Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam

Essential thinking for reading Catholics.

Friday, August 31, 2007

Just in case.

Dear Internet,

On Tuesday my wife goes in for a breast sonogram. Every once in a while -- going back years, YEARS, I tell you! -- she has a mammogram and they find "something" that warrants the sonogram. So far, she/we have been blessed that it's been nothing. It seems that in her family runs fibrosomething breast tissue and these tend to throw "false positives" into the equation.

Still, it's always something worrisome. So, pretty please, if you could spare a moment to breathe a quick prayer for her/us, I'd be inexpressively grateful.

AMDG,

-J.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

"A writer writes."

That line comes from a so-so film called Throw Momma From The Train. In this film, Billy Crystal plays a guy who teaches (I dimly recall) creative writing at some junior college/learning annex sort of place, and that line is his character's signoff at the end of every class session. "A writer writes."

I mention this because someone came up to me for help with something and said, in the course of conversation, something like: "Well, you're the writer, you should know better than I."

And that kinda took me aback a bit.

Mind you, I LIKE writing. A lot. I think I have a modicum of natural talent in that direction, but I have far too much respect for the term to call myself a Writer. I write a lot, because I enjoy it, and I scratch out an informal column on wine and on civilized gentlemen's apparel, and I am a prolific sort of emailer. Guilty.

That said, I have always been naturally drawn to the writers of the species as friends. During my Wilderness Years I spent an inordinate amount of my social time dating English majors, to such an extent I should have been able to meet my undergraduate curriculum's English requirements on dinner dates alone.

A couple of decades later, I still have a perfectly absurd number of For-Real-Perfessional-Writer friends. People who churn out books and articles and "pieces" on a regular basis in exchange for currency. Even curiouser, these writers are all exercising their talents in widely divergent fields. Novelists, poets, automotive & entertainment journalists, wine media-types, all rarely rub shoulders in real life, but each of these lovely people have something in common with me and they manifest this common-ness in interesting and interestingly elegant ways.

I'm not sure what it says about the human condition -- or my perception of it -- but I find there is a certain something about a person who has and broadcasts a polished command of the language. To my mind, that sort of person views (whether they know it is irrelevant for the purposes of this post) the world much the same way I do, as a series of possibilities. Not limitless possibilities, but finite ones. The idea that something glorious may be achieved with the (often flawed) items at our disposal appeals to a certain part of my brain. Someone who can take language and perform that same sort of juju thereupon, yielding paragraphs and pages that slide across your mind like a soothing beverage is, frankly, a bloody genius.

So I hang out with wordsmiths.

The funny thing I have noted about writers is that, unless they are in society with other writers of the same subspecies, they tend not to carry on so much about writing. This is usually good, because hearing things such as "So then I told my editor 'If you change one comma of my dishwasher review, I'll sue you!' " can make, y'know, things a bit dull. Writers tend to be observers, which is good, and they tend to be capable of spotting things (patterns, motives, etc.) that others can't, until they point them out.

In my experience, there are two main groups of writers. There are those given to flights of "authorial bipolarity" and those who grind away. The former spend a lot of time wondering why they didn't major in "accounting...or something useful" during their university years and live in the fear someone will one day point and shout "You're not a real writer! You're just a very lucky idiot with a keyboard!" and then the whole world will know their secret and they'll be exposed as a hoax.

The grinders, however, are just people who see stuff and write it down. These guys tend to be a bit more shy and self-contained. They tend not to be very self-analyzing, and their greatest fear is someone pointing out not that they aren't a real writer, but that they aren't a real expert on Lutonian Dance or Mattress Technology or what really happened during the Boer War.

I find both types of wordsmith to be ceaselessly fascinating. Not as fascinating as this, though: Most writers I know read VERY, VERY little.

Not that you asked, but now you know.

AMDG,

-J.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

"THAT. That's what we're talking about." Pt. 5

As an unabashed fan-of-Jesuitdom, this is the sort of stuff that tears my heart to shreds:

Oy.

Pray for these wayward Jesuits, please.

-J.

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Monday, August 27, 2007

Collaborative brilliance.

The following comments appeared on Fr. Powell's scary-good blog. This is based on a Curt Jester post and, combined, it addresses many of the points I have been hollering about since, seemingly, forever. (Jeff's comments are in bold, and Fr. Powell's in italics.)

Here are the top five surprising results to Summorum pontificum:

Progressive liturgists and others are now finally concerned that priests properly know and use the rubrics. At least for the extraordinary form of Mass in the Latin Rite. This is probably the most immediately predictable result of the M.P. Knowing that few priests ordained after the Council will know the intricate rubrics of the Extraordinary Form (EF), anti-M.P. bishops and liturgical commissions will highlight this loose requirement and elevate it to a Deal Breaker. How many post-VC2 priests know the rubrics of the Ordinary Form and how many actually follow them? Why the double standard?

A new concern for the number of people attending Mass. Declining numbers at experimental liturgy did not invoke a similar concern. This is more about projecting a fear of the Extraordinary than anything. I think the PLRC is truly fearful that normal Catholic folks, especially young people, will flock to the EF, leaving the distinct impression that the OF is passe. It isn't, nor should be ever be, but the passive-aggressive opposition to the EF that we're seeing is simply going to force the Papal Hand to correct these intentionally nit-picking interpretative errors. Wasn't it the stinginess of the bishops in the first place that forced the Holy Father to give us the current M.P.?

That priests more than adequately know Latin. At least if they want to be allowed to celebrate the 1962 missal. And to top this, we're going to see some bishops and religious superiors simply refuse to allow priests, seminarians, and religious students to learn Latin, claiming that there are more important concerns to occupy their time or more vital classes for them to take (i.e., "Social Analysis of Race, Class, and Gender"?).

The word "extraordinary" is finally coming to a proper understanding of what it means. Now if only they can learn to take the same view towards Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion. Here's the thing: language means what we want it to mean, right? Words don't actually refer to anything outside themselves (i.e., "texts") but rather only refer to other words and then only as slippery metaphors. So, "extraordinary" means whatever we want it to mean given our ideological preferences. Easy cheesy.

Some bishops are now much more concerned about how liturgy is celebrated in their diocese and even want to test their priests capability in this regard. Maybe even one day the same concern will be applied to the ordinary form of the Mass. Another passive-aggressive double standard disguised as an authoritative interpretation of the M.P. Priests just need to read the M.P. and do what the Holy Father has given them permission to do. When the bishop tries to discipline them, they can take it to the Curia for adjudication. Yes, it will likely doom them in their diocese, but what's right is right.

Now, some are going to hold up as absolute the claim that the bishop is the chief liturgist of his diocese. This is, of course, absolutely correct. However, not even a bishop can change or violate universal law, even liturgical law, in his diocese. For example, Bishop Smith cannot order his priests to consecrate chocolate chip cookies instead of unleavened bread. There are limits to what the bishop can and cannot do. The M.P., a legislative text authored and signed by the "supreme legislator of the Church," our Holy Father, has given individual priests his permission to use the E.F. of the Roman Rite. The M.P. says nothing about testing for Latin competence or rubrical knowledge. The M.P. says nothing about the exact number of people required before the EF can be used with a congregation. The M.P. says nothing about whether or not the E.F. can or cannot "replace" a regularly scheduled celebration of the O.F. (except during Holy Week, etc.) The M.P. says nothing about waiting for the bishop to add on or subtract from the document.

Does this mean that the bishops have nothing to say here? Of course not! Their job, as the Holy Father makes clear, is to make sure everything goes smoothly in implementing the M.P. Let's keep in prayer those bishops who have greeted the M.P. in obedience and humility and even for those who are struggling in conscience. And especially lift up those who have been less than thrilled with this papal initiative!For those out there who want to see a stronger M.P. in the future, one that perhaps radically reforms the Ordinary Form, pray that the bishops who are opposing the current M.P. continue to do so. . .I have a feeling something Bigger, Meaner, and a whole lot more Extraordinary is waiting in the wings somewhere, just waiting for another decade or two of the [same] lack of episcopal generosity that greeted John Paul II's M.P. in 1985!

