Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam

Essential thinking for reading Catholics.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

The Apostolic Exhortation, Pt. 13

This covers paragraphs 62-65 of the Apostolic Exhortation. Please read my "introduction" to this effort if you haven't done so already. (Be patient, not only is the translation from Latin a bit rough, but also formatting in Blogger is a pain in's my croix du jour to bear, let's just say.) The stuff I find to be incorrect will be stricken out, what I consider the best (or most approximate) translation will be in bold. If there is something that isn't in the text to be translated, but which adds sense, I put it in [brackets]. Sometimes a translated word or phrase needs a little extra help in making itself clearer, so in put any such clarification(s) [italicized in brackets]. I haven't made any comments yet, and I know that I have been VERY nitpicky in the translatin' so that anyone with a better sense of these things than I can piece together something, meaningwise, which might not have been apparent to me.

The Latin language

62. None of the above observations should cast doubt upon This which has been affirmed [above] ought not to obfuscate the importance of such these large-scale liturgies. I am thinking here particularly of celebrations at international gatherings, which nowadays are held with greater frequency. The most should be made of these occasions Their merits are to be [properly] esteemed. In order to express more clearly To better express the unity and universality of the Church, I wish to endorse the proposal commend the suggestion made by the Synod of Bishops, in harmony [literally, "in tune"] with the directives of the Second Vatican Council, (182) that, with the exception of the readings, the homily and the prayer of the faithful, it is fitting that such liturgies be celebrated in Latin. Similarly, the better-known prayers (183) of the Church's tradition should might be recited in Latin and, if possible, selections of Gregorian chant should be sung eventually, parts [of the liturgy] sung in Gregorian chant. Speaking more generally, I ask petition that future priests, from their time in the seminary, receive the preparation needed be [properly] prepared to understand and to celebrate Mass in Latin, and also to use Latin texts and execute sing in Gregorian chant; nor should we forget are we to neglect ensuring that the faithful can be are taught to recite the more common prayers in Latin, and also to sing parts of the liturgy to Gregorian chant. (184)

Eucharistic celebrations in small groups

63. A very different situation arises when, in the interest of more conscious, active and fruitful participation, pastoral circumstances favour small group celebrations. While acknowledging the formative value of this approach, it must be stated necesary to define that such celebrations should always are always to be consonant with the overall pastoral activity work of the Diocese. These celebrations would actually lose their catechetical pedagogical value if they were felt to be in competition with, opposition or parallel to, the life of the a particular Church. In this regard, the Synod set forth some necessary underscored certain binding criteria: small groups must serve to unify the community, not to fragment it; the beneficial results ought to be clearly evident; these groups should encourage the fruitful participation of the entire assembly, and preserve as much as possible the unity of the liturgical life of individual families. (185)

Interior participation in the celebration

Mystagogical catechesis

64. The Church's great liturgical tradition teaches us that fruitful participation in the liturgy requires that one be personally conformed it is necessary that one personally responds to the mystery being celebrated, offering one's life to God in unity with the sacrifice of Christ for the salvation of the whole world. For this reason, the Synod of Bishops asked suggested that the faithful be helped to make their interior dispositions correspond to their gestures and words. Otherwise If this were lacking, however carefully planned and executed well enacted our liturgies may be, they would risk falling into a certain ritualism. Hence the need to provide promote an education in eucharistic faith capable of enabling that would provide the disposition to [literally, "dispose"] the faithful to live personally what they celebrate. Given the vital eminent importance of this personal and conscious participatio, what methods are the ideal instruments of formation are needed? The Synod Fathers unanimously indicated, in this regard, a mystagogical approach to catechesis, which would lead the faithful to understand internalize ever more deeply the mysteries being celebrated. (186) In particular, given the close relationship between the ars celebrandi and an actuosa participatio, it must first be said that "the best catechesis on the Eucharist is the Eucharist itself, properly [literally, "worthily"] celebrated well." (187) By its very nature, the liturgy can be is pedagogically effective in helping drawing the faithful to enter more deeply into the mystery being celebrated. That is why, in the Church's most ancient tradition, without neglecting a systematic understanding of the content of the faith, the process of Christian formation always had an experiential character. While not neglecting a systematic understanding of the content of the faith, it centred on a vital and convincing living and persuasive encounter with Christ, as proclaimed by authentic witnesses. It is first and foremost the witness who introduces others to the mysteries In this sense, whosoever effects an introduction to these mysteries is a witness above all [else]. Naturally, this initial Said encounter gains depth perfection through catechesis and finds its source and summit in the celebration of the Eucharist. This basic structure From this precept of the Christian experience calls springs the necessity for a process of mystagogy in which should always respect must be kept present three elements:
a) It interprets the Above all the interpretation of the rites in the light of the salvific events of our salvation, in accordance congruent with the Church's living tradition. The celebration of the Eucharist, contains in its infinite richness, makes constant reference constantly refers to salvation history. In Christ crucified and risen, we truly celebrate the one who center [literally, "heart"] that has recapitulated united all things in himself (cf. Eph 1:10). From the beginning, the Christian community has interpreted the events of Jesus' life, and the Paschal Mystery in particular, in relation to the entire history of the Old Testament.

b) A mystagogical catechesis must also be concerned with presenting present the meaning of the signs contained in the rites. This admonition is particularly important in a highly technological age like our own present, which risks losing the ability to appreciate signs and symbols. More than simply conveying information [just]informing, a mystagogical catechesis should be capable of making awaken and educate the faithful to become more sensitive to the language of signs and gestures which, together in conjunction with the word, make up constitute the rite.

c) Finally, a mystagogical catechesis must be concerned with bringing out the significance of the rites for and [its] relevance to the Christian life in all its dimensions – work and responsibility industry, thoughts and emotions affection, activity and repose rest. Part of the mystagogical process is to demonstrate underscore how the mysteries celebrated in the rite are linked to the missionary responsibility of the faithful. The mature fruit perfect conclusion [i.e., final result] of mystagogy is an awareness becoming conscious to the fact that one's life is being progressively transformed by the holy mysteries being celebrated. The aim of all Christian education, moreover, is to train the believer in form the [individual] faithful as a "new man" with an adult faith that can make him a "new creation", capable of bearing witness in his surroundings to the Christian hope that inspires him.

If we are to succeed in carrying out this work of education in our ecclesial communities, those responsible for formation must be adequately properly prepared. Indeed, the whole people of God should feel involved in ought feel committed to this formation. Each Christian community is called to be a pedagogical place where people can be taught about introducing the mysteries celebrated in faith. In this regard, the Synod Fathers called for greater underscored the call for greater involvement by communities of consecrated life, movements and groups which, by their specific charisms, can give new impetus renewed momentum to Christian formation. (188) In our time, too, the Holy Spirit freely bestows his gifts in effusion to sustain the apostolic mission of the Church, which is charged with spreading the faith and bringing it to its formation until maturity. (189)

Reverence for the Eucharist

65. A convincing indication sign of the effectiveness of eucharistic catechesis is surely professed in an increased sense of the mystery of God present among us. This can be expressed in proven through the concrete outward signs of reverence for the Eucharist which the process of mystagogy should ought inculcate in the faithful. (190) I am thinking in general of the importance of gestures and posture, such as kneeling during the central moments of the Eucharistic Prayer. Amid To accomodate oneself in the legitimate diversity of signs used in the context of different cultures, everyone should be able to experience is to live and express the awareness that he is conscious that at each celebration we stand before the infinite majesty of God, who comes to us in the lowliness of in a humble manner in the sacramental signs.

Now hold on there just a doggone minute.

Is it just me or do I sense that, as a class and in sharp contradistinction to recent years' behaviors, the bishops are actually exhibiting signs of osteoferrosis*?

First in Mexico City, then in Buenos Aires and now in St. Louis...could this be a trend?



* Steel in the spine.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Sinful structures.

Here's the Cliffs Notes on 'em: There aren't any.

I've thought about this and the subject in their periphery for some time. But I always come back to this: It's impossible to be sinful and not have free will. This is not to say that no structures are bad, or can be/have been twisted for sinful purposes. What it does mean is that we must look at the individual human beings responsible for those structures and their actions.

