Ad Te Levávi Ánimam Meam

To Thee have I lifted up my soul (Introit – 1st Sunday of Advent)

Archive for the ‘sacraments’ Category

The Pope’s Baptism

Posted by james0235 on April 3, 2010

(This is just such a cool story that I feel the need to repost it every year on Holy Saturday.)

young-ratzinger.jpgI was born on Holy Saturday, April 16, 1927, in Marktl am Inn. The fact that my day of birth was the last day of Holy Week and the eve of Easter has always been noted in our family history. This was connected with the fact that I was baptized immediately on the morning of the day I was born with the water that had just been blessed. (At that time the solemn Easter Vigil was celebrated on the morning of Holy Saturday.) To be the first person baptized with the new water was seen as a significant act of Providence. I have always been filled with thanksgiving for having had my life immersed in this way in the Easter mystery, since this could only be a sign of blessing. To be sure, it was not Easter Sunday but Holy Saturday, but, the more I reflect on it, the more this seems to be fitting for the nature of our human life: we are still awaiting Easter; we are not yet standing in the full light but walking toward it full of trust.

(Joseph Ratzinger, Milestones: Memories, 1927-1977, p. 8 )

benedict.jpg

We know that he went on to accomplish great things. The question now is how many future priests, bishops, or even popes are being baptized? How many future deacons? How many future nuns? And most importantly of all: how many future saints?

Be sure to ask anyone you know being baptized or entering into full Communion with the Catholic Church  if they have ever given any thought to their vocation.

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The Pope’s Baptism

Posted by james0235 on April 11, 2009

(Reposted from last year)

young-ratzinger.jpgI was born on Holy Saturday, April 16, 1927, in Marktl am Inn. The fact that my day of birth was the last day of Holy Week and the eve of Easter has always been noted in our family history. This was connected with the fact that I was baptized immediately on the morning of the day I was born with the water that had just been blessed. (At that time the solemn Easter Vigil was celebrated on the morning of Holy Saturday.) To be the first person baptized with the new water was seen as a significant act of Providence. I have always been filled with thanksgiving for having had my life immersed in this way in the Easter mystery, since this could only be a sign of blessing. To be sure, it was not Easter Sunday but Holy Saturday, but, the more I reflect on it, the more this seems to be fitting for the nature of our human life: we are still awaiting Easter; we are not yet standing in the full light but walking toward it full of trust.

(Joseph Ratzinger, Milestones: Memories, 1927-1977, p. 8 )

benedict.jpg

We know that he went on to accomplish great things. The question now is how many future priests, bishops, or even popes are being baptized? How many future deacons? How many future nuns? And most importantly of all: how many future saints?

Be sure to ask anyone you know being baptized or entering into full Communion with the Catholic Church  if they have ever given any thought to their vocation.

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Annual Liturgical Abuse Day

Posted by james0235 on April 9, 2009

This is a topic that typically makes some people very angry. And the ones who get angry over this are almost always the ones who are in favor of a particular widespread practice that the Church condemns.

On multiple occasions the Holy See has condemned the practice of washing the feet of women during the Mandatum on Holy Thursday. But each and every year all across the U.S. and Canada it seems that this is done anyway.

The rubrics in the Roman Missal explicitly state that only the feet of men are to be washed during the Mandatum:

Depending on pastoral circumstance, the washing of feet follows the homily. The men who have been chosen (viri selecti) are led by the ministers to chairs prepared at a suitable place. Then the priest (removing his chasuble if necessary) goes to each man. With the help of the ministers he pours water over each one’s feet and dries them.

The Latin word used in the rubric is even included in the English translation of the Missal.  The word viri means males. This is not the same as the Latin word used in the Creed at “for us men and our salvation he came down from heaven”. The word homines is used in the Creed and it means means “men” in the generic sense of “humans”. The Church chose to emphasize that men means males in the rubric by including the Latin word so as to leave no doubt as to what is required.