Thanks to both of these guys!

AMDG,

-J.

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"THAT. That's what we're talking about." Pt. 4

Oy.

Someone please monitor St. Ignatius' grave for excessive rotation...

http://www.chnonline.org/2007/2007-08-16/newsstory3.html

Did I say "oy" already?

-J.

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Sunday, August 26, 2007

Unrelated to transubstantiation...

OK. My most recent wine column is up ovah at Vinapedia.net and I ask you to issue clickage duly.

-J.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Summorum Pontificum's Florida update

OK, people...this is the latest from Fr. Z's blog:

One of the faithful readers here sent me the following e-mail. Apparently there will be a public meeting with an official of the Diocese of St. Augustine, Florida, about Motu Proprio. As you may be aware, the Bishop of Pensacola-Talahasee said that all the bishops of Florida had adopted the less than optimal norms developed by the Bishop of St. Augustine. One wonders what this meeting will be about. A call for a public meeting suggests that there is great interest in the older form of Mass.

Here is the e-mail I got:

While listening to the local Catholic radio station WQOP in Jacksonville, FL I heard an ad that there will be a meeting open to the public, about the use of the extraordinary form of the Roman Rite in the Diocese of St. Augustine. The guest speaker will be none other than Fr. Tom Willis, Director of Liturgy of the diocese who disseminated the memorandum to the clergy. Since I am sure there are people who read your columns who are in this diocese and are attatched to the extraordinary form of the Roman Rite, I would appreciate it if you’d get the word out. This would be THE opportunity for those who are trying to promote the extraordinary form and be faithful to tradition to get the word out. This is a chance to challenge the restrictions that this diocese intends on imposing upon us in spite of the directives of the Holy Father’s motu proprio. I have e-mailed WQOP to ask them to post this on their events column on their own webpage.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007
7PM St. Joseph’s Catholic Parish-Cody Enrichment Center

11757 Old St. Augustine Road,

Jacksonville, FL 32258

(904)880-6404 WQOP Radio

Okay folks. I want to make something perfectly clear. If you are in that area and intend to go to that meeting, do NOT be belligerent or unkind to that priest or generally make an ass of yourself. You can do more harm than good if you go to this meeting and are nasty. If you go, be courteous and level headed. Do NOT get in anyone’s face. Do not harden hearts by aggression. If you think you cannot contain
yourself, don’t go.

As usual, Fr. Z. is dead-nuts right. Furthermore, I'd like to add that those who do go remember that what happens in this meeting could have ramifications WELL beyond the Diocese of St. Augustine (I'm not just doing for the benefit of Karen in Orlando or those of us here in Miami, or JB in Tampa, either...) and therefore I PRAY you attend properly informed and sourished by prayer and love and charity.

AMDG,

-J.

Apostolic Exhortation, Part 21

This covers paragraphs 92-97 (yay!!!) 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 for me, a professional non-Latinist, but also formatting in Blogger is a pain in the...it's my croix du jour to bear, let's just say.) The stuff I believe 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 sanctification of the world and the protection of creation

92. Finally, to develop a profound eucharistic spirituality that is also capable of significantly [literally “vehemently”] affecting the fabric of society social context, the Christian people, in giving thanks to God through the Eucharist, should are to be conscious that they do so in the name of all creation, aspiring to the sanctification of the world and working intensely to that end.(249) The Eucharist itself powerfully illuminates projects an intense light over human history and the whole cosmos. In this sacramental perspective we learn, day by day, that every ecclesial event is a kind of has all the marks of a sign by which God makes himself known communicates himself [to us] and challenges appeals to us. The eucharistic form of life can thus help foster a real change in the way we approach therefore favors an authentic [literally “germane”] form of reading history and the world. The liturgy itself teaches us this, when, during the presentation of the gifts, the priest raises to God a prayer of blessing and petition over the bread and wine, "fruit of the earth," "fruit of the vine" and "work of human hands man." With these words, the rite not only includes in our offering to God all human efforts and activity, but the rite also leads us to see ponder the world as God's creation, which brings forth everything we need for our sustenance. The world Creation is not something indifferent a neutral reality, raw material mere matter to be utilized simply as we see fit indiscriminately according to human impulses. Rather Better said, it is part of God's good generous plan, in which all of us are called to be sons and daughters in the one Son of God, Jesus Christ (cf. Eph 1:4-12). The justified well-founded concern about threats to the environment ecologic conditions present in so many parts of the world is reinforced finds reason for consolation by in the Christian perspective of hope, which commits us to working responsibly for the protection of creation. (250) The In the relationship between the Eucharist and the cosmos helps us to see we discover the unity of God's plan and to grasp the profound relationship between creation and the "new creation" inaugurated in the resurrection of Christ, the new Adam. Even now In it we take participate in that new creation by virtue of our Baptism (cf. Col 2:12ff.). Our and, therefore Christian life, nourished by the Eucharist, gives us a glimpse perspective of that new world – new heavens and a new earth – where the new Jerusalem comes down from heaven, from God, "prepared as a bride adorned for her husband" (Rev 21:2).

The usefulness of a Eucharistic Compendium

93. At the conclusion of these reflections, in which I have taken up focused on a number of themes raised which arose at the Synod, I also wish to accept take [to heart] the proposal exhortation which the Synod Fathers advanced as a means of helping the Christian people to believe, celebrate and live ever more fully better the mystery of the Eucharist. The competent offices of the Roman Curia will publish a Compendium which will assemble texts from the Catechism of the Catholic Church, prayers, explanations of the Eucharistic Prayers of the Roman Missal and other useful aids for a correct understanding, celebration and adoration of the Sacrament of the Altar (251). It is my hope that this book will help make the memorial of the Passover of the Lord increasingly the source and summit of the Church's life and mission. This will encourage each member of the faithful to make his or her life a true act of spiritual worship.

CONCLUSION

94. Dear brothers and sisters, the Eucharist is at the root source of every form of holiness sanctity, and each of us is called to the fullness of life in the Holy Spirit. How many saints have advanced along the way of perfection made genuine their lives thanks to their eucharistic devotion! From Saint Ignatius of Antioch to Saint Augustine, from Saint Anthony Abbot to Saint Benedict, from Saint Francis of Assisi to Saint Thomas Aquinas, from Saint Clare of Assisi to Saint Catherine of Siena, from Saint Paschal Baylon to Saint Peter Julian Eymard, from Saint Alphonsus Liguori to Blessed Charles de Foucauld, from Saint John Mary Vianney to Saint Thérèse of Lisieux, from Saint Pius of Pietrelcina to Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, from Blessed Piergiorgio Frassati to Blessed Ivan Merz, to name only a few, holiness has always found its centre in the sacrament of the Eucharist.

This most holy mystery thus needs to be firmly truly believed, devoutly celebrated with devotion and intensely lived in the Church. Jesus' The gift of himself selfgiving which Jesus makes of in the sacrament which is the memorial of his passion tells assures us that the success of our lives is found in our participation in the trinitarian life offered to us truly effectively and definitively in him. The celebration and worship adoration of the Eucharist enable us to draw near adhere personally to God's love and to persevere in that love until we are united conjoined with the our beloved Lord whom we love. The offering of our lives, our fellowship communing with the whole community of believers and our solidarity with all men and women each man are essential aspects of that logiké latreía, spiritual worship, holy and pleasing to God (cf. Rom 12:1), in which transforms every aspect of our concrete human existence, to reality is transformed for the glory of God. I therefore ask all pastors to spare no effort in place maximum attention to promoting an authentically eucharistic Christian spirituality. Priests, deacons and all those who carry out a eucharistic ministry should always be able to find in this service, exercised with care and constant preparation, the strength and inspiration incitement needed for their personal and communal path of sanctification. I exhort the lay faithful, and families in particular, to continually find ever anew in the sacrament of Christ's love the energy strength needed to make transfigure their lives [into] an authentic sign of the presence of the risen resurrected Lord. I ask all consecrated men and women to show by their own eucharistic lives the splendour and the beauty of belonging totally to the Lord.