After all, when Adam & Eve moved out of Eden, they didn't just set up digs at a pre-existing Global Loan Shark Fund and were helpless to avoid wrenching crusts of bread from the starving lips of the proletariat. The real issue -- and one which the "sinful structures" line of thinking tends to obscure -- is that of sinful people. A structure is in se an inanimate thing. Of its own accord it does nothing.

Now, stuff it to the rafters with evil people and stand back. Or not even Truly Evil People in the mold of James Bond villains. A couple of morally stunted people in key positions will do nicely, thankyouverymuch. Of course, some structures are more evil (the KGB) than others (the UN), but as in all things sin and its execution reduce to human beings exercising their free will in a manner which is displeasing to God.

The Global Loan Shark Fund didn't just wake up one morning and decide to lend a bazillion dollars to the Republic of Lower Bubonia at 100% per day. Some person, exercising free will did that. The Republic of Lower Bubonia didn't just decide to take that loan with all its terms, some guy -- who likely stood to greatly benefit materially -- did so. And so the long day wears on.

Having, therefore, demolished the "sinful structures" shell, we are now left with a far more daunting task: to preach to those people who man these structures. After all, it's very easy to shake your fist, Grandpa Simpson-style, at the bogeyman of Globalization* but it's a whole lot more difficult to engage the people actively involved therein, that they may have informed consciences as they determine what courses of action to take.

Which further complicates our cozy, postmodern lives. We've pretty much gotten comfy with the idea that we fulfill God's commands when we "stand for ____." In fact, God wants us not to advocate or support, but to roll up our sleeves and actually help people. The purpose is not to ameliorate our consciences, but achieve results (yes, in His name). It's one thing to slap a "End World Hunger!" sticker on your hybrid, and quite another to give of yourself selflessly to actually, y'know, feed someone.

God wants us to do, not to "be in solidarity with."

Mt. 21:28-31a



* Globalization, in the strictest sense, is like the law of gravity. Its existence is not subject to your opinions on it.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

The Apostolic Exhortation, Pt. 12

This covers paragraphs 57-61 of the Apostolic Exhortation. Please read my "introduction" to this effort if you haven't done so already. (Be patient, not only is the translation from Latin a bit rough, but also formatting in Blogger is a pain in's my croix du jour to bear, let's just say.) The stuff I find to be incorrect will be stricken out, what I consider the best (or most approximate) translation will be in bold. If there is something that isn't in the text to be translated, but which adds sense, I put it in [brackets]. Sometimes a translated word or phrase needs a little extra help in making itself clearer, so in put any such clarification(s) [italicized in brackets]. I haven't made any comments yet, and I know that I have been VERY nitpicky in the translatin' so that anyone with a better sense of these things than I can piece together something, meaningwise, which might not have been apparent to me.

Participation through the communications media

57. Thanks to the remarkable development of the communications media Given the improvements [literally, "increases in superiority"], of the instruments of communication in recent decades, the word "participation" has taken on a broader meaning in recent decades than in previous times. We all gladly All of us joyfully acknowledge that the media have also opened up offer new possibilities for in matters regarding the celebration of the Eucharist. (176) This requires, of the pastoral agents in this field [literally, "province"] a specific preparation and a keen a living sense of responsibility on the part of pastoral workers in the sector. When Mass is broadcast on television, it inevitably tends to set an necessarily acquires the status [literally, "species"] of example. Particular care should therefore be taken to ensure that Therefore special attention is to be paid to, in addition to taking place in suitable and well-appointed dignified and properly prepared locations, the celebration respects the liturgical norms in force.

Finally, with regard to the value of taking part in Mass via which the communications media make possible, those who hear or view these broadcasts [transmissions] should be aware are to know that, under normal circumstances, they do not fulfil the obligation of attending Mass precept of [attending] the feast [i.e., the Mass]. Visual images can represent reality, but they do not actually reproduce it.(177) While it is most praiseworthy laudable that the elderly and the sick participate in Sunday Mass through radio and television, the same cannot be said of those who think that wish, by means of such broadcasts, dispense themselves from going to church and sharing in for the eucharistic assembly in the living Church.

Active participation by the sick

58. In thinking of keeping present [i.e., "in mind"] those who cannot attend places of worship for reasons of health or advanced age, I wish to call the attention of the whole Church ecclesial community to the pastoral importance necessity of providing ensuring the spiritual assistance to the sick, both those living at home and those in hospital. Their situation was often mentioned They were made reference to several times during the Synod of Bishops. These brothers and sisters of ours should have the opportunity to receive are to be provided access to sacramental communion frequently. In this way they can strengthen thus reinforcing their relationship with Christ, crucified and risen, and they can feel fully involved in the Church's life and mission by the by means of offering of their sufferings in union with our Lord's sacrifice. Particular Singular attention needs to be given to the disabled. When should their condition so permits, the Christian community should make it possible for them favor [i.e., "make accessible"] the possibility to attend the place of worship. Buildings should be designed to provide ready access to the disabled It is to be ensured that buildings are free of architectural obstacles. Finally, whenever possible, eucharistic communion should also be made available to the mentally handicapped, if they are baptized and confirmed: they receive the Eucharist in the faith also of the family or the community that accompanies them. (178)

Care for prisoners

59. The Church's spiritual tradition, basing itself on following Christ's own words (cf. Mt 25:36), has designated the visiting of prisoners as one of the corporal works of mercy. Prisoners Those who find themselves in these conditions have a particular need to be visited personally by the Lord in the sacrament of the Eucharist. Experiencing the closeness of the ecclesial community, sharing in the Eucharist and receiving holy communion at this difficult and painful singularly sad time can surely contribute to the quality of a prisoner's faith journey and to full social rehabilitation recovery of [their place in] society. Taking up the recommendation Interpreting the manifest wishes of the Synod, I ask Dioceses to do whatever is, wherever possible to ensure that sufficient pastoral resources are invested in the spiritual care of place adequate means in pastoral activities which [engage] spiritually attending to prisoners. (179)

Migrants and participation in the Eucharist

60. Turning now to those people who for various reasons are forced to leave their native countries own land, the Synod expressed particular gratitude to all those engaged in the pastoral care of attending pastorally to migrants. Specific In this context, special attention needs to be paid to migrants belonging to the Eastern Catholic Churches; in addition to being far from their own home, they also encounter the difficulty of not being able to participate in the eucharistic liturgy in their own rite according to the rite to which they properly belong. For this reason, wherever possible, they should concessions should be made that they may be served by priests of their rite. In all cases I would ask Bishops to welcome these brothers and sisters with the love in the charity of Christ. Contacts The encounter between the faithful of different rites can prove a source of mutual become an occasion of reciprocal enrichment. In particular, I am thinking of the benefit that can come accrue, especially for the clergy, from a knowledge of the different diverse traditions. (180)

Large-scale concelebrations

61. The Synod considered the quality of participation in the case of large-scale great celebrations held on special occasions under particular circumstances and involving not only a great number of the lay faithful, but also many concelebrating priests. (181) On the one hand, it is easy to appreciate the importance momentuousness of these moments, especially when the Bishop himself celebrates, surrounded by his presbyterate and by the deacons. On the other hand, it is not always easy in such cases to give clear expression to difficulties are possible in [understanding of] the clarity of the manifestation of the unity of the presbyterate, especially during the Eucharistic Prayer and the distribution of Holy Communion. Efforts need to be made lest It is of vital necessity these large-scale concelebrations not lose their proper focus do not cause dispersion [of focus]. This can be done by proper This is to be done by providing for congruence and coordination and by arranging the proper disposition of the place of worship so in such a manner as to permit that priests and lay faithful are truly able to participate fully. It should be kept in mind, however, In any event, it is to be kept present that here we are speaking of exceptional concelebrations of an exceptional character, and limited to extraordinary situations.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Conclusive proof...

...that I am not the only lunatic out there, hallucinating on Papal intent, mistranslations (willful and otherwise) and all that:



Sunday, April 22, 2007


Satan has mangled my links.

Am rebuilding (better than ever!) as fast as I can.



Saturday, April 21, 2007

De Nobis Fabula Narratur?

This made me laugh.