Despite the clear desire of the Holy See on the matter in 1987 the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (then called the National Coference of Catholic Bishops, I believe) Bishops Committee on the Liturgy released a document which acknowledges that the Missal says only the feet of males are to be washed:

While this variation may differ from the rubric of the Sacramentary which mentions only men (“viri selecti”)…

Bishops Committee on the Liturgy, Holy Thursday Mandatum, Response 5

However, at the same time the document urges disobedience to this rubric:

In this regard, it has become customary in many places to invite both men and women to be participants in this rite in recognition of the service that should be given by all the faithful to the Church and to the world. Thus, in the United States, a variation in the rite developed in which not only charity is signified but also humble service.

Bishops Committee on the Liturgy, Holy Thursday Mandatum, Response 4

In 1988 the CDW, possibly in response to the dissent of the U.S. Bishops on this matter a year earlier, restates the Church’s position:

The washing of the feet of chosen men which, according to tradition, is performed on this day, represents the service and charity of Christ, who came “not to be served, but to serve.” This tradition should be maintained, and its proper significance explained.

Paschale Solemnitatis 51

And the Congregation for Divine Worship continually clarifies this matter. Anyone who writes to them receives the same response:

the washing of feet is reserved to “chosen men” (viri selecti)

An example of a letter from the CDW on this matter, received in 2008, is below.

mandatum

This particular letter was featured by Fr. Z of WDTPRS in his most recent post on the Holy Thursday Mandatum.

This seems pretty clear to me. Until and unless the Church reverses its position anyone who argues that the washing of the feet of women on Holy Thursday is permitted is only giving their own opinion – an opinion that seems to run contrary to what the Church says on the matter.

Now, there are 2 objections that are typically raised. The first is that the Archbishop of Boston was permitted to wash the feet of women. And the second objections is that it is not always possible to find 12 men to have their feet washed so women must be used as well.

In regards to the first objection the Newspaper of the Archdiocese of Boston claims that

In August 2004, “at the time of the ad limina visit to Rome, the archbishop sought clarification on the liturgical requirements of the rite of foot washing from the Congregation for Divine Worship, which has the responsibility for administering the liturgical law of the Church,” said an archdiocesan statement released in March. “The Congregation affirmed the liturgical requirement that only the feet of men be washed at the Holy Thursday ritual, which recalls Christ’s service to the apostles who would become the first priests of the Church.”

“The Congregation did, however, provide for the archbishop to make a pastoral decision concerning his practice of the rite if such a decision would be helpful to the faithful of the archdiocese,”

The Pilot; April 1, 2005

This is far from giving Archbishop O’Malley permission to change the rubric. The CDW restates the requirement. And then, according to the Archdiocese of Boston, provided for the Archbishop to “make a pastoral decision” on the matter. That decision would have come down to obedience to the Church or disobedience. It is worth noting that the Archdiocese of Boston has never published its supposed “permission” from the CDW. But, nothing here changes the fact that what the Archbishop of Boston decided to do is still in violation of the rubrics.

In response to the second objection it should be pointed out that nowhere does the Church actually require that the number of men having their feet washed to be 12. Neither the rubrics of the Roman Missal itself or Paschale Solemnitatis, the letter released by the CDW, give a particular number. 12 is simply customary.

Now, why only men? The Mandatum follows the reading of the Gospel account of Jesus washing the feet of his disciples before making them his priests of the New Covenant. The men whose feet are washed by the priest are symbolically representative of the priesthood which, according to the Church, was reserved to men alone by our Lord. It is not a matter of being sexist or not being inclusive. Anyone who thinks such things really needs to take it up with the Lord himself.

The last thing that I will mention is that the Mandatum is completely optional. If a priest does not like the fact that the Church only permits the washing of the feet of men then the appropriate action to take is not to wash the feet of women anyway in a spirit of disobedience.

Nevertheless, the priest must remember that he is the servant of the Sacred Liturgy and that he himself is not permitted, on his own initiative, to add, to remove, or to change anything in the celebration of Mass.

General Instruction of the Roman Missal 24

The correct thing to do is to either obey the rubrics or not include the OPTIONAL ceremony at all.

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Quote

Posted by james0235 on July 15, 2008

Continuing with this month’s theme of the Most Precious Blood:

Christ’s Blood is the precious source of salvation for the world precisely because it belongs to the Word who became flesh for our salvation.