95. At the beginning of the fourth century, Christian worship was still forbidden by the imperial authorities. Some Christians in North Africa, who felt bound to celebrate the Lord's Day, defied the prohibition. They were martyred after declaring that it was not possible for them to live without the Eucharist, the food nourishment of the Lord: sine dominico non possumus. (252) May these martyrs of Abitinae, in union with all those saints and beati who made the Eucharist the centre of their lives, intercede for us and teach us to be faithful fidelity to our encounter with the risen Christ. We too cannot live without partaking of participation in the sacrament of our salvation; we too desire to be iuxta dominicam viventes, to reflect in transfer to our [daily] lives what we celebrate on the Lord's Day. That day is the day of our definitive deliverance. Is it surprising, then, that we should wish to live every day in that newness of life which Christ has brought us instituted in the mystery of the Eucharist?

96. May Mary Most Holy, the Immaculate Virgin, ark of the new and eternal covenant, accompany us on our way to meet encounter the Lord who comes. In her we find realized most perfectly the essence of the Church. The Church sees in Mary – "Woman of the Eucharist," as she was called by the Servant of God John Paul II (253) – her finest most accomplished icon, and she contemplates Mary as a singular an irreplaceable model of the eucharistic life. For this reason, as the priest prepares to receive on the altar the verum Corpus natum de Maria Virgine, speaking on behalf of the liturgical assembly, he says in the words of the canon: "We honour Mary, the glorious ever-virgin mother of Jesus Christ our Lord and God" (254). Her holy name is also invoked and venerated in the canons of the Eastern Christian traditions. The faithful, for their part, "commend to Mary, Mother of the Church, their lives and their work of their hands. Striving to have the same sentiments as Mary, they help the whole community to become a living offering pleasing to the Father" (255). She is the tota pulchra, the all-beautiful, for in her the radiance of God's glory shines forth. The beauty of the heavenly liturgy, which must be reflected in our own assemblies, is faithfully mirrored in her. From Mary we must learn to become men and women people of the Eucharist and of the Church, and thus to present ourselves, in the words of Saint Paul, "holy and blameless" before the Lord, even such as he wished us to be from the beginning (cf. Col 1:22; Eph 1:4) (256).

97. Through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, may the Holy Spirit kindle within us the same ardour experienced by the disciples on the way to Emmaus (cf. Lk 24:13-35) and renew in our lives "eucharistic wonder" through the splendour and beauty radiating from the liturgical rite, the efficacious sign of the infinite beauty of the holy mystery of God. Those disciples arose and returned in haste to Jerusalem in order to share their joy with their brothers and sisters in the faith. True joy is found in recognizing that the Lord is still with us, our faithful companion along the way our [life’s] pilgrimage. The Eucharist makes us discover that Christ, risen from the dead and resurrected, is our made contemporary in the mystery of the Church, his body. Of this mystery of love we have become been made witnesses. Let us mutually encourage one another to walk joyfully, our hearts filled with wonder joy and admiration, towards our encounter with the Holy Eucharist, so that we may to experience and proclaim to others the truth of the words with which Jesus took leave of his disciples: "Lo, I am with you always, until the end of the world" (Mt 28:20).

Summorum Pontificum finds no Sunshine in Florida

We must begin by thanking God for the unbelievable outpouring of opportunity for us to exercise charity and offer up sufferings to be united with those of Our Lord.

If you reside in Florida, get comfortable, get a soothing beverage and, if you are under prescription sedatives or antihypertensives, have them handy...I fear the following may cause you to blow a gasket:

Read this from Pensacola's Bishop Ricard.

Unless I am very gravely mistaken, the basic meaning of the statement issued (and seemingly adopted by all the Bishops in Florida) is: "We will decide who gets the Traditional Latin Mass, and not anyone else, and we don't particularly care what Summorum Pontificum says...if we did, we would have bothered to translate it correctly."

Fr. Z., VERY CORRECTLY, urges us to proceed very carefully. But you may want to have handy teh mailing addresses of both His Eminence, Darío Cardinal Castrillón-Hoyos over at the Ecclesia Dei Commission as well as His Excellency, Archbishop Pietro Sambi.

This, people, won't be pretty.

-J.

P.S.
Now, what have I told you ?

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Thursday, August 23, 2007

Quote of the Day

From the lovely and gracious Karen:
I am indeed "religious." I am almost religious enough not to say "good luck with that" to the people who find religion to be repulsive. But not quite.

AMDG,

-J.

Important stuff.

Now, I know that some of you wince whenever the subject of "Diogenes" comes up. Fine, whatever.

That said, I strongly urge you to -- regardless of your views on the matter -- read this. I defy anyone to explain to me why it's not brilliant.

AMDG,

-J.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

The Apostolic Exhortation, Pt. 20

For some truly excellent commentary on this Apostolic Exhortation by Fr. Martin Fox, click here (and there is, God willing, more to come)

This covers paragraphs 88-91 (almost done!!!) 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 for me, a professional non-Latinist, but also formatting in Blogger is a pain in the...it's my croix du jour to bear, let's just say.) The stuff I believe 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, a mystery to be offered to the world

The Eucharist, bread broken for the life of the world

88. "The bread I will give is my flesh, for the life of the world" (Jn 6:51). In With these words the Lord reveals the true meaning significance of the gift of his own life for all people men. These words also reveal demonstrate [literally "prove"] his deep compassion intimate mercy for every man and woman person. The Gospels frequently speak of Jesus' feelings towards others men [i.e., persons], especially the suffering [literally, "those in pain"] and sinners (cf. Mt 20:34; Mk 6:34; Lk 19:41). Through a profoundly human sensibility sentiment [i.e. "empathy" or "sharing of pains"] he expresses declares God's saving will for will to save all people men – that they may have arrive at true life. Each celebration of the Eucharist makes has the effect of making sacramentally present the gift of his own life that the crucified Lord made of his life, on the cross for us and for the whole world. In At the same time, in the Eucharist Jesus also makes us witnesses of God's compassion towards all each of our brothers and sisters. The eucharistic mystery thus gives rise is an origin to a service of charity towards neighbour, which "consists in the very fact that, in God and with God, I love even the person whom I do not like or even know. This can only take place on the basis of an intimate encounter with God, an encounter which has become a communion of will, affecting even my feelings. Then I learn to look on this other person not simply with my eyes and my feelings, but from the perspective of Jesus Christ." (240) In this way, all those I meet, I recognize as brothers or sisters for whom the Lord gave his life, loving them "to the [extreme] end" (Jn 13:1). Our communities, when they celebrate the Eucharist, must are to become ever more conscious that the sacrifice of Christ is for all, and that the Eucharist thus compels all who believe in him to become "bread that is broken" for others, and to work for the building of a more just and fraternal world. Keeping in mind Thinking of the multiplication of the loaves and fishes, we need to realize that Christ continues today to exhort his disciples to become personally engaged commit in the first person: "You yourselves, give them something to eat" (Mt 14:16). Each of us is truly called, together with Jesus, to be bread broken for the life of the world.

