily from last weekend (Divine Mercy Sunday) is online. It is the second longest homily I have ever given, but with the feast and with the death of the Pope, there was a lot to say.
April 05, 2005
Read the press releases here.
The Liberals are Coming Out
Brilliant stuff! And Gorecki's 3rd and Mahler's 2nd are two of my absolute favorite.
By frequwnt commentor, Victor Morton.
So this Sunday, we went to the Divine Liturgy… This was the Feast of Thomas the Doubter. At the end of the Divine Liturgy, father talked about Divine Mercy, a feast of the Western Church. He commented that this was a special devotion to the Holy Father and that we would, as a parish, recite the Divine Mercy Chaplet at 1:30pm after a light lunch that was setup for the feast of Thomas.
Some Catholic leaders [are pressing] for a pope who would loosen the Vatican's central control and share more authority with bishops. Italian Cardinal Achille Silvestrini, formerly head of the Vatican's Congregation for Eastern Churches, said a new pope ought to urge "collegiality," the Vatican's term for greater freedom of action for bishops. At 82, Silvestrini is too old to vote.
The collegiality issue "is felt everywhere," Silvestrini said. "We must encourage dialogue, collegiality in confronting problems." John Paul talked a lot about it but the question was "always put off for the future," he said.
But Cardinal Francis Eugene George of Chicago said he was puzzled by claims of excessive Vatican influence. "I have to say that I have been a bishop since September of 1990 and I've never received a directive saying, 'Do this,' " George said. "So I don't know who's getting all these directives. . . . I think a lot of the objections come from people simply being uncomfortable following the discipline of the faith."
The Pope's Death and St. Stanislaus
An observation from a reader:
It just occurred to me that the end of Novendiales will coincide with the feast of St. Stanislaus, Bishop of Krakow. That was the name that Karol Wojtyla wanted to take before he was convinced otherwise... Surely there must be some significance there!
Click here to see other shots of this intriguing work.
Thanks to Dave for the link.
Maybe they will re-print it...
About 2,000 years after the Gospel according to Judas sowed discord among early Christians, a Swiss foundation says it is translating for the first time the controversial text named after the apostle said to have betrayed Jesus Christ.
April 04, 2005
I Wonder What They Think of the Pope's Death
Monday, April 4 - Word from Rome
From my female lay consecrated friend:
Shortly after arriving back in Rome, I made my way to the Vatican. My plan was to sit underneath the colonnade with a view to the Holy Father’s apartment window and the façade of St Peter’s. I would have let all my memories of seeing him in this square come flooding back - contemplating his life and his influence on me. But I never made it there. The TV was deceiving. The square appears spacious only because guards hold back a river of people down Via della Conciliazione. I chose a side street with a high ledge for seating, a view of the colonnade and peek into the square. I also saw the mouth of that long line. As groups were let in, they were so excited when it was their turn that many ran into the Square. People were everywhere.
An old Italian woman excitedly explained to me that she did the grocery shopping for everyone in the Vatican. I think she was excited that the Pope ate the pasta she bought. She even showed me her ID to get into the Vatican. I was very grateful for her generosity - a handful of free bus tickets! On the side of me sat a couple from Denmark - Protestants. As the body of John Paul II was processed through the crowd, they stood as solemnly as the most faithful Catholics. Two Italian girls my age showed up. They wore big hoop earrings, jeans and boots. Their eyes were red from crying. One asked if il Papa was in the square – they hadn’t been able to see. I explained in my terrible Italian all that had taken place and that his body was in fact in the square. They took out their rosaries and cried some more.
At first the ceremony was a bit surreal for me. There was the same anticipation in the crowd as in the past when waiting for the Holy Father to make his entrance. But this time – somber chanting of the litany of saints, bells tolling, and a huge feeling of emptiness. He didn’t ride out looking at us lovingly, hands raised in blessing and encouragement. His body was still and silent. Reality struck my again. Tears flowed. But it wasn’t a hopeless sadness. That’s what was so beautiful today.
There was intense joy, excitement and hope at St. Peter’s. Probably even those people who lack faith couldn’t help but believe in God and heaven today. The only reason I ever wanted John Paul II to leave us was so that I could pray to him. So I prayed for lots of conversions, especially my own. I wish the news reporters spoke about that – how the Holy Father wanted to bring Christ to the world as the fulfillment of our deepest desires. Not that his love for the poor or his helping to bring down Communism isn’t significant… But Christ the Redeemer of Mankind was central to his pontificate. I’m sure the Holy Father is very happy to be interceding on our behalf. And I cannot imagine the Lord turning down this man who emptied himself in service to Christ’s Church until there was nothing left – only a suffering body offered as a sweet smelling sacrifice to the Lord. So this is the time to ask much!