The Apostolic Exhortation, Pt. 11

This covers paragraphs 52-56 of the Apostolic Exhortation. Please read my "introduction" to this effort if you haven't done so already. (Be patient, not only is the translation from Latin a bit rough, but also formatting in Blogger is a pain in's my croix du jour to bear, let's just say.) The stuff I find to be incorrect will be stricken out, what I consider the best (or most approximate) translation will be in bold. If there is something that isn't in the text to be translated, but which adds sense, I put it in [brackets]. Sometimes a translated word or phrase needs a little extra help in making itself clearer, so in put any such clarification(s) [italicized in brackets]. I haven't made any comments yet, and I know that I have been VERY nitpicky in the translatin' so that anyone with a better sense of these things than I can piece together something, meaningwise, which might not have been apparent to me.

Actuosa participatio

Authentic participation

52. The Second Vatican Council rightly emphasized with merit commended us the active, full and fruitful participation of the entire People of God in the eucharistic celebration (155). Certainly Without a doubt, the renewal carried out in these past decades has made considerable has been favorable to notable progress towards fulfilling the wishes in meeting the expectations of the Council Fathers. Yet we must not overlook be oblivious to the fact that some certain misunderstanding has occasionally arisen concerning the precise meaning precisely over the sense of this participation. It should be made it is fitting to make clear that the word "participation" does not refer to mere simple external activity during the celebration. In fact, the active participation called for expected by the Council must is to be understood in more substantial terms, on the basis of starting with a greater awareness consciousness of the mystery being celebrated and its relationship to daily life. The admonition of the conciliar Constitution Sacrosanctum Concilium which encouraged exhorted the faithful to not take part in the eucharistic liturgy not "as strangers or silent spectators," but as participants to participate "in the sacred action, conscious of what they are doing, actively and devoutly" "consciously, piously and actively in the sacred action" remains in (156). This exhortation has lost none of its force. The Council went on to say added this consideration: that the faithful "should be instructed by God's word, and nourished at the table of the Lord's Body. They should give thanks to God. Offering the immaculate Victim, not only through the hands of the priest but also together with him, they should learn to make an offering of themselves. Through Christ, the Mediator, they should be drawn day by day into ever more perfect union with God and each other", "instructed by God's word, and having been replenished at the table of the Lord's Body give thanks to God, learning to offer themselves at the offering of the immaculate host not only through the hands of the priest but also jointly with him and [thus] day by day reach a greater consummation [i.e., perfection] through Christ, the Mediator, in union with God and among themselves"(157).

Participation and the priestly ministry

53. The beauty and the harmony of the liturgy find eloquent expression congruence of the liturgical action are manifested in the order by which everyone is called to participate actively. This entails implicates [involves, requires] an acknowledgment of the distinct various hierarchical roles involved implicated [involved, required] in the celebration itself. It is helpful useful to recall that active participation is not per se itself equivalent to the exercise of a specific the carrying out [the functions] of a particular ministry. Above all else, The active participation of the laity does not benefit from the confusion arising from an it does not help the active participation of the laity to have confusion, occasioned by the inability to distinguish, within the Church's communion, the different functions proper the diverse functions which correspond to each one within the ecclesial communion. (158) There is a particular need for In particular, it is precise [i.e., "maximally important"] there be clarity with regard to the specific functions tasks of the priest. He alone, and no other, It is he, in an irrepleaceable way, as the tradition of the Church attests, who presides over the entire eucharistic celebration, from the initial greeting to the final blessing. In By virtue of his reception of Holy Orders, he represents Jesus Christ, the head of the Church, and, in a specific way in a way proper to him, also the Church herself. (159) Every celebration All celebrations of the Eucharist, in fact, is led are directed by the Bishop, "either in person or through priests who are his helpers his adjutants."(160) He is helped by a deacon, who has specific duties functions during the celebration: he prepares the altar, assists the priest, proclaims the Gospel, preaches the homily from time to time when it is deemed fitting [literally, "convenient"], reads the intentions of the Prayer of the Faithful, and distributes the Eucharist to the faithful. (161) Associated In conjunction with these ministries linked to the sacrament of Holy Orders, there are also other ministries of liturgical service which can be carried out in a praiseworthy manner by religious and properly trained laity, which is laudable. (162)

The eucharistic celebration and inculturation

54. On the basis of these fundamental statements Starting with the fundamental precepts of the Second Vatican Council, the Synod Fathers frequently stressed it has been frequent highlighted the importance of the active participation of the faithful in the eucharistic sacrifice. In order to foster this participation, It would be favorable that provisions may be made for a number of adaptations appropriate to different contexts and cultures. (163) The fact that certain abuses have occurred That, certainly, abuses exist does not detract from this clear the clarity of this principle, which must be upheld maintained in accordance with the real just and true needs of the Church as she lives and celebrates the one mystery of Christ in a variety of diverse cultural situations. In the mystery of the Incarnation, the Lord Jesus, born of woman and fully human as a perfect man (cf. Gal 4:4), entered directly into a relationship not only has not only directly associated [himself] with the expectations present within expressed in the Old Testament, but also with those of all peoples. He thus showed that God wishes By that [i.e., "by these means"] God manifests that he wants to encounter us in our own concrete situation individual circumstances [literally, "vital context"]. A Therefore, for a more effective participation of the faithful in the holy mysteries will thus benefit from the continued it is useful to [continue to] pursue the process of inculturation of the eucharistic celebration, with due regard for the possibilities for adaptation taking into account the facultative accomodations provided in the General Instruction of the Roman Missal, (164) interpreted in the light of the criteria laid down by prescriptions of the Fourth Instruction of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments Varietates Legitimae of 25 January 1994 (165) and the directives expressed given by Pope John Paul II in the Post-Synodal Exhortations Ecclesia in Africa, Ecclesia in America, Ecclesia in Asia, Ecclesia in Oceania and Ecclesia in Europa (166). To achieve this end, I encourage Episcopal Conferences to strive to maintain a establish [literally "favor"] the proper balance between the criteria and directives already issued norms already published and [any] new adaptations (167), always in accord with the Apostolic See.

Personal conditions for an "active participation"

55. In their consideration of considering [the matter of] the actuosa participatio of the faithful in the liturgy, the Synod Fathers also discussed highlighted [literally, "extolled"] the personal conditions required on the part of each one [of the faithful] for a fruitful participation on the part of individuals. (168) One of these is, certainly, is the spirit of constant conversion which must mark be a sign of the lives of all each of the faithful. Active It is not possible to have active participation in the eucharistic liturgy can hardly be expected if one approaches it superficially, without an examination of his or her examining one's own life. This inner disposition can be is fostered, for example, by recollection meditation and silence for at least a few moments before the beginning of the liturgy, by fasting and, when necessary, by sacramental confession. A heart reconciled to God makes genuine permits a man's true participation possible. The It is to be a precept that the faithful need to be reminded that there can be no actuosa participatio in the sacred mysteries without an accompanying effort to participate actively in the totality of life of the Church as a whole, including a the missionary commitment to bring Christ's love into the life of society.

Clearly Without a doubt, the full participation in the Eucharist takes place when the faithful we approach the altar in person to receive communion (169). Yet true as this is care must be taken lest they conclude that the mere fact of their being present This notwithstanding, it is to be underscored [literally, "placed to attention"] so that a correct affirmation of this does not induce a certain automatism, as if by merely finding oneself in church during the liturgy gives them a one has the right or even an obligation to approach the table of the Eucharist. Even in cases where it is not possible to receive sacramental communion, participation at Mass remains necessary, important, meaningful valid, significant and fruitful. In such circumstances it is beneficial proper to cultivate a desire for full union with Christ through the practice of practicing, for example, spiritual communion, praised [of which we have been] reminded by Pope John Paul II (170) and recommended by [the] saints who were masters moderators of the spiritual life (171).