The social implications of the eucharistic mystery

89. The union Being in society [literally "consociated"] with Christ brought about in the manner effected by the Eucharist also brings a newness to our social relations: "this sacramental ‘mysticism' is social in character." Indeed, "union conjunction with Christ is also union to be in society [literally "consociated"] with all those [others] to whom he gives himself. I cannot possess Christ just for myself; I can belong to him only in union conjunction with all those who have become, or who will become, his own."(241) The relationship between the eucharistic mystery and social commitment must be made explicit. The Eucharist is the sacrament of communion between brothers and sisters who allow themselves to be reconciled in Christ, who made of Jews and pagans one people, tearing down the wall of hostility which divided them (cf. Eph 2:14). Only this constant impulse tension [i.e., pull] towards reconciliation enables us to partake of worthily be in communion with the Body and Blood of Christ (cf. Mt 5:23-24). (242) In the memorial of his sacrifice, the Lord strengthens our fraternal confirms [literally "corroborates"] the communion among the brethren and, in a particular way, urges incites those in conflict to hasten their reconciliation by opening themselves to dialogue and a commitment towards justice. Certainly, Let there be no professions of doubt that the restoration of justice, reconciliation and forgiveness are the conditions for building true peace.(243) The recognition Being conscious of this fact leads to a determination willingness to also transform unjust structures of iniquity and in order to restore respect for the dignity of all men and women man, created in God's image and likeness. Through the concrete fulfilment implementation of this responsibility committment, the Eucharist becomes in life what it signifies in its celebration. As I have had occasion to say previously confirmed, it is not the proper task of the Church to engage in the political work of bringing about the most just society possible; nonetheless she cannot and must should not remain on the sidelines outside in the struggle for justice. The Church "has to play her part through rational argument and she has to reawaken the spiritual energy without which justice, which always demands sacrifice abjuration [i.e., "self-denial" or "deciding to forgo"] , cannot prevail be extolled and prosper [make] progress." (244)

In discussing the complexity of the social responsibility obligations of all Christians, the Synod Fathers noted that the sacrifice of Christ is a mystery of liberation that constantly and insistently continually demands and challenges us. I therefore urge call upon all the faithful to be true promoters of peace and justice: "All who partake of the Eucharist must is to commit themselves himself to peacemaking in our world scarred by violence and war, and today in particular, by terrorism, economic corruption and sexual exploitation abuses." (245) All these problems give rise in turn to generate others no less troubling and disheartening degrading events [i.e., "phenomena"] which awaken [literally, "gives birth"] our grave concern. We know that there can be no superficial approaches to arrive at solutions to these issues. Precisely because of the mystery we celebrate, we must denounce situations contrary to human the dignity of man, since for whom Christ shed his blood for all, and at the same time thereby affirming the inestimable value of each individual person at all times [literally, "at every moment"].

The food of truth and human the needs of man

90. We cannot remain passive before certain processes of globalization which not infrequently excessively increase the gap between the rich and the poor worldwide. We must should denounce those who squander the earth's riches, provoking inequalities that cry out to heaven (cf. Jas 5:4). For example, it is impossible to remain silent before the "distressing disturbing images of huge vast camps throughout the world, of displaced persons and refugees, who are living in makeshift concentrated [and living under] precarious conditions in order to escape a worse fate, yet are still in dire need lacking all things. Are these human beings not our brothers and sisters? Do their children not come into the world with the same legitimate expectations of happiness as other children?" (246) The Lord Jesus, the bread of eternal life, spurs us to be moves us to mindfulness of the situations of extreme poverty in which a great part of humanity still lives finds itself: these are situations for with which human beings men often bear a clear and disquieting responsibility clearly responsible [literally, "with which men cooperate and conspire"]. Indeed, "on the basis of available statistical data, it can be said that less than half of the huge infinite sums spent worldwide on armaments would be more than sufficient to liberate take the immense masses interminable numbers of the poor from destitution. This challenges touches [literally, "stimulates"] humanity's conscience. To peoples living below the poverty line, more as a result of situations to do with which depend on international political, commercial and cultural relations, than as a result of circumstances beyond anyone's control, our common commitment to for truth can and must give new hope" (247).

The food of truth demands that we moves us to denounce inhumane situations of human indignity in which people starve to death because of injustice and exploitation, and it gives us renewed strength and courage to work tirelessly in the service of in the construction of the civilization of love. From the beginning, Christians were concerned made certain to share their goods (cf. Acts 4:32) and to help the poor (cf. Rom 15:26). The alms collected in our liturgical assemblies are not only an eloquent explicit reminder of this, and they are also necessary for meeting today's very real needs. The Church's charitable institutions, especially Caritas, carry out at various levels the important work precious service of assisting the needy, especially the poorest. Inspired by the Eucharist, the sacrament of charity, they these ministries become a concrete expression of that charity; they are to be praised and encouraged deserve every encomium and stimulus for their commitment to solidarity in our world.

The Church's social teaching doctrine

91. The mystery of the Eucharist inspires enables and impels us to the daring work courageously within our world to bring about that renewal of that type of new relationships which has its inexhaustible source in God's gift. The prayer which we repeat at every Mass: "Give us this day our daily bread," obliges us to do everything possible, in cooperation with international, state and private institutions, to end or at least reduce the scandal of hunger and malnutrition afflicting so many millions of people in our world, especially in developing countries. In a particular way, the Christian laity, formed at the school of the Eucharist, are called to assume their specific the proper political and social responsibilities duties. To do so, they need to be adequately prepared through practical education in for charity and justice. To this end, the Synod considered it necessary for Dioceses and Christian communities to teach and promote the Church's social doctrine. (248) In this precious legacy handed down patrimony which proceeds from the earliest ecclesial tradition, we find the elements of great wisdom that guide orient Christians in their involvement in today's burning social issues. This teaching, the fruit of the Church's whole history, is distinguished is characterized by realism and moderation equilibrium; it can help to avoid misguided compromises aberrant committments or false inane utopias.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Yeah. Big surprise.

Click to view my Personality Profile page

h/t Martha, Martha.

-J.

P.S. Karen, I'll get to Ryan's meme tomorrow.

Driving stick.

Dear Internet,

Let's say you have a great job at a great company. Personal and professional fulfillment and all that jazz. One of the perks of this job is that the company gives all its employees* a company car. In fact, it has been doing so since Day One. People used these cars and would, almost always, arrive at work without fail. These cars, for as long as anyone could recall, happened to be stick-shift.

Now, one day, the CEO, in the wake of a stockholder's meeting in which it was decided the company would modernize and update itself, decided that new company cars would be automatic. Immediately, practically all division Vice-Presidents and Regional Managers made sure that all these cars came outfitted with column-shift automatic transmissions. Some employees were ecstatic, some were appalled and most just shrugged and accepted the change.

Those who preferred stick-shift were derided as unwilling to accept the resolutions and authority of that famous stockholder's meeting. With great effort and at great personal expense, some of these employees managed to -- somehow -- get approval to drive stick-shift to work. Regardless of their performance, loyalty to the company or qualifications, these employees were often passed over for promotion and advancement. Middle management, on average, made no secret of their disdain for people who drove with such baroque impedimenta such as clutch pedals and manual shifters. "What's next? Manual chokes? Cow-catcher fenders? Steam power?" they sniggered.

In time, a great many employees stopped coming in to the office. Since most of these employees drove the cars with the automatic transmissions, many of the Vice-Presidents and Regional Managers figured they must do something else to stem the tide of employee absenteeism. (After all, such absenteeism by an employee threatened that employee's pension upon retirement.) Furthermore, productivity was down. More worryingly, the number of employees who were applying to enter the Executive Training Program was down, sharply.

The VPs believing the problem was rooted in teh company cars not being automated enough, jointly and severally came up with changes to the company cars, often without any regard for what the company policies were. They touted these innovations as being in line with the "spirit of that stockholder's meeting." (This was possible, because employees hadn't been informed what was in the Company's Policies and Procedures Manual for decades. Worse, they had never read the actual minutes of the stockholder's meeting!) Some had the cars delivered with massaging seats, others with horns which, when honked, played "La Cucaracha" or "Dixie," yet others opted for fancy stereos or digital instruments or leopard-print upholstery. Those who suggested that perhaps giving employees an option to drive stick were usually impugned as atavistic malcontents, Hell-bent on "taking the Company backwards."