The sign of “blood poured out”, as an expression of life given in bloodshed as a witness to supreme love, is an act of divine condescension to our human condition. God chose the sign of blood because no other sign suggests a person’s total involvement so eloquently.

(Pope John Paul II, Christ’s Blood, Source of Salvation, July 1, 2000)

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Forgotten Fruits

Posted by james0235 on June 7, 2008

The fruits of the Spirit are perfections that the Holy Spirit forms in us as the first fruits of eternal glory. The tradition of the Church lists twelve of them: “charity, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, generosity, gentleness, faithfulness, modesty, self-control, chastity.” (CCC 1832)

A couple of weeks ago in confession I happened to mention something that had been on my mind quite a bit lately. It wasn’t specifically a sin. But it was something that I couldn’t seem to stop dwelling on. Father suggested that I specifically pray to the Holy Spirit about it and reminded me that Peace was one of the 12 Fruits of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23).

I began to pray about it. And what do you know? I did experience a feeling of peace. The more I prayed about it and took my uneasiness to God the Holy Spirit, the more peace I felt. Who would have thought that prayer actually works. 🙂

I am going to continue praying for Peace – about the original situation and a few other things that have been on my mind lately. But, now I am thinking about the other Fruits of the Holy Spirit as well. I am thinking that Patience might be next on my list. And I can’t wait to begin praying for it. 😉

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World’s Largest Monstrance to Be Unveiled

Posted by james0235 on May 31, 2008

UPDATE: It looks like this will be carried live on EWTN at 5:00pm Eastern – less than 1 hour from now.

This is too cool. I would love to be in Chicago for this. But, since there is little chance of that happening I hope to at least see it some day.

World’s Largest Monstrance to Be Unveiled

CHICAGO, May 23 IL-largest-monstrance

CHICAGO, May 23 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Saint Stanislaus Kostka Catholic Church here will unveil what is believed to be the world’s largest monstrance at 6 p.m. eastern time Saturday, May 31. A monstrance is a container that displays a consecrated Host (which Catholics believe is the body of Christ under the appearance of bread) for veneration. The monstrance will serve as focal point of the new Sanctuary of The Divine Mercy, to be built on the grounds of this inner city parish.

The gilded receptacle has taken sculptor Stefan Niedorezo two years to carve from linden wood using Renaissance methods. The iconic monstrance is nine feet tall and weighs 700 pounds. Malgorzata Sawczuk applied the gilding and serves as project conservator.

The monstrance depicts the Blessed Mother as the link between the old and new covenants. She stands over the Ark of the Covenant, a sacred container that held the stone tablets inscribed with the 10 Commandments. Mary is “clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars,” as depicted in the Book of Revelation (Rev 11:19 and 12:1-2).

The unveiling takes place on the feast of the Visitation, where Mary visited her cousin Elizabeth and found the supposedly barren woman pregnant with a son who would become John the Baptist, forerunner of Jesus (Lk 1:39-57). The public is invited to the ceremony, which will be televised live on EWTN, the worldwide Catholic television network; Catholic TV; and the Latin American TV station El Sembrador. Relevant Radio will provide U.S. coverage. Mass will be celebrated by Cardinal Francis George, Archbishop of Chicago.

The vision for the sanctuary and monstrance began nine years ago when St. Stanislaus Kostka pastor Fr. Anthony Bus, CR, heard a call from Mary asking that he build the sanctuary. He wrote a book about his experience titled A Mother’s Plea: Lifting the Veil in Sanctuary (Marian Press). The book, originally published in 2005, has been a popular title in Catholic book circles partly because of its apocalyptic theme. It has been updated this year with information on the painstaking effort to build the sanctuary.

Donations and proceeds from Fr. Bus’s book financed sculpting the monstrance.

Following the unveiling, planners will begin raising funds to build the sanctuary. Estimated cost is between $15 million and $20 million.

SOURCE Saint Stanislaus Kostka Catholic Church

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Corpus Christi Procession

Posted by james0235 on May 24, 2008

Corpus Christi Procession at Assumption Grotto in Detroit.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

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Back To Back Pro-Life Feasts

Posted by james0235 on March 31, 2008

This year due to a quirk in the Liturgical Calendar caused by the early date of Easter we have been blessed with back to back Pro-Life Feasts – Divine Mercy Sunday and the Feast of the Annunciation – on March 30th and 31st, respectively.