Participation by Christians who are not Catholic

56. The In discussing the subject of participation in the Eucharist we inevitably raises encounter the question of Christians belonging to Churches or Ecclesial Communities not in full communion with the Catholic Church. In this regard, it must be said that the intrinsic link between the Eucharist and the Church's unity inspires us necessitates our [most] intimate desire to long, on the one hand, for the day when we will be able to celebrate the Holy Eucharist together with all believers in Christ, and in this way to express visibly the fullness of unity that Christ willed for his disciples (cf. Jn 17:21). On the other hand, the respect we owe to the sacrament of Christ's Body and Blood prevents us from making it a mere "means" to be used indiscriminately in order to attain that unity. (172) The Eucharist in fact not only manifests our personal communion with Jesus Christ, but also implies full communio with the Church. This is the reason why, sadly with pain albeit not without hope, we ask Christians who are not Catholic to understand and respect our conviction, which is grounded in the Bible Sacred Writings and [Sacred] Tradition. We hold maintain that eucharistic communion and ecclesial communion are so intimately linked as to make it generally impossible for non-Catholic Christians to receive the former without enjoying the latter. There would be even less sense in actually concelebrating true concelebration with ministers of Churches or ecclesial communities not in full communion with the Catholic Church. Yet it remains true that, for the sake of their in the face of eternal salvation, the possibility exists for individual non-Catholic Christians can to be admitted to the Eucharist, the sacrament of Reconciliation and the Anointing of the Sick. But this is possible only in specifically determined, exceptional situations and requires that certain characterized by precisely defined conditions be met (173). These are clearly indicated in the Catechism of the Catholic Church (174) and in its Compendium (175). Everyone is obliged to observe faithfully hold fast to these norms faithfully.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

"All the fits that's new to print."

You should read the New York Tass's editorial on the Supreme Court decision regarding partial-birth abortion.

If newsprint were capable of foaming at the mouth and have its left eye twitch convulsively, this'd certainly be one stellar example. In fact, it practically screams itself hoarse. Why, you'd think someone had levied a tax on ink, plagiarism and pathologically thin Rolodexes.

We are winning. We haven't won yet, but we're winning.



Do you remember where you were?

This particular clip comes from someone's camcorder, not news footage. The great part of this is you can hear the amazing jubilation in the voices in the crowd at the announcement that Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger is now Pope Benedict XVI. Shouting "Viva il Papa!" and "Gloria!" you can surmise the news was well received.

Ad multos annos & AMDG,


Wednesday, April 18, 2007

The Apostolic Exhortation, Pt. 10

This covers paragraphs 45-51 of the Apostolic Exhortation. Please read my "introduction" to this effort if you haven't done so already. (Be patient, not only is the translation from Latin a bit rough, but also formatting in Blogger is a pain in's my croix du jour to bear, let's just say.) The stuff I find to be incorrect will be stricken out, what I consider the best (or most approximate) translation will be in bold. If there is something that isn't in the text to be translated, but which adds sense, I put it in [brackets]. Sometimes a translated word or phrase needs a little extra help in making itself clearer, so in put any such clarification(s) [italicized in brackets]. I haven't made any comments yet, and I know that I have been VERY nitpicky in the translatin' so that anyone with a better sense of these things than I can piece together something, meaningwise, which might not have been apparent to me.

The liturgy of the word

45. Together with the Synod, I ask pray that the liturgy of the word always be carefully correctly prepared and celebrated lived. Consequently I urge that every effort be made to ensure vehemently commend [you] to make certain that the liturgical proclamation of the word of God is entrusted to given the proper attention by well-prepared readers. Let us never forget that "when the Sacred Scriptures are read in the Church, God himself speaks to his people, and Christ, present in his own word, proclaims the Gospel"(135). When circumstances so suggest, one can think of a few brief words of introduction introductory thoughts [which] could be offered in order to focus the attention of help the faithful towards a better [i.e., proper] disposition. If it is to be properly understood, the word of God must be listened to and accepted in a spirit of communion with the Church an ecclesial spirit and with a clear awareness consciousness of its unity with the Eucharistic sacrament of the Eucharist. Indeed, the word which we proclaim and accept announce and hear is the Word made flesh (cf. Jn 1:14); it is inseparably linked to intrinsically references the person of Christ's person and the sacramental mode of his continued presence in our midst and his permanence in a sacramental way. Christ does not speak in the past, but in the present, even as given that he is present in the liturgical action. In this sacramental context Given the sacramental perspective of Christian revelation (136), the knowledge and the study of the word of God enable us better allow us to better appreciate, celebrate and live the Eucharist. Here too, we can see how true it is We can appreciate the full truth of the affirmation that "ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ" (137).

To this end, the faithful should are to be helped to appreciate the riches [properly] esteem the treasure of Sacred Scripture found in the lectionary through pastoral initiatives, liturgies of the word celebrations of the Word and meditative reading in the context of prayer (lectio divina). Efforts should also be made to encourage Promoting those forms of prayer confirmed by tradition, such as the Liturgy of the Hours, especially Morning Prayer, Evening Prayer and Night Prayer Lauds, Vespers and Complines, and vigil celebrations are not to be omitted. By praying the Psalms, the Scripture readings and the readings drawn from the great tradition which are included in the Divine Office, we can come to a deeper experience of the Christ-event and the economy of salvation, which in turn can enrich our understanding comprehension and our participation in the celebration of the Eucharist (138).

The homily

46. Given the importance of the word of God, an improvement in the quality of homilies needs to be improved effected. The homily In effect, it is "part of the liturgical action" (139), and is meant to foster a deeper understanding of the word of God, so that it can bear fruit has as its end promoting a better comprehension and [greater] efficacy in the lives of the faithful. Hence ordained ministers must "prepare the homily carefully with precise care, based on an adequate knowledge of Sacred Scripture" (140). Generic and abstract homilies should are to be avoided. In particular, I ask these ministers to preach in such a way strive so that the homily closely relates the proclamation of the places in conjunction the proclaimed word of God to the sacramental celebration (141) and with the life of the community, so that in such a way the word of God truly becomes the Church's vital nourishment and support vitality (142). The catechetical and paraenetic aim exhortative end of the homily should not be forgotten is to be in consideration [i.e., kept present, kept in mind]. During the course of the liturgical year it is appropriate It is prudent [i.e., wise] to offer the faithful, prudently and on the basis of using, as a starting point the three-year lectionary, "thematic" homilies all through the liturgical year; treating dealing with the great themes of the Christian faith, on the basis of what has been authoritatively proposed set forth by the authority of the Magisterium in the four "pillars" of the Catechism of the Catholic Church and the recent Compendium, namely: the profession of faith, the celebration of the Christian mystery, life in Christ and Christian prayer (143).

The presentation of the gifts

47. The Synod Fathers also drew gave their attention to the presentation of the gifts. This is not to be viewed simply as a kind of an "interval" between the liturgy of the word and the liturgy of the Eucharist. To do Among other things, doing so would tend to weaken, at the least, leads to a loss of the sense of a single rite made up of two interrelated parts. This humble and simple gesture is actually very significant: in the bread and wine that we bring to the altar, all creation is taken up by Christ the Redeemer to be transformed and presented made an offering to the Father. (144) In this way sense we also bring to the altar all the pain and suffering of the world, in the certainty that everything has value all is precious in God's eyes. The authentic meaning of this gesture can be clearly expressed without the need for undue emphasis or complexity This gesture, in order to be lived according to its authentic significance, does not need to be emphasized with importune complications. It enables permits us to appreciate how [properly] esteem the originative collaboration to which God invites man to participate in bringing to fulfilment his accomplishing in him the Divine handiwork, and in so doing, gives human labour its authentic full meaning, since which, through the celebration of the Eucharist, it is united to the redemptive sacrifice of Christ.

The Eucharistic Prayer

48. The Eucharistic Prayer is "the centre and summit of the entire celebration" (145). Its importance deserves to be adequately emphasized. The different Eucharistic Prayers contained in the Missal have been handed down transmitted to us by the Church's living Tradition and are noteworthy characterized for their inexhaustible theological and spiritual richness. The faithful need to be enabled are to be led [literally, "induced"] to appreciate that richness these riches. Here the General Instruction of the Roman Missal can help, with its list helps, reminding [us] of the basic elements of every Eucharistic Prayer: thanksgiving, acclamation, epiclesis, institution narrative and consecration, anamnesis, offering oblation, intercessions and final concluding doxology (146). In a particular way, eucharistic spirituality and theological reflection are enriched illuminated if we contemplate in the anaphora the profound unity of the anaphora, between the invocation of the Holy Spirit and the institution narrative (147) whereby "the sacrifice is carried out which Christ himself instituted at the Last Supper" (148). Indeed, "the Church implores the power of the Holy Spirit that the gifts offered by human hands be consecrated, that is, become Christ's Body and Blood, and that the spotless immaculate Victim to be received in communion be for the salvation of those who will partake of it" (149).