One day the next CEO said there was really nothing wrong with preferring a car that was stick shift. The CEO wrote a memo to all division Vice-Presidents and told them that, if an employee asked for their company car to come in stick shift, that their permission should be "wide and generous." Most of the VPs grumbled among themselves and allowed the odd stick-shift requisition form to go through; usually to some employee in a departmental backwater or in a far-off corner of the branch office.

Still the employee absenteeism issue continued to harm the Company. Several employees went to work at other places, their relationship to the Head Office in hot dispute. Those who preferred stick-shift were joined by other employees in noticing the relationship between the new column shift Shift-O-Glide automatic transmissions and employee absenteeism.

Worse, many of the employees who WERE showing up only did so to drink coffee, help themselves to supply closet, or issuing memos and directives in direct opposition to stated company policy. In view of this, other employees suggested that perhaps floor-shift or semiautomatic transmissions ought become the norm, and those who preferred automatic or stick shift could opt for that. Not surprisingly, these employees were also regarded as throwbacks to an earlier age, when employees of the company were not concerned about better relationships with other companies, or not concerned about the lack of staples or sticky-notes in some supply closets. Their suggestions were dismissed and many were demoted or sent off to perform procedural tasks well below their skill set.

However, many of the newer employees and many of the junior executives started filling out forms for permission to have their company car come equipped with a stick-shift transmission. So many in fact, that the VPs and the Regional Supervisors started noticing the trend. Many of these senior executives began to shift uncomfortably in their seats, but some saw the requests have honest merit. Not only did these relative newcomers to the company request the manual transmission, they even began to tell other employees, at lunch and around the water coolers and coffee machines that stick-shift was a LOT more fun to drive, it got better mileage and had better performance!

Nobody knows exactly why, but the people over at the Human Resources department really frowned on this new trend. In the various office newsletters they explained why stick-shift cars were really not desirable. Of course, there was the ever-present argument against "taking the Company backwards." Also it was mentioned that nobody really wanted to drive stick shift, and those few who did were a few old geezers who were picoseconds away from retirement, and maybe a few stray youngsters with a dully romanticized notion of a company that never really existed, anyway.

When the current CEO took over, he surveyed the state of employee morale, the rate of executive recruitment and the degree to which executives and employees had wandered away from company policy. This CEO was something of a "gearhead" and, not without reason, many executives (especially the ones in the Company Publications Office) were openly wary of him. It became an open secret that he would revisit many things, including the matter of company cars. While the CEO deliberated, these executives made it known (again) that so very few people want to drive stick-shift anyway, and those who did were the aforementioned geezers, young nostalgics and assorted cranks and oddballs who never really cottoned to what the last stockholder's meeting was really all about. Others helpfully mentioned that in the process of driving these cars stick-shift would be an insult to employees of other companies, especially of those employees of the firm from which our company was spun off.

Regardless of these claims, it became apparent to anyone paying attention that employees who favored either the stick shift or some variant of semi-automatic transmissions didn't really want to take the company back to the dreaded days of the 1950s. They also had exemplary employee records of clear and meritorious service to the company. And so the CEO issued a memo clarifying what the original stick shift adherents had been saying all along: that driving stick shift had never been forbidden to employees. Employees had every right to want to drive stick shift if they so chose, and their immediate superiors should accomodate them without having to go up to the VP level or filling out complicated forms. Of course the CEO realized that most people would prefer the automatic, but that perhaps the interaction between those who drive stick and those who drive automatic (or some semi-automatic variant) would be good for the whole company.

Of course, many of the VPs have issued memos to the effect that the CEO was wise in doing so, even though the only purpose of the memo was to bring back to the fold those disgruntled employees who left in a snit when they couldn't get their car stick-shift. Also, they (the VPs) had preemptively been very generous in allowing all those who wanted a stick-shift car (either Obadiah, the nonagenerian custodian or the third assistant superintendent of pencil-sharpeners working the graveyard shift) to do so. Not that so many people wanted to drive stick you see, or even knew how.

"This memo from our CEO is great, not that it will really impact us here in the Widget Division. Of course, if -- for some bizarre reason -- anyone else wants to drive stick-shift, well, we'll see about that, provided we have enough entry level executives who have demonstrated they can drive stick-shift at a Le Mans level of proficiency and that enough employees with seniority show up with helmets and racing suits."

So here we are, loyal employees of the greatest company ever, ready, willing and able to pop the clutch. What's there to be afraid of?

-J.

* Notice I didn't use the word "workers." That was on purpose.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Orthodoxy is habit forming.

Looky here.

H/t Gerald.

-J.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

OK, riddle me this...

Why is it that, for most Bishops, a politician who has been supportive of abortion has to search his/her heart before going to receive Communion (in effect, allowing them to decide their own worthiness) but for many of these same Bishops, a priest who wishes to say Mass according to the Extraordinary Form of the Latin Rite is given no such courtesy (i.e., must jump through all manner of hoops to prove he is "worthy" of saying Mass in this manner)?

Please, someone enlighten me.

-J.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Summer Travel

Dear Internet,

If you want to know where I went this summer, I'll show you the kids' bathroom. At some point June-ish, the bathroom decided to give us a foreshadowing of how Judgment Day will be manifested in the plumbing department.

Because a lot of ladies, children, elderly and Carmelites (with the odd Jesuit) stop by here, I shall refrain from describing the aftermath. Suffice it to say, dear Internet, that it was something which you, with your pure and unsullied mind, could scarcely comprehend.

This meant that the bathroom had to be gutted. And, because of the place wherein we reside, this involves not only the usual personnel of demolition, plumbers, masons, electricians, carpenters, and glaziers, but also lawyers, inspectors, accountants, engineers, sherpa guides and the 2nd Unit of Indiana Jones and the Septic Tank From Hell.

Furthermore, every time one of the specialists went in to do his thing, halfway through you'd hear him saying "Uh-oh." This meant he had discovered something needing the immediate attention of a different specialist. So, we had the carpenter telling us we'd need to get the plumber back, the plumber informing us we needed to get the electrician one more time, etc.

In sum, what we would have spent on a VERY frou-frou vacation in Rome -- complete with villa and rented Maserati and 5-star meals -- is what we have spent so far on this very modest bathroom's redo. To say nothing of the delays.

It seems the drawback to artisans from Europe or Latin America is the metric time. They tell you 2 weeks, but neglect to explain that in their world, a minute has 100 seconds, an hour has 100 minutes...

However.

Today this was all made worthwhile when we went to Mass.

Mind you, at our Parish, Mass (usually) looks like Mass in a Church that looks like* a Church. So that part's no big deal. The big deal was that we have had a visiting priest from Slovakia. May God forgive me for not catching his name. But he is YOUNG. And, although his accent is pretty heavy, and although his Mass is pretty N.O./vernacularized, he is CLEARLY, WILDLY reverent.

Did I mention young? Reverent?

AMDG,

-J.



* You can see it feautured in this clip from a VERY bad movie, which used it for a scene that was considerably altered from the script upon which the approval was given. There WILL be objectionable material here. So don't cry.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

"THAT. That's what we're talking about." Pt. 3

Read this to see what wacky fun Santa Clara University is up to.

-J.

h/t Gerald

Labels:

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

"THAT. That's what we're talking about." Pt. 2

For those who consider Cranial Sand Immersion to be a good way of looking at the current state of things as re. the Society of Jesus (which I love) I bring you this gem:

http://www.nj.com/opinion/ledger/perspective/index.ssf?/base/news-0/1186287911133630.xml&coll=1&thispage=1

AMDG,

-J.

Labels:

Monday, August 06, 2007

More Rosary-ness. (LONG)

About a week ago, I posted something detailing the Scriptural underpinnings of the Rosary and using as an example the Sorrowful Mysteries.

Well, I have received some very nice messages on the matter and, because I am all about the popular demand thing, here is another using today's Mysteries...the Joyful. Forgive me if I retread over old ground for the benefit of those who stumble on this for the first time.