The 2nd Sunday of Easter, celebrated yesterday, was renamed the Feast of Divine Mercy by Pope John Paul II in the year 2000 during the canonization of Sr. Faustina, the apostle of Divine Mercy. Even before receiving its new name the 2nd Sunday of Easter already focused on the Mercy of God.

The Gospel Reading of the day shows us the institution of the Sacrament of Penance:

On the evening of that first day of the week,
when the doors were locked, where the disciples were,
for fear of the Jews,
Jesus came and stood in their midst
and said to them, “Peace be with you.”
When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side.
The disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord.
Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you.
As the Father has sent me, so I send you.”
And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them,
“Receive the Holy Spirit.
Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them,
and whose sins you retain are retained.”

Thomas, called Didymus, one of the Twelve,
was not with them when Jesus came.
So the other disciples said to him, “We have seen the Lord.”
But he said to them,
“Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands
and put my finger into the nailmarks
and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.”

Now a week later his disciples were again inside
and Thomas was with them.
Jesus came, although the doors were locked,
and stood in their midst and said, “Peace be with you.”
Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here and see my hands,
and bring your hand and put it into my side,
and do not be unbelieving, but believe.”
Thomas answered and said to him, “My Lord and my God!”
Jesus said to him, “Have you come to believe because you have seen me?
Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed.”

Now, Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples
that are not written in this book.
But these are written that you may come to believe
that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God,
and that through this belief you may have life in his name.

(John 20:19-31 NAB)

This Gospel passage, selected by the Church for the Sunday after Easter centuries ago, shows us that the Mercy of God is powerful enough to forgive us of any sin. But, today I want to relate the Feast of Divine Mercy to one sin in particular: abortion.

Sister Maria Faustina Kowalska, the Saint whose life and writings inspired our late Holy Father, Pope John Paul II, to rename the Octave day of Easter after the Mercy of God, wrote about abortion in her diary, Divine Mercy in My Soul:

diary.jpgSeptember 16, 1937. I wanted very much to make a Holy Hour before the Blessed Sacrament today, but God’s will was otherwise. At eight o’clock I was seized with such violent pains that I had to go to bed at once. I was convulsed with pain for three hours; that is, until eleven o’clock at night. No medicine had any effect on me, and whatever I swallowed I threw up. At times, the pains caused me to lose consciousness. Jesus had me realize that in this way I took part in His Agony in the Garden, and that He himself allowed these sufferings in order to offer reparation to God for the souls murdered in the wombs of wicked mothers. I have gone through these sufferings three times now. They always start at eight o’clock in the evening and last until eleven. No medicine can lessen these sufferings. When eleven o’clock comes, they cease by themselves, and I fall asleep at that moment. The following day, I feel very weak.

This happened to me for the first time when I was at the sanatorium. The doctors couldn’t get to the bottom of it, and no injection or medicine helped me at all nor did I myself have any idea of what the sufferings were about. I told the doctor that never before in my life had I experienced such sufferings, and he declared he did not know what sort of pains they are. But now I understand the nature of these pains, because the Lord himself as made this known to me… Yet when I think that I may perhaps suffer in this way again, I tremble. But I don’t know whether I’ll ever again suffer in this way; I leave that to God. What it pleases God to send, I will accept with submission and love. If only I could save even one soul from murder by means of these sufferings!

(Divine Mercy in My Soul 1276)

St. Faustina was permitted to suffer these terrible pains and offer them up to God in reparation for the children killed through abortion. This passage serves to remind us that we too can offer reparation for abortion. Obviously, God does not give each and every one of us intense physical sufferings to offer up. But, doesn’t mean that there is nothing we can do. Prayer and fasting can serve as reparation to God. And if anyone has ever taken part in the sin of abortion, either directly or indirectly, there is always the Mercy of God available in the confessional.