The sign of peace

49. By its nature the Eucharist is the sacrament of peace. At Mass this dimension of the eucharistic mystery finds specific expression is expressed in a peculiar [i.e., singular] way in the sign of peace. Certainly Doubtlessly this sign has great value (cf. Jn 14:27). In our times, fraught with fear and conflict with [its] horrible, vexing conflicts, this gesture has become particularly eloquent takes on, from the standpoint of the common sensibility, a special significance, as the Church has become feels increasingly conscious of her responsibility like it is her proper task to pray insistently for the gift of peace and unity for herself and for the whole human family. Certainly there is an irrepressible desire for peace present in every Peace, certainly, is an indelible desire [found] in the heart of every man. The Church gives voice to the hope petition for peace and reconciliation rising up from every man and woman person of good will, directing it towards the one who "is our peace" (Eph 2:14) and who can bring peace reconciliation to individuals and peoples when all human efforts fail. We can thus understand the emotion so often felt intensity so frequently lived during the sign of peace at a liturgical celebration. Even so, To this purpose, during the Synod of Bishops there was discussion about the appropriateness of greater restraint in it was considered appropriate to moderate this gesture, which can be exaggerated and cause a certain distraction sow some confusion in the assembly just before the reception of precisely prior to Communion. It should be kept in mind is proper to remember that it detracts nothing is lost when the sign of peace is marked by a [to show the] sobriety which preserves the proper spirit of necessary for the proper climate of the celebration, as, for example, when it is restricted to one's immediate neighbours limited to the persons of greatest proximity (150).

The distribution and reception of the Eucharist

50. Another moment of the celebration needing to be mentioned which is to be [always] remembered [i.e., referenced] is the distribution and reception of Holy Communion. I ask everyone, especially ordained ministers and those who, after adequate preparation and in cases of genuine need, duly prepared [i.e., instructed, trained] are authorized to exercise the ministry of distributing the Eucharist in the case of true necessity, to make every effort to ensure that this simple act preserves its importance gesture, in its simplicity, corresponds to its worth as a personal encounter with the Lord Jesus in the sacrament. For the rules governing correct With regard to the norms [dealing with] correct practice in this regard, I would refer make reference to those documents recently issued on the subject. (151) All Christian communities are to observe the current norms hold fast to the norms currently in force faithfully, seeing in them an expression of the faith and love with which we all must regard this sublime sacrament. Furthermore, the precious time of thanksgiving after communion should not is not to be neglected: besides the singing of an appropriate hymn an appropriate chant, it can also be most helpful to remain recollected in silence. (152)

In this regard To this purpose, I would like to call attention to a pastoral problem frequently encountered nowadays which we encounter in these times. I am referring to the fact that on certain occasions – for example, wedding Masses, funerals and the like – in addition to practising Catholics faithful there may be others present who have long since ceased to attend Mass or are living in a situation which does not permit them to receive the sacraments. At other times members of other Christian confessions and even other religions may be present. Similar situations can occur in churches that are frequently visited, especially in tourist areas which are destinations for travelers, especially in the great cities where those with great art abounds. In these cases, there is a need it is necessary to find a brief and clear efficient way to remind those make present for all [in attendance] of the meaning of sacramental communion and the conditions required for its reception. Wherever circumstances make it impossible to ensure that In situations where the required clarity on the meaning of the Eucharist is duly appreciated cannot be guaranteed, the appropriateness possibility of replacing the celebration of the Mass with a celebration of the word of God should be considered is to be considered. (153)

The dismissal: "Ite, missa est"

51. Finally, I would like to pause to comment briefly on the observations statements of the Synod Fathers regarding the dismissal salutation at the end of the eucharistic celebration. After the blessing, the deacon or the priest dismisses the people with the words: Ite, missa est. These words help us to grasp With this salutation, we can appreciate the relationship between the Mass just celebrated and the mission of Christians in the world. In antiquity, missa simply meant "dismissal." However in Christian usage it gradually took on a deeper meaning. The word "dismissal" has come to imply a becomes "mission." These few words This salutation succinctly expresses the missionary nature of the Church. The People of God, with the suport of the liturgy might be helped to understand would profit from being assisted to more clearly deeply understand this essential constitutive dimension of the Church's ecclesial life, taking the dismissal as a starting- point. In this context, it might also be helpful to provide new texts, duly approved, for the prayer over the people and the final blessing, in order to make this connection clear which [clearly] express this relationship (154).

Tuesday, April 17, 2007


The VERY estimable Ryan Duns, SJ has a brilliant post on the horrific tragedy yesterday. Go read it now.



OK, maybe this is a stupid question.

If -- as we've heard for the last few years -- married priests and women, er, priests are a viable solution for the priest shortage...what would be viable solutions for the shortage of nuns/religious sisters?



The Apostolic Exhortation, Pt. 9

This covers paragraphs 39-44 of the Apostolic Exhortation. Please read my "introduction" to this effort if you haven't done so already. (Be patient, not only is the translation from Latin a bit rough, but also formatting in Blogger is a pain in's my croix du jour to bear, let's just say.) The stuff I find to be incorrect will be stricken out, what I consider the best (or most approximate) translation will be in bold. If there is something that isn't in the text to be translated, but which adds sense, I put it in [brackets]. Sometimes a translated word or phrase needs a little extra help in making itself clearer, so in put any such clarification(s) [italicized in brackets]. I haven't made any comments yet, and I know that I have been VERY nitpicky in the translatin' so that anyone with a better sense of these things than I can piece together something, meaningwise, which might not have been apparent to me.

The Bishop, celebrant par excellence

39. While it is true that the whole People of God participates in the eucharistic liturgy, in a correct ars celebrandi necessarily entails a specific responsibility on the part of a necessary [i.e., irreplaceable] role is played by those who have received the sacrament of Holy Orders. Bishops, priests, and deacons, each according to his proper rank, must consider the celebration of the liturgy as their principal duty (116). Above all, this is true of the In a primary position is the Diocesan Bishop: as "the chief steward dispenser of the mysteries of God in the particular Church entrusted to his care, he is the moderator, promoter, and guardian has total custody of the whole of its whole liturgical life" (117). This is essential maximally [important] for the life of the particular Church, not only because communion with the Bishop is required the requirement for the lawfulness legitimacy of every celebration within his territory, but also because he himself is the celebrant liturgist par excellence within his Diocese of his own Church (118). It is his responsibility to ensure unity and harmony It falls to him to safeguard the concordant unity in the celebrations taking place in his territory Diocese. Consequently the Bishop must be "determined Therefore it must be a committment [literally, "animated intent," that is "a self-motivating obligation"] of the Bishop that the priests, the deacons, and the lay Christian faithful grasp ever more deeply better the genuine meaning [literally, "sense"] of the rites and liturgical texts, and thereby be led to an active [i.e., fully understood, fully conscious, not "filled with activity"] and fruitful celebration of the Eucharist" (119). I would ask that every effort be made to ensure exhort fulfill all that is necessary so that the liturgies which the Bishop celebrates in his the Cathedral temple are carried out with complete are fully respectful for the ars celebrandi, so that in such a way they can be considered an example a model for the his entire Diocese (120).

Respect for the liturgical books and the richness of signs

40. Emphasizing the Being inculcated, therefore, with the importance of the ars celebrandi also leads to an appreciation extolling of the value of the liturgical norms. (121) The ars celebrandi should foster favor a sense of the sacred and the use of outward signs [literally, "exterior forms"] which help to cultivate this sense instruct [us] to this effect, such as, for example, the harmony congruence of the rite, the liturgical vestments, the furnishings [liturgical] ornamentation and the sacred space. The eucharistic celebration is enhanced benefits when priests and liturgical leaders those responsible for the pastoral care of the liturgy [literally, "liturgical curators"] are committed strive [literally, "make [great] efforts"] to making known the current operative [literally, "in force"] liturgical texts and their congruent [i.e., corresponding, respective] norms, making available emphasizing the great riches found in the General Instruction of the Roman Missal and the Order of Readings for Mass. Perhaps we take it for granted that our ecclesial communities already know and appreciate these resources, but this is often not always the case. These texts contain riches which have preserved had custody and expressed the faith and experience as well as the journey of the People of God over its throughout a two-thousand-year history. Equally important for a correct proper [literally, "just"] ars celebrandi is an attentiveness to the various kinds of paying attention to all forms of language that for which there is a provision [i.e., accepted, permitted, given previous permission thereto, literally "foreseen"] in the liturgy employs: words and music chant, gestures and silence, bodily movement, the liturgical colours of the vestments ornamentation. By its very nature the liturgy operates on different levels encompasses a variety of communication which enable it to engage the whole human person involve the whole man. The simplicity of its gestures and the sobriety of its orderly sequence of signs in [their] proper order and at the appropriate times communicate and inspire attract [us] more than any contrived and inappropriate any artificial and inopportune additions. Attentiveness Solicitude and fidelity to the specific proper structure of the rite express both , while manifesting a recognition of the nature character of Eucharist as a gift and, on part also expresses the disposition of the minister to take with a docile openness to receiving gratitude this ineffable gift.