This originally came out as a result of my having stumbled on a blog by someone who was having a very, VERY rough time with devotions. The Rosary, in particular, proved difficult due to all those Hail Marys.

As I said previously, much like St. Philip explaining Scripture to the eunuch, the Rosary is Mary taking us by the hand and meditating on Scripture. The Rosary isn't a prayer to some goddess, it's Mary highlighting certain crucial aspects of the life and ministry of her son, Our Lord.

Y'see, most people assume the Rosary is some sort of pattern of prayers: __ Our Fathers, __ Hail Marys, etc. But it's not. These are the background music, the score if you will to our meditating on certain seminal aspects of Christ. If you see a movie (say, Going My Way to use a perfectly innocent example) that has a song ("Swingin' on a Star") would you say the film is about people using astronomical bodies as trapezes? No, you wouldn't. The music is there to further the narrative of the film. Same as the Rosary. These narrative episodes upon which we are to meditate are called "Mysteries" and that means something we will never fully understand on this side of Heaven.

We must not get hung up on is the word “Mysteries.” Usually, when we think of Mysteries we think of Sherlock Holmes. We have been conditioned to think of mysteries as things to solve, or at the very least things to bang our heads about. But this isn’t that kind of mystery. This kind of mystery means something that we cannot, and will never be able to, fully wrap our brains around. We can and should TRY to understand more and more, but you have a better shot at putting an ocean in a bucket. For the purposes of this discussion, let’s just say that each set of mysteries are really the names -- like I-95 or The Florida Turnpike -- for roads by which we come to Christ.

Furthermore, the Rosary is not unbiblical. First of all, the word "unbiblical" drives me mental. The manual to my new cell phone is "unbiblical." That doesn't mean Satan is behind it. The word some are groping for is "anti-biblical." Which the Rosary, most emphatically, is not...it's the exact opposite.

It is important to realize that as Christians, we rely on the Bible to provide the structure for what we believe, but as Catholics we also have knowledge passed down from Jesus Himself directly through the Apostles (Sacred Tradition) to help us properly interpret the writings of the Bible. Think of your grandma and her favorite cookbook. It doesn’t really matter how good the recipes are...if she can’t make out the letters because she doesn’t have her glasses on. The Bible is, in a way, our cookbook, and the Sacred Tradition given directly to the Apostles by Christ and passed on throughout time, is “our set of eyeglasses.”

So what does this have to do with the Rosary? The Rosary puts into prayer the writings of the Bible, through the prayers we recite and the mysteries we contemplate. The more you read the Bible, the more of an impact these prayers and meditations will have on you, and the more you pray and meditate the more you will understand what God is telling you in the Bible.

So, after this long and meandering preamble, I'll post now what I discuss with my CCD students on the Scriptural rootedness of the Rosary. I hope you derive a new (or better) appreciation for the Rosary. There will be a quiz next class.

To help with the meditation on the Mysteries, we have a Scripture verse to be said before each Hail Mary. There is no “official” list of what verse goes with what Hail Mary that goes with what Mystery. If there is another verse that covers the same territory and it helps YOU meditate, use that one. If you prefer to read the whole set of verses before each decade, that’s fine too. The best way to pray the Rosary is the way YOU pray with faith and reverence and frequency. Use whatever approved Catholic version of the Bible you prefer.

The verses which we have for the first three Hail Marys are a type of introduction to the Mysteries. These remind us of a) the three Persons of the Trinity and b) the grace of salvation we find in the main virtues of faith, hope and charitable love. Ideally the prayerful use of Holy Scripture enhances our use of the Holy Rosary, and bring you closer to Christ with the aid of His mother.

(If you're following along with Rosary in hand, it might seem a little jerky, with a lot of stop and go. This is because it’s important for you to have a good understanding and foundation of what the Rosary can accomplish. After you do it this way, you can just run with it in whatever direction your heart requires.)

Let’s start:
[On the crucifix]
+ "In the Name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit (or Holy Ghost)"
(The words: "In the name" express the Unity of God; the words that follow, "of the Father, etc." refer to the Trinity.)

“I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.

Genesis 1:1 In the beginning God created heaven, and earth.

I believe in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord.


John 3:16 For God so loved the world, as to give his only begotten Son; that whosoever believeth in him, may not perish, but may have life everlasting.

He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit

Luke 1:31-5 “Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name him Jesus. He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give him the throne of David his father, and he will rule over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end." But Mary said to the angel, "How can this be, since I have no relations with a man?" And the angel said to her in reply, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God.”

and born of the Virgin Mary.

Luke 2:2-3 While they were [in Bethlehem], the time came for [Mary] to have her child, and she gave birth to her firstborn son. She wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

He suffered under Pontius Pilate,

John 19:1 Then Pilate took Jesus, and scourged him.

was crucified, died, and was buried.

John 19:41-42a Now there was, in the place where Jesus was crucified, a garden; and in the garden a new tomb, where no man yet had been buried. There, because of the Passover, they laid Jesus[.]

He descended into Hell.

Ephesians 4:9 What does "He ascended" mean except that He also descended into the lower regions of the earth?

On the third day he rose again from the dead.

Luke 24:7 [Jesus said]: “The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and on the third day rise again.”

He ascended into heaven,

Luke 24:51 As He blessed them He parted from them and was taken up to heaven.

and is seated at the right hand of the Father.

Colossians 3:1 Therefore, if you are risen with Christ, seek the things that are above; where Christ is sitting at the right hand of God.

He will come to judge the living and the dead.

Revelation 14:7 Saying with a loud voice: Fear the Lord, and give him honor, because the hour of His judgment has come; and adore Him who made heaven and earth, the sea, and the fountains of waters.

I believe in the Holy Spirit,

Acts 2:3-4 Then there appeared to [the Apostles] tongues as of fire, which parted and came to rest on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in different languages, as the Spirit enabled them to proclaim.

the Holy Catholic Church,

Matthew 16:18 [Jesus said]: That thou art Peter; and upon this rock I will build My Church, and the gates of Hell shall not prevail against it.

the communion of saints,

Hebrews 12:1a And therefore we also having so great a cloud of itnesses [that is, saints] over our head, laying aside every weight and sin which surrounds us

the forgiveness of sins,

Matthew 6:14 For if you will forgive men their offences, your heavenly Father will forgive you also your offences.

the resurrection of the body,

2 Macabees 7:9 And when he was at the last gasp, he said thus: “Thou indeed, O most wicked man, destroy us of this present life: but the King of the world will raise us up, who die for His laws, in the resurrection of eternal life.”

and the life everlasting.

John 6:69 And Simon Peter answered him: “Lord, to whom shall we go? Thou hast the words of eternal life.”

Amen.”

[The first "Our Father bead]

Our Father,

I Chronicles 29:10 “Then David blessed the LORD in the presence of the whole assembly, praying in these words: "Blessed may you be, O LORD, God of Israel our father, from eternity to eternity.”

Who art in heaven,

Deuteronomy 4:39a “Know therefore this day, and think in thy heart that the Lord is God in heaven above”

hallowed be Thy name;

Exodus 20:7 Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain: for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that shall take the name of the Lord his God in vain.

Thy kingdom come;

Mark 1:15 “The time is accomplished, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent, and believe the gospel.”

Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

II Chronicles 20:6 “O Lord God of our fathers, thou art God in heaven, and rule over all the kingdoms and nations, in thy hand is strength and power, and no one can resist thee.”

Give us this day our daily bread;

Exodus 16:4a “Then the LORD said to Moses, "I will now rain down bread from heaven for you. Each day the people are to go out and gather their daily portion.”

and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us;

Matthew 16:32b-33 “I forgave you all your debt, because you pleaded me: Should you not have had compassion on your fellow servant, even as I had compassion on thee?”

and lead us not into temptation,

Sirach 2:1 “Son, when thou comest to serve God, stand in justice and in fear, and prepare thy soul for temptation. [that is, to be tested]

but deliver us from evil,

Exodus 6:6 “Therefore say to the children of Israel: I am the Lord who will bring you out from the work prison of the Egyptians, and will deliver you from slavery: and redeem you with a high arm, and great judgments.”