After meditating on the body of John Paul II as a complete offering to the Lord, I renewed my own private vow. And I read bits of Vita Consecrata. I wanted to hear what the Holy Father had to say to me. He sounded so excited about the Faith, about vocations, about holy men and women serving the Lord. It was then that I realized how over the years his witness, his zeal for the faith, had spilled over into my heart. The beauty of his life and service to Christ’s Churc! h made me want to give my life completely too.
Everyone in the media gushing over John Paul and his legacy, as well they should. However, I know that it can't last long. I'm taking guesses as to how long it will take for their "true colors" to come out and they begin slamming and criticizing him...
This is amazing. A must see!
From the Mouths (Hands) of Babes
From a reader...
Tonight our family attended Mass at a Parish that uses the Oregon Catholic Press Hymnal "Breaking Bread". During the service, our 9 month old (John Francis: pictures of the culprit here) son kept trying to tear the hymnals apart, and I must report, that with a heavy heart, my wife and I stopped him.
We think that his actions may have had something to do with the singing of THREE (!) Marty Haugen hymns in a row. Surprised he didn't try to barf on it...
April 03, 2005
"I'm beginning to think more and more the timing of his death is not a coincidence," said the Rev. Bryce Sibley of St. Joseph Catholic Church in Parks.
"What the significance is, I don't know. But, I will say it's significant."
I will write more on this during the coming days...
The Word from Rome
As a treat to you readers, I've arranged something special for the novendiales of mouring the passing of John Paul II and for the days looking toward (and after) the election of a new Pontiff.
Two friends of mine in Rome, one a priest and one a lay consecrated woman have agreed to provide updates as to what is going on in the Eternal City during these crucial and busy days. It will also be interesting to get the perspective from one ordained and one lay person - one male and one female. And I assure you they are both extremely orthodox.
I'll start posting the reports as soon as they come to me!
April 02, 2005
Myself (far left) and other seminarians from the Diocese of Lafayette with the Holy Father and our previous bishop during his ad limina visit in 1998.
Novendiales at St. Joseph in Parks, LA
1. After my 11am Mass tomorrow we will sing the Divine Mercy Chaplet.
2. 3pm Divine Mercy Holy Hour on Divine Mercy Sunday for the repose of the soul of John Paul II.
3. Monday, April 4:
5:30pm at St. Joseph - Rosary for John Paul II
6:00pm at St. Joseph - Solemn Mass
7:00pm at St. Joseph - Talk by Fr. Sibley on his experience with John Paul II
4. During the Novendiales a picture of the deceased pontiff will be placed in the sanctuary with a special candle in his memory. Mourners are free to pray and leave flowers.
5. Before each Mass during the Novendiales we will pray the rosary and after each Mass we will pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet.
From a Reader
I just got back from mass with Fr. Groeschel. His homily was about prayer and how people are so irreverent in church... He said "At least pray as if you were speaking to another person!" Don't rush through, don't mumble, etc. And so mass continues and they get to "Holy, holy, holy..." and sure enough they say it like they're rushing to get out of there. And Fr. Groeschel STOPS the mass!...."Stop! Stop it right now! Whatsamatter with you - weren't you listening?!?" And he made them do it over!
The Dancing Jesuit
As I sat up late last night watching FoxNews' coverage of the Holy Father's illness, it dawned on me that continuous cable coverage of this event enables people all over the world to in some virtual way to keep vigil with the Holy Father. As repetitive as the coverage can be, modern media and television coverage gives millions of Catholics around the world an opportunity during the death of a Pope that people have never had before.
In addition, seeing the two lit windows in the Papal Apartment reminded me of the many times in Rome that I passed through the Piazza San Pietro at night and seeing the lights on, saying a prayer for the Holy Father.
Why is there a Hole in It?
Last night, we were praying the Rosary for the Holy Father in my church. After the rosary a parent relayed this story to me about their 3 year old son. They gave him a rosary and he kept looking at it funny and sticking his arm through it inquisitively. Then he turned to his dad and said, "Dad, why is there a hole in it?"
Also encouraging prayers was the Rev. Bryce Sibley of St. Joseph Catholic Church in Parks, near Breaux Bridge.
Sibley said he encouraged parishioners to pray for the pope's health, that God's will be done and that the Lord have mercy on the pope's soul.
Sibley also said people should pray for the next pope as well as the cardinals to be guided by the Holy Spirit.
"People are so used to this pope, it's hard to imagine another pope. He's one of the greatest popes of all time," Sibley said.
April 01, 2005
Am I encouraging hate with the above tagline?
Upon the Death of a Pope
As the Pope's condition worsens, I have begun to make preparations for what we will do as a parish (in cooperation with our diocese) when he passes away.
On the day of his death, we will have a rosary at 6:00pm and during the nine day period after his death a Mass at 6:30pm. We will also burn a vigil candle for the traditional nine day (Novendiales) period after his death.
I was wondering if anyone else knows of other traditions to be performed during the Interregnum?