Art at the service of the liturgy

41. The profound connection bond between beauty and the liturgy should make us attentive to ought make us consider with attention [literally, "make a study of"] every work of art all artistic forms placed at the service of the celebration. (122) Certainly an important element of sacred art is church architecture, (123) which should are to highlight the unity of the furnishings of the sanctuary elements proper to the presbytery, such as the altar, the crucifix, the tabernacle, the ambo and the celebrant's chair [literally, "the see"]. Here it is important to remember We are to keep present that the purpose of sacred architecture is to offer the Church a fitting space for the charged with the celebration of the mysteries of faith, especially the Eucharist, the most fitting space for the [adecuate unfolding of its] liturgical action. (124) The very nature of a Christian church temple is defined by the very action of the liturgy, which is means [literally, "implies"] an assembly of the faithful (ecclesia) who are the living stones of the Church (cf. 1 Pet 2:5).

This same principle holds true for all sacred art in general, especially painting and sculpture, where religious iconography should is to be directed to sacramental mystagogy. A solid profound [literally "high"] knowledge of the history of sacred art produced throughout the centuries can be advantageous for is favorable to those responsible for commissioning artists and architects to create works of art for the liturgy related to the liturgical action. Consequently it is essential indispensable that the education of seminarians and priests include the study of art history as an important [academic/course] subject, with special reference to sacred buildings of worship and the corresponding according to liturgical norms. Everything related It is necessary that all things concerned to the Eucharist should be marked by beauty. Special respect and care must also be given to the vestments, the furnishings and the sacred vessels, so that by their harmonious composition and orderly arrangement they will foster awe for before the mystery of God, manifest the unity of the faith and strengthen reinforce devotion (125).

Liturgical song chant

42. In the ars celebrandi, liturgical song has a pre-eminent place chant plays a [most] important role. (126) Saint Augustine rightly justly says in a famous sermon that "the new man sings a new song knows a new canticle. Singing is an expression of joy and, if we consider the matter attentively, an expression of love" (127). The People of God assembled for the liturgy sings the praises of God. In the course of her two-thousand-year history, the Church has created, and still creates, music and songs chants which represent constitute a rich patrimony of faith and love which This heritage must not be lost. Certainly as far as the liturgy is concerned, we cannot say that one song is as good as another any song will do. Generic Easy improvisation or the introduction of musical genres which fail to respect the meaning sense of the liturgy should are to be avoided. As an element of the liturgy, song should be well integrated into the overall a liturgical element, chant is to be [fully] consonant with the identity of the celebration (128). Consequently everything – texts, music melody, execution – ought to correspond to the meaning sense of the mystery being celebrated, the structure parts of the rite and the liturgical seasons (129). Finally, while respecting various styles properly considering [the] diverse tendencies and different and highly praiseworthy [the] diverse and laudable traditions, I desire, in accordance with the request petition advanced by the Synod Fathers, that Gregorian chant be suitably esteemed given its proper recognition and employed (130) as the chant proper to the Roman liturgy (131).

The structure of the eucharistic Celebration

43. After mentioning reminding of the more significant basic elements of the ars celebrandi that emerged during through the labors of the Synod, I would now like to turn more [concretely] call attention to some specific aspects of the structure of the eucharistic celebration which require special attention at the present in our time, if we are to remain faithful to the underlying intention purpose of the liturgical renewal called for by the Second Vatican Council, in continuity with the great ecclesial tradition.

The intrinsic unity of the liturgical action

44. First of all, there is a need to one is to reflect on the inherent intrinsic unity of the rite of Holy Mass. Both in catechesis and in the actual discrete [i.e., specific] manner of celebration, one must avoid giving the impression that the two parts of the rite are merely juxtaposed. The liturgy of the word and the Eucharistic liturgy, along with the rites of introduction and conclusion, "are so closely interconnected that they form but one single act of worship." (132) There is an intrinsic bond union between the word of God and the Eucharist. From listening to the word of God, faith is born or strengthened (cf. Rom 10:17); in the Eucharist the Word made flesh gives himself to us as our spiritual food. (133) Thus, "from the two tables of the word of God and the Body of Christ, the Church receives and gives to the faithful the bread of life." (134) Consequently it must constantly be kept in mind present that the word of God, read and proclaimed by the Church in the liturgy, leads to the Eucharist as to its own connatural end.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Their need is greater than ours.

Please pray for those killed in the Virginia Tech rampage, for their families, friends and loved ones.

May the Lord's countenance shine upon them, the Lord's strength console them and may they, in the fullness of days be brought to life everlasting.



Sunday, April 15, 2007

Divine Mercy Sunday

I love this feast. Here's why. More later.


-J., man of few words

The Apostolic Exhortation, Pt. 8

This covers paragraphs 34-38 of the Apostolic Exhortation. Please read my "introduction" to this effort if you haven't done so already. (Be patient, not only is the translation from Latin a bit rough, but also formatting in Blogger is a pain in's my croix du jour to bear, let's just say.) The stuff I find to be incorrect will be stricken out, what I consider the best (or most approximate) translation will be in bold. If there is something that isn't in the text to be translated, but which adds sense, I put it in [brackets]. Sometimes a translated word or phrase needs a little extra help in making itself clearer, so in put any such clarification(s) [italicized in brackets]. I haven't made any comments yet, and I know that I have been VERY nitpicky in the translatin' so that anyone with a better sense of these things than I can piece together something, meaningwise, which might not have been apparent to me.



"Truly, truly, I say to you, it was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven;
my Father gives you the true bread from heaven" (Jn 6:32)

Lex orandi and lex credendi [i.e., "What you pray is what you believe."]

34. The Synod of Bishops reflected considered at length on the intrinsic relationship between eucharistic faith and eucharistic celebration, pointing out the connection highlighting the nexus between the lex orandi and the lex credendi, and stressing [literally, "underlining"] the primacy of the liturgical action. The Eucharist should be experienced It is necessary to live the Eucharist as a mystery of faith, celebrated authentically and with a clear awareness the conscience clear that "the intellectus fidei has a primordial relationship always and from the start [properly] connected to the Church's liturgical action." (105) Theological reflection in this area can never prescind from the sacramental order instituted by Christ himself. On the other hand, the liturgical action can never be considered generically, prescinding from the mystery of faith. Our faith and the eucharistic liturgy both have their source in the same event: Christ's gift of himself in the Paschal Mystery.

Beauty and the liturgy

35. This relationship between creed and worship is evidenced the mystery of faith as believed and worshipped is manifested in a particular peculiar [i.e., singular] way by the rich theological and liturgical category value of beauty. Like the rest of Christian Revelation, the liturgy is inherently linked to instrinsically bonded with beauty: it is veritatis splendor. The liturgy is a radiant expression of In the liturgy the paschal mystery [becomes] radiant, [and] in which Christ draws us to himself and calls us to communion. As Saint Bonaventure would say, in Jesus we contemplate beauty and splendour effulgence [i.e., glowing beauty] at their source. (106) This attribute of which we are mindful is no mere aestheticism, but the concrete way in which the truth of God's love in Christ encounters us, attracts us and delights us, arrives to us, fascinates us and captivates us, enabling us to emerge from ourselves and drawing us towards our true vocation, which is love: Love. (107) God allows himself to be glimpsed first in creation, in the beauty and harmony of the cosmos (cf. Wis 13:5; Rom 1:19- 20). In the Old Testament we see many signs of the grandeur of God's power as he manifests We find, therefore, in the Old Testament great signs of the splendor of the power [literally, "potency"] of God which manifests his glory in his wondrous the prodigious deeds among the Chosen People (cf. Ex 14; 16:10; 24:12-18; Num 14:20- 23). In the New Testament this epiphany of beauty reaches definitive fulfilment arrives definitively in God's revelation in Jesus Christ: (108) Christ He is the full manifestation of the glory of God divine glory. In the glorification of the Son, the Father's glory shines forth and is communicated (cf. Jn 1:14; 8:54; 12:28; 17:1). Yet Notwithstanding, this beauty is not [only] simply a harmony of proportion and form a simple harmony of form; "the fairest of the sons of men" (Ps 45[44]:3) [it] is also, mysteriously, the one "who had no form or comeliness that we should look at him, and no beauty that we should desire him" (Is 53:2). Jesus Christ shows us how the truth of love can transform even is capable also of transfiguring the dark mystery of death into the radiant light of the resurrection. Here the splendour of God's glory surpasses all worldly mundane beauty. The truest True beauty is the love of God, who definitively revealed himself to us in the paschal mystery.