Amen.

(then on the first three "Hail Mary" beads)

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with you.

Luke 1:28 "And coming to her, the angel said, "Hail, you who are full of grace, the Lord is with you."

The original wording means “permanently favored by grace.” When the St. Gabriel the Archangel says that Mary is full of grace, he means that, not that Mary has had her tank of grace filled up and she’s good-to-go until she needs another refill. Charity, the divine love within us, comes from the same word (the Greek kecharitomene). God is infinite Goodness, infinite Love. Mary is perfect created -- as in "created by God" not some deity on her own --goodness, filled to the limit of her finite being with grace and charitable love.

Blessed art thou among women

Luke 1:41-42a "When Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth, filled with the Holy Spirit, cried out in a loud voice and said, "Most blessed are you among women..."
Luke 1:48 "For he has looked upon his handmaid's lowliness; behold, from now on will all ages call me blessed."

Mary is being named the greatest of all women, greater than Ruth, greater than Sarah, greater than EVE! Since Eve was created immaculate (without original sin), Mary must have been conceived immaculate; and by her own free will, Mary must have responded to God's grace, remaining sinless. Otherwise, she could not be greater than Eve.

Blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus

Luke 1:42b "and blessed is the fruit of your womb."

Jesus is Mary's fruit. Good fruit cannot come from anything but a good tree (Mt. 7:17-18)! The all-holy Son of God could not be the fruit of anything other than the Immaculate Virgin.

Holy Mary, Mother of God

Luke 1:43 "And how does this happen to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?

In greeting Mary, Elizabeth is saying: "How is it that the mother of my God should come to me." Jesus is a single Person, a Divine Person, the 2nd Person of the Most Holy Trinity. To be mother of the human Person of Jesus is to be mother of the Divine Person of Jesus who is God.

Pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

Luke 2:35 "...and your very soul will a sword will pierce that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed."
John 2:5 "His mother said to the servers, "Do whatever he tells you."

Mary sees a need and asks Jesus to meet it. He does. We turn to Mary to ask her to intercede with Jesus, her Son, in our daily needs. We will NEVER have a greater need than at the moment of our death. At that instant our salvation hangs in the balance as Satan makes one last attempt to keep us from God (Rev. 2:10). That’s why both the Hail Mary and the Our Father wrap up with asking to be delivered from the evil one.

Now that we know the “inner structure” of the Hail Mary, we can apply other bits of the Bible to individual Hail Marys, depending on where they placed within the whole Rosary.

(First three Hail Marys)

a) Romans 5:1b …by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.
b) Romans 5:2 By [Him] also we have access into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
c) Romans 5:5 And hope does not disappoint; because the love of God has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.
We then conclude the "intro" with the "Glory Be":

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be. Amen.

John 1:1-3 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him: and without him was made nothing that was made.
And the Fatima Prayer:

O my Jesus,

John 20:28 Thomas answered and said to Him, "My Lord and my God!"
forgive us of our sins.

John 8:28 Then Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you. Now go and sin no more.”
Save us from the fires of Hell.

Acts Of Apostles 2:27a Because thou wilt not leave my soul in Hell
Lead all souls into heaven,

John 14:6a Jesus saith to him: I am the way, and the truth, and the life.
especially those in most need of thy mercy.

Luke 23:43 And Jesus said to [the repentant thief]: Amen I say to thee this day, thou shalt be with me in paradise.

Since on Mondays we customarily pray the Joyful Mysteries, we'll go over those.

We announce the mystery before reciting the prayers and meditating upon the Mystery.

The First Joyful Mystery: St. Gabriel the Archangel announces to Mary that her child will be the Son of God
The Our Father
Luke 1:26 The angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, to a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, and the virgin's name was Mary.
Hail Mary

Luke 1:28 And the angel came in unto her, and said, “Hail, thou who art full of grace, the Lord is with thee.”
Hail Mary

Luke 1:29 And when she saw him, she was troubled at what he said, and she wondered in her mind what manner of greeting this should be.
Hail Mary

Luke 1:30 And the angel said unto her, “Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favor with God.”
Hail Mary

Luke 1:31 “And behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and thou shalt name Him Jesus.”
Hail Mary

Luke 1:32 “He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Most High: and the Lord God shall give unto Him the throne of His father David, and of His kingdom there shall be no end.”
Hail Mary

Luke 1:34 Then said Mary unto the angel, “How shall this be, if I have no relations with a man?”
Hail Mary

Luke 1:35 And the angel answered and said unto her, “The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee.”
Hail Mary

Luke 1:35 “Therefore that Holy Child which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.”
Hail Mary

Luke 1:38 And Mary said, “I am the handmaid of the Lord; be it done to me according to thy word.”
Hail Mary
Glory Be
Fatima Prayer

The Second Joyful Mystery: The Virgin Mary visits her cousin, St. Elizabeth
The Our Father

Luke 1:39 Mary arose in those days, and went into the hill country with haste, and entered into the house of Zacharias, and greeted Elizabeth.
Hail Mary

Luke 1:41 And it came to pass, that when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the baby leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.
Hail Mary

Luke 1:42 And [Elizabeth] spoke out with a loud voice, and said, “Blessed art thou amongst women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb.”
Hail Mary

Luke 1:45 “And blessed is she who believed: for those things which she heard from the Lord shall be fulfilled.”
Hail Mary

Luke 1:46 And Mary said, “My soul proclaims the Lord’s greatness, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior.”
Hail Mary

Luke 1:48 “For He regarded the lowliness of his handmaiden: therefore, from this moment onward all generations shall call me blessed.”
Hail Mary

Luke 1:49 “For He who is mighty hath done great things for me; and holy is His name.”
Hail Mary

Luke 1:50 “And His mercy is on those who fear Him, for all generations.”
Hail Mary

Luke 1:52 God has put down the mighty from their seat, and exalted the humble.
Hail Mary

Luke 1:56 And Mary remained with [Elizabeth] about three months, and returned to her own house.
Hail Mary
Glory Be
Fatima Prayer

The Third Joyful Mystery: The Nativity of Our Lord
The Our Father

Luke 2:4 Joseph went from Galilee to the city of David, called Bethlehem; to be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, who was expecting a child.
Hail Mary

Luke 2:6 And so it was, that while they were there, the days were completed that she should deliver her child.
Hail Mary

Luke 2:7 And she gave birth to her firstborn son, and wrapped Him in swaddling clothes, and laid Him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.
Hail Mary

Luke 2:8 And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
Hail Mary

Luke 2:9 And lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone all around them: and they were so afraid.
Hail Mary

Luke 2:10 And the angel said unto them, “Fear not: for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.”
Hail Mary

Luke 2:11 “For unto you is born this day, in the city of David, a Savior, Christ the Lord.”
Hail Mary

Luke 2:13 And suddenly, there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, “ Glory to God in the highest, and on earth, peace toward men of good will.”
Hail Mary

Luke 2:15 The shepherds said one to another, “Let us now go to Bethlehem, and see this which the Lord makes known to us.”
Hail Mary

Luke 2:16 And they came quickly and found Mary, and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger.
Hail Mary
Glory Be
Fatima Prayer

The Fourth Joyful Mystery: The Presentation of Our Lord in the Temple
The Our Father

Luke 2:22 When, according to the law of Moses, the days of purification were completed, they brought Him to Jerusalem, to present Him to the Lord.
Hail Mary

Luke 2:25 And behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon, who was just and devout, and [who] was waiting for the salvation of Israel.
Hail Mary

Luke 2:26 And the Holy Spirit revealed to [Simeon] that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord's salvation.
Hail Mary