The Annunciation.jpg

The second Pro-Life Feast is the Annunciation. This Feast is typically celebrated on March 25th, exactly 9 months before the birth of Christ. But, because this year March 25th fell during the Octave of Easter it is moved to the next available day – March 31st.

The incarnation did not occur on the 1st Christmas. Rather, God became flesh in the womb of his mother and lived there for 9 months before his birth. The fact that God chose to dwell with man in this manner is a powerful witness that life begins at conception and not at birth.

Mary’s fiat – “May it be done to me according to your word” (Luke 1:38) – allowed the Savior to enter the world and redeem all creation. And this feast should serve as a reminder to us to pray that all mothers will say yes to the life God has created within them.

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The Pope’s Baptism

Posted by james0235 on March 23, 2008

young-ratzinger.jpgI was born on Holy Saturday, April 16, 1927, in Marktl am Inn. The fact that my day of birth was the last day of Holy Week and the eve of Easter has always been noted in our family history. This was connected with the fact that I was baptized immediately on the morning of the day I was born with the water that had just been blessed. (At that time the solemn Easter Vigil was celebrated on the morning of Holy Saturday.) To be the first person baptized with the new water was seen as a significant act of Providence. I have always been filled with thanksgiving for having had my life immersed in this way in the Easter mystery, since this could only be a sign of blessing. To be sure, it was not Easter Sunday but Holy Saturday, but, the more I reflect on it, the more this seems to be fitting for the nature of our human life: we are still awaiting Easter; we are not yet standing in the full light but walking toward it full of trust.

(Joseph Ratzinger, Milestones: Memories, 1927-1977, p. 8 )

benedict.jpg

We know that he went on to accomplish great things. The question now is how many future priests, bishops, or even popes were baptized last night? How many future deacons? How many future nuns? And most importantly of all: how many future saints?

Be sure to ask anyone you know who was baptized or who entered into full Communion with the Catholic Church last night if they have ever given any thought to their vocation.

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The Baptism Of The Lord

Posted by james0235 on January 13, 2008

Why was the Lord baptized? John’s baptism was “a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins” (Luke 3:3) so it could not actually forgive sins. And even if it could forgive sins, Jesus was the lamb of God who takes away sins (John 1:29). He had no need of forgiveness. So, why was Jesus baptized?

The Lord Himself gives us the answer to that question: “to fulfill all righteousness.” (Matthew 3:15).

Righteousness is doing the will of God. Jesus is fulfilling all righteousness by obedience to His role in God’s plan of salvation.

In the Old Covenant is was necessary for the High Priest to wash himself with water:

For ablutions you shall make a bronze laver with a bronze base. Place it between the meeting tent and the altar, and put water in it. Aaron and his sons shall use it in washing their hands and feet. When they are about to enter the meeting tent, they must wash with water, lest they die. Likewise when they approach the altar in their ministry, to offer an oblation to the LORD, they must wash their hands and feet, lest they die. (Exodus 30:18-21)

And likewise in the Old Covenant it was necessary that the High Priest be anointed:

With this sacred anointing oil you shall anoint the meeting tent and the ark of the commandments, the table and all its appurtenances, the lampstand and its appurtenances, the altar of incense and the altar of holocausts with all its appurtenances, and the laver with its base. When you have consecrated them, they shall be most sacred; whatever touches them shall be sacred. Aaron and his sons you shall also anoint and consecrate as my priests. (Exodus 30:26-30)

I believe that these passages from Exodus concerning the High Priest of the Old Covenant help to explain why Jesus was baptized in order to fulfill all righteousness.

Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan to be baptized by him. John tried to prevent him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and yet you are coming to me?” Jesus said to him in reply, “Allow it now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he allowed him. After Jesus was baptized, he came up from the water and behold, the heavens were opened (for him), and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove (and) coming upon him. And a voice came from the heavens, saying, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.” (Matthew 3:13-17)

Jesus, the eternal High Priest (Hebrews 6:20) of the New Covenant (Luke 22:20, 1 Corinthians 11:25), is washed with water and anointed with the Holy Spirit at His Baptism thus becoming the Messiah – the Christ – The Anointed One. In doing so he fulfills all righteousness by doing the Holy will of His Father.

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