The beauty of the liturgy is part of this mystery; it is a sublime the highest [literally, "the most high"] expression of God's glory and, in a certain sense, a glimpse showing [literally "a peeking out"] of heaven on earth. The memorial of Jesus' the redemptive sacrifice contains something traces of that beauty to which Peter, James and John beheld witness when the Master, making his on the way to Jerusalem, was transfigured before their eyes desired to transfigure before them (cf. Mk 9:2). Beauty, then, is not mere decoration a decorative element of the liturgical action, but rather an essential a constitutive element of the liturgical action, since it is an attribute of God himself and his revelation. These considerations should make us realize the care which is needed, if the liturgical action is to reflect its innate splendour. Conscious of all this, we are to show great care, so the liturgical action may shine according to its proper [i.e., true] nature.

The eucharistic celebration, the work of "Christus Totus"

Christus totus in capite et in corpore

36. The "subject" of the liturgy's intrinsic beauty is Christ himself, risen and glorified in the Holy Spirit, who includes the Church in his work. The intrinsic beauty of the liturgy has, as its proper subject, Christ resurrected and glorified in the Holy Spirit which, in its acting [i.e., performance of its role] includes the Church. (109) Here we can From this perspective, it is useful to recall an evocative phrase the words of Saint Augustine which strikingly describes to great effect describe this dynamic of faith proper to the Eucharist. The great Bishop Saint of Hippo, speaking specifically precisely of the eucharistic mystery, stresses the fact that Christ assimilates us to himself: "The bread you see on the altar, sanctified by the word of God, is the body of Christ. The chalice, or rather, what the chalice contains, sanctified by the word of God, is the blood of Christ. In these signs By these, Christ the Lord willed to entrust to us his body and the blood which he shed for the forgiveness remission of our sins. If you have received them properly, you yourselves are what you have received." (110) Consequently, "not only have we become Christians, we have become Christ himself." (111) We can thus contemplate God's mysterious work action, which brings about effects a profound unity between ourselves and the Lord Jesus: "one should not believe that Christ is in the head but not in the body; rather he is complete in the head and in the body." (112)

The Eucharist and the risen Christ

37. Since the eucharistic liturgy is essentially an actio Dei which draws [literally, "involves''] us into Christ through the Holy Spirit, its basic structure is not something within our power to change fundamentals are not submitted to our decisions [literally, "our arbitration"], nor can it be held hostage by the latest trends yield to the pressure of the moment. Here too Saint Paul's irrefutable statement applies: "no one can lay any foundation other than the one that has been laid, which is Jesus Christ" (1 Cor 3:11). Again it is It is the Apostle of the Gentiles who assures us again that, with regard to the Eucharist, he is presenting not his own teaching personal doctrine but what he himself has received (cf. 1 Cor 11:23). The celebration of the Eucharist implies and involves the living Tradition. The Church celebrates the eucharistic sacrifice in obedience to Christ's command mandate, based on her experience of the Risen Lord the resurrected [Christ] and the outpouring effusion of the Holy Spirit. For this reason, from the beginning, the Christian community has gathered for the fractio panis on the Lord's Day. Sunday, the day Christ rose from the dead, is also the first day of the week, the day which the Old Ancient Testament tradition saw as the beginning of God's work of creation. The day of creation has now become the day of the "new creation," the day of our liberation, when we commemorate Christ who died and rose again dead and resurrected (113).

Ars celebrandi

38. In the course of the Synod, there was frequent insistence on the need to avoid any antithesis it was insisted several times to transcend any possible separation between the ars celebrandi, the art of proper celebration with rectitude, and the full, active and fruitful participation of all the faithful. The primary way to foster the participation of the People of God in the sacred rite is the proper celebration of the rite itself. The ars celebrandi is the best way the optimal [i.e., main] condition to ensure their actuosa participatio. (114) The ars celebrandi is the fruit provenance of faithful adherence to the liturgical norms in all their richness fullness; indeed, it is this manner of celebrating that has assured, for two thousand years this way of celebrating has sustained the faith life of all believers, called to take part in live the celebration as the People of God, a royal priesthood, a holy nation (cf. 1 Pet 2:4-5, 9) (115).

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Something serious (repost and update)

Yes, I am still slogging through the translation thing of the Apostolic Exhortation.

However, I wanted to ask (beg, plead, etc.) for your prayers. As most of you know, my youngest son Davy has autism. In the course of researching the various medical options, therapies, schooling choices, treatments, etc. we have found a very promising one. No quackery, no "silver bullet." Most children who undergo this treatment make excellent progress and some (not a majority, alas) are even "cured."

Davy is scheduled to undergo this protracted and intensive treatment* from June 4- June 15, 2007 and as such I beg your prayers. The Carmelites Sisters and new blogging phenom Veritas and the lovely and gracious Karen (now on my VERY short list of people who get a kidney if needed) are fervently on the case.

Use whatever prayers your heart dictates. We are starting a 54 Day Rosary Novena today on April 12th to wrap up on the day Davy starts (UPDATE: I received a STRONG suggestion this Novena ought start on April 23rd so as to wrap up when the treatment ends, so stay tuned for any scheduling changes and I preemptively apologize.) the treatment, we would LOVE to have you join us. Furthermore, we would also beg you to please ask (draft, conscript, cajole) as many likeminded friends and associates as is possible. Please mention it in your various blogs, etc.

To shed some light on this, here is what the website says about the 54 Day Rosary Novena:

"Practically everyone who prays the Rosary 'offers' the Rosary to God and Our Lady for an intention. Some people offer particular intentions before each decade. You can ask God to grant you a favor, heal a sick person, or convert a sinner. Some people offer the same intention every day--sometimes for years on end--especially when asking the Father for the conversion of a particular person. Intentions are as varied as the people who pray.

Ask for big and small gifts. Be bold! In this sense, the Rosary is an exchange of gifts between friends.

It is widely known that Our Lady answers seemingly impossible intentions to those who are first beginning to pray the Rosary. This is her way of drawing you closer to Her and to Jesus. If you are praying your first Rosary, or returning to the Rosary after years of not talking to Our Lady, ask for something big, spectacular, 'impossible.' She'll often surprise you."

and also:

"Perhaps the most powerful novena is the 54-Day Rosary Novena, a series of six consecutive nine-day novenas. The first three novenas are offered for the intention, while the last three are offered in thanks to God in anticipation of granting the favor."

Of course, we'll humbly and gratefully accept whatever manner of prayer to which the Spirit moves you. Pray for the intercession of a Saint, Blessed or Venerable, if your heart dictates, Chaplets, Litanies, dropping in this intention at the various prayer request websites, whatever...we're not picky or anything! It's okay if you come in "late" to the 54-Day Novena, as the site says "Our Lady is not a bureaucrat."

As we speak, we are also working on priests offering Mass for this intention during the two weeks (again, June 4-15) of the process.

Regardless of the specifics of your prayers, we ask you to keep in mind this little boy, full of goodness and love, who is trapped and afflicted by this terrible condition as well as Joey, his big brother, who has been an angel throughout all this and whose dearest wish is to finally have his "real little brother" to confide and plan and be his best friend; and to also keep in mind and heart all the other millions of children and their families undergoing similar trials. Our Lord loves them all and hears their prayers.

In this matter, we remain totally obedient to God's will, trusting in His goodness, kindness, mercy and providence; imploring Him to look with loving favor on this petition (that Davy be healed from autism), if it be for His greater honor and glory.