Luke 2:27 And [Simeon] came, led by the Spirit, into the temple: and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, he then took Him up in his arms, and praised God.
Hail Mary

Luke 2:29 [Simeon] said, “Lord, now let thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word.”
Hail Mary

Luke 2:30 “Because mine eyes have seen thy salvation, which thou hast made before all the people.”
Hail Mary

Luke 2:32 “[This child will] be a light to the Gentiles, and will be the glory of thy people, Israel.”
Hail Mary

Luke 2:34 And Simeon said unto Mary, “Behold, this child is set for a fall, and of the resurrection of many in Israel.”
Hail Mary

Luke 2:34 “He shall be spoken against; and a sword shall also pierce
through thy soul.”
Hail Mary

Luke 2:39 They returned into Galilee, to Nazareth. And the child grew, and became strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon Him.
Hail Mary
Glory Be
Fatima Prayer

The Fifth Joyful Mystery: The Finding of Jesus in the Temple
The Our Father

Luke 2:41 Now His parents went to Jerusalem every year at the feast of the Passover. And when He was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem as was the custom of the feast.
Hail Mary

Luke 2:43 And when they had completed the days, as they returned, the child Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem; which Joseph and His mother knew not.
Hail Mary

Luke 2:44 But they, supposing Him to have been in the caravan, went a day’s journey; and they sought Him among their friends and family.
Hail Mary

Luke 2:45 And when they found him not among them, they turned back to Jerusalem, seeking Him.
Hail Mary

Luke 2:46 And it came to pass, that after three days they found Him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the scribes and teachers, both hearing them, and asking them questions.
Hail Mary

Luke 2:47 And all who heard Him were astonished at His understanding and answers.
Hail Mary

Luke 2:48 And when they saw Him, they were amazed and His mother said unto Him, “Son, why hast thou done this? Behold, we have sought thee, worrying.”
Hail Mary

Luke 2:49 [Jesus] said unto them, “Why have ye sought me? Do ye not know I must be doing my Father's business?”
Hail Mary

Luke 2:50 And they did not understand what he had said to them.
Hail Mary

Luke 2:51 And He went down with them, and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them: but Mary pondered all these things in her heart.
Hail Mary
Glory Be
Fatima Prayer

And that's it.

AMDG,

-J.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

The Apostolic Exhortation, Pt. 19

For some truly excellent commentary on this Apostolic Exhortation by Fr. Martin Fox, click here and here (and there is, God willing, more to come)

This covers paragraphs 84-87 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 the...it'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, a mystery to be proclaimed

The Eucharist and mission

84. In my homily at the eucharistic celebration solemnly inaugurating my Petrine ministry [from] the Cathedra [i.e. Chair] of Peter, I said that "there is nothing more beautiful than to be reached and surprised by the Gospel, by the encounter with Christ. There is nothing more beautiful than to know him and to speak to others of our friendship with him." (233) These words are all the more significant This affirmation asumes a greater significance if we think of the mystery of the Eucharist. The love that we celebrate in the sacrament is not something we can keep to reserve for ourselves. By its very nature it demands to be shared with all. What the world needs is God's love; it needs to encounter enter in congress with Christ and to believe in him. The Eucharist is thus the source and summit not only of the Church's life, but also of her mission: "an authentically eucharistic Church is a missionary Church." (234) We too must be able to tell our brothers and sisters with conviction: "That which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you may have fellowship be in communion with us" (1 Jn 1:3). Truly, nothing is more beautiful than to know Christ and to make him known communicate this to others. The institution of the Eucharist, for that matter furthermore, anticipates the very heart intimate part of Jesus' mission: he is the one sent by the Father for the redemption of the world (cf. Jn 3:16-17; Rom 8:32). At the Last Supper, Jesus entrusts to his disciples the sacrament which makes present his self-sacrifice actualizes the oblation he has made of himself for the salvation of us all, in obedience to the Father's will. We cannot approach the eucharistic table without being drawn into the mission which, beginning in the very heart of God's own heart, is meant to reach all people men. Missionary outreach intention is thus an essential constituitive part of the eucharistic form of the Christian life.

The Eucharist and witness

85. The first and fundamental mission that we receive from the sacred mysteries we celebrate is that of bearing giving witness by with our lives. The wonder [overwhelming] admiration we experience at the gift God has made to us in Christ gives new impulse to our lives imbues our lives with a new activism [i.e., momentum, dynamism] and commits us to becoming witnesses of his love. We become witnesses when, through our actions, words and way of being, Another makes himself present. Witness could be described as the means by which the truth of God's love comes to men and women man in history, inviting them him to accept freely this radical newness. Through witness, God lays himself open, one might say, to the risk of human freedom. Jesus himself is the faithful and true witness (cf. Rev 1:5; 3:14), the one who came to testify to the truth (cf. Jn 18:37). Here I would like to reflect on a notion dear to the early Christians, which also speaks eloquently to us today: namely, witness even to the offering of one's own life, to the point of martyrdom. Throughout the history of the Church, this has always been seen as the culmination of the new spiritual worship: "Offer your bodies" (Rom 12:1). One thinks, for example, of the account of the martyrdom of Saint Polycarp of Smyrna, a disciple of Saint John: the entire dramatic event is described as a liturgy, with the martyr himself becoming Eucharist. (235) We might also recall the eucharistic imagery with which Saint Ignatius of Antioch describes his own imminent martyrdom: he sees himself as "God's wheat" and desires to become in martyrdom "Christ's pure bread." (236) The Christian who offers his life in martyrdom enters into full communion with the Pasch of Jesus Christ and thus becomes Eucharist with him. Today too, the Church does not lack martyrs who offer the supreme witness to God's love. Even if the test of martyrdom is not asked of us for, we know that worship pleasing to God demands that we should be inwardly prepared an inward disposition for it. (237) Such worship culminates in the joyful and convincing conscientious testimony to all of a consistent coherent Christian life, wherever the Lord calls us to be his witnesses.

Christ Jesus, the one Saviour

86. Emphasis on the intrinsic relationship nexus between the Eucharist and mission also leads to a rediscovery of the ultimate content of our proclamation. The more ardent the love for the Eucharist in the hearts of the Christian people, the more clearly will they recognize the goal of all mission: to bring Christ [to others]. Not just a theory or a way of life an ethos inspired by Christ him, but the gift of his very person. Anyone who has not shared communicated the truth of love with his brothers and sisters has not yet given enough satisfactorily. The Eucharist, as the sacrament of our salvation, inevitably reminds unavoidably compels us of to ponder the unicity of Christ and the salvation that he won obtained for us by with the price of his blood. The From the mystery of the Eucharist, believed in and celebrated, demands arises the demand for a constant catechesis to all on the need for all to engage in a missionary effort centred on the proclamation of Jesus as the one Saviour. (238) This will help is to avoid a reductive and purely sociological understanding of the vital decisive work of human promotion present in every authentic process of evangelization.

Freedom of worship

87. In this context, I wish to reiterate the concern expressed by the Synod Fathers about the grave difficulties affecting the mission of those Christian communities in areas where Christians are a minority or even where they are denied religious freedom. (239) We should surely Truly we are to give thanks to the Lord for all those Bishops, priests, consecrated persons and laity who devote themselves consumed with generously to the preaching of the Gospel and practise their faith at the risk of their very lives. In not a few parts of the world, simply going to church represents is a heroic witness that can result in exposes people to marginalization and violence. Here too, I would like to reaffirm the solidarity of the whole Church with those who suffer from are denied denial of the freedom of worship. As we know, wherever religious freedom is lacking, people lack the most meaningful freedom of all, since it is through faith that men and women express their deepest decision man expresses his most intimate convictions about the ultimate meaning of their lives sense of his life. Let us prayerfully ask, therefore, for greater space for religious freedom in every nation, so that Christians, as well as the followers believers of other religions, can freely express live according to their convictions, both as individuals and as communities.