Rest assured of our prayers for you, as well as gratitude well beyond my meager capacity to express. Should God consider these favors to be for His** greater honor and glory, I hereby promise to schlep to Rome and do that whole "Scala Santa on my knees" thing, to say nothing of lighting so many candles at St. Peter's that His Holiness will have the Swiss Guard arrest me for arson.

Every day I'll post a "sticky note" blog entry (along with whatever other entries) with a brief explanation of the 54 day Novena, the intention for Davy and a set of clips of Fr. Mitch Pacwa, SJ leading the Rosary in that day's mysteries. So, with no further ado, here we go, starting with Today's Mysteries (this is in three parts, for some reason you have to double-click...don't ask):



P.S. For some reason, Blogger's format is thrown off by this. Sorry. I tried.

* Those who undergo this treatment are in no danger, thank God, but it is extremely intensive and time consuming and exhausting.

** Davy Garcia, SJ has a nice ring to it, dunnit?

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

The Apostolic Exhortation, Pt. 7

This covers paragraphs 30-33 of the Apostolic Exhortation. Please read my "introduction" to this effort if you haven't done so already. (Be patient, not only is the translation from Latin a bit rough, but also formatting in Blogger is a pain in's my croix du jour to bear, let's just say.) The stuff I find to be incorrect will be stricken out, what I consider the best (or most approximate) translation will be in bold. If there is something that isn't in the text to be translated, but which adds sense, I put it in [brackets]. Sometimes a translated word or phrase needs a little extra help in making itself clearer, so in put any such clarification(s) [italicized in brackets]. I haven't made any comments yet, and I know that I have been VERY nitpicky in the translatin' so that anyone with a better sense of these things than I can piece together something, meaningwise, which might not have been apparent to me.

The Eucharist and Eschatology

The Eucharist: a gift to men and women on their journey

30. If it is true that the sacraments are part of the Church's pilgrimage through history [properly] belong to the Church, [herself] a pilgrim through time (99) towards the full manifestation of the victory of the risen Christ, it is also equally true that, especially in the Eucharistic liturgy of the Eucharist, they give us a real the foretaste of the eschatological fulfilment for which every human being and all creation are destined towards which every man and all creation are journeying (cf. Rom 8:19ff.). Man is created for that true and eternal happiness which only God's love can give. But our wounded freedom would go astray were it not already able possible to experience something of that the future fulfilment. Moreover, to move forward proceed in the right direction, we all need to be guided towards our every man needs to be oriented [i.e., receive proper direction] toward the final goal. That goal is Christ himself, the Lord who conquered victor over sin and death, and who makes himself becomes present to us in a special way in the eucharistic celebration. Even though we remain "aliens and exiles" are still travelers [i.e., wanderers] and pilgrims in this world (1 Pet 2:11), through faith we already share we already participate in the fullness of risen life. The eucharistic banquet, by disclosing its powerful with [i.e., revealing] its strongly eschatological dimension, comes to the aid of our freedom as we continue our journey in progress [literally, on the way].

The eschatological banquet

31. Reflecting on this mystery, we can say that Jesus' coming responded to an expectation with his coming, placed himself within [literally, established a relationship with] the expectation present in the people of Israel, in the whole of humanity and ultimately in creation itself. By his self-gift, he objectively inaugurated the eschatological age. Christ came to gather together the scattered People of God (cf. Jn 11:52) and clearly manifested his intention to gather together the community of the covenant, in order to bring to fulfilment the promises made by God to the fathers of old (cf. Jer 23:3; Lk 1:55, 70). In the calling of the Twelve, which is to be understood in has a clear relation to the twelve tribes of Israel, and in the command commission he gave them at the Last Supper, before his redemptive passion, to celebrate his memorial, Jesus showed that he wished manifested his will to transfer[,] to the entire community which he had founded[,] the task of being, within in [i.e., throughout, along the full course of] history, the sign and instrument of the eschatological gathering that had its origin started [i.e., begun, "initiated"] in him. Consequently Therefore, every eucharistic celebration sacramentally accomplishes makes real the eschatological gathering of the People of God. For us, the eucharistic banquet is a real foretaste anticipatory of the final banquet foretold by the prophets (cf. Is 25:6-9) and described in the New Testament as "the marriage-feast of the Lamb" (Rev 19:7-9), to be celebrated in the joy of the communion of saints (100).

Prayer for the dead

32. The eucharistic celebration, in which we proclaim that Christ has died and risen and will come again announce the death of the Lord, confess his resurrection and his coming [again], is a pledge token [i.e., "down payment"] of the future glory in which our bodies too will also be glorified. Celebrating the memorial of our salvation strengthens our within us the hope in the resurrection of the body flesh and in the possibility of meeting once again, face to face, those who have gone before us marked with the preceded us in [a] sign of faith. In this context With this in perspective, I wish, together with the Synod Fathers, to remind all the faithful of the importance of prayers for [the] sake [literally "suffrage"] of the dead, especially the offering of Holy Mass for them, so that, once they have been purified, they can come to the beatific vision of God. (101) A rediscovery of In discovering the eschatological dimension inherent in of the Eucharist, celebrated and adored, will help sustain us on our journey and comfort us in the hope of glory (cf. Rom 5:2; Tit 2:13).

The Eucharist and the Virgin Mary

33. From the necessary relationship between the Eucharist and the individual sacraments, and from the eschatological significance of the sacred mysteries, the overall shape an outline [literally, "a delineation"] of the Christian life emerges, a life called at all times to be an act of to be at every moment spiritual worship, a self-offering an offering of oneself pleasing to God. Although While it is true we are all still journeying on the road towards the complete fulfilment of our hope, this does not mean that we cannot already gratefully acknowledge that God's gifts to us have take away from our grateful recognition [i.e., realization] that all God has given us has found their perfect fulfilment in the Virgin Mary, Mother of God and our Mother. Mary's Assumption body and soul Her Assumption into heaven, body and soul, is for us a sign of sure hope, for it shows us, on our pilgrimage given that as pilgrims through time, the eschatological goal of which the sacrament of the Eucharist enables us even now to have a to foretaste.

In Mary most holy, we also see perfectly fulfilled the "sacramental" way that God comes down to meet his creatures and involves them in his saving work sacramental manner [literally, "method"] in which God, in his salvific initiative, approaches and involves the human creature. From the Annunciation to Pentecost, Mary of Nazareth appears as someone whose freedom is completely open to God's will. Her immaculate conception is revealed precisely clearly manifested in her unconditional docility to God's word the Divine word. Obedient faith in response to God's work shapes her life is the shape her life takes at every moment. A virgin attentive to The Virgin, ever-attentive [literally, "always with an/her ear out"] to God's word, she lives in complete harmony with lives fully in tune with his will; she treasures ponders [i.e., keeps, houses, shelters] in her heart the words that come to her from God and, piecing them together forming with them something like a mosaic, she learns to understand them more deeply to a greater depth (cf. Lk 2:19, 51); Mary is the great Believer who places herself confidently in God's hands, abandoning herself to his will. (102) This mystery deepens as she becomes completely fully involved in the redemptive mission of Jesus. In the words of As affirmed by the Second Vatican Council, "the blessed Virgin advanced in her pilgrimage of faith, and faithfully persevered in her union with her Son until she stood at the Cross, in keeping with the divine plan (cf. Jn 19:25), suffering deeply with her only-begotten Son, associating uniting herself with his sacrifice in her mother's maternal heart, and lovingly consenting which, filled with love, gave its consent to the immolation of the victim who was born of her [literally, "who was her issue"]. Finally, she was given by the same Christ Jesus, dying on the Cross, as a mother to his disciple, with these words: ‘Woman, behold your Son."' (103) From the Annunciation to the Cross, Mary is the one who received the Word, made flesh within her and then silenced in death. It is she, lastly, who took into her arms the lifeless body of the one who truly loved his own "to the [extreme] end" (Jn 13:1).

Consequently, every time we approach accede the Body and Blood of Christ in the eucharistic liturgy, we also turn to her who, by her complete fidelity, received Christ's sacrifice for on behalf of the whole Church. The Synod Fathers rightly declared with [good] reason affirmed that "Mary inaugurates the Church's participation in the sacrifice of the Redeemer." (104) She is the Immaculata [literally, "Immaculate one"], who receives God's gift unconditionally and is thus associated herself with his work of salvation. Mary of Nazareth, icon of the nascent Church, is the model for how each of us is called to receive the gift that Jesus makes of himself in the Eucharist.