Tuesday, August 14, 2018

At prayer

I smiled when I saw this painting. Many times from my childhood on I've sat in a pew with my head against the cool stone column and either prayed or just sat in the presence of the Lord.

Thursday, August 09, 2018

Catholic 101 : How do I use the missal during Mass?

I found a good video on how to use the missal during Mass. I normally use the online Sancta Misa missal so I don't have to go back and forth. Rocky prefers to use the big missal at home or during Adoration and uses the red Eclesia Dei missal and the photocopied daily readings provided by the parish during Mass. I think this video is very helpful no matter missal you use.

Wednesday, August 08, 2018

A Prayer for the Redemption of Bad Priests

Divine Savior Jesus Christ, Thou are the Good Shepherd who gives His life for His sheep. Oh, be in a very special way the Good Shepherd of those poor lost priests who are also appointed by Thee to be leaders of Thy people, but who have broken the oath of their holy ordination and have become unfaithful to their exalted calling. Bestow upon these poorest of the poor the very fullness of that pastoral solicitude with which Thou dost so faithfully seek the sheep that are lost! Touch their hearts with the irresistible ray of grace which emanates from Thine all-merciful love! Enlighten their minds and strengthen their wills, that they may turn away from all sin and error and come back to Thy holy altar and to Thy people. O most compassionate Savior! Remember that Thou didst once redeem the souls of Thine erring priests with Thy Precious Blood and in infinite preferential love didst impress upon them the indelible character of the priesthood. Put wholly to shame those miserable helpers of Satan who lay snares for the virtue of priests and endanger the holy ideal of the priesthood. Most graciously accept our prayers and sacrifices for poor priests who have gone astray and hear our earnest petition.
Imprimatur - Bishop John F. Noll (April 18, 1948)

St. Anthony of Padua, defender of the Holy Eucharist, obtain for us holy priests
St. John-Mary Vianney, model of sacerdotal holiness, obtain for us holy priests

St. Francis Xavier, patron of missionary priests, obtain for us holy priests
St. Therese of the Child-Jesus and of the Holy Face, victim offered for the sanctification of priests, obtain for us holy priests

Saints and Servants of God, obtain for us holy priests.

Tuesday, August 07, 2018

A Word to Parents

Mary, St. Joseph, pray for us. Jesus, mercy!

Every single thing you do in front your children  is like shooting off a gun and for good or for evil, the bullet travels through multiple generations. My father-in-law made a bad decision in the early 90s and it hurt my brother-in-law's mental state. He was so unhappy that he was easy pickings for the Jehovah's Witnesses.   In December my brother-in-law's son will be 18 years old. If he chooses to go to college without permission of the elders he will be excommunicated. 25 years ago my father-in-law said "Go to this college and stick with this major or I wash my hands of you." Today my brother-in-law is saying,"Go to this college and I wash my hands of you."

50 years ago a woman had an affair. Her husband went to work and her lover sneaked in through the back door as soon as the poor husband left.  When her husband died she quickly married the lover. Years  passed and when her daughters were teenagers and scandalously promiscuous the woman tried to rebuke them. One girl angrily asked who was she-- an adulteress who betrayed their father and shamed her family--- to tell them anything about decent behavior.  Those girls went on to rocky lives and some had children out of wedlock. As they saw it, they may have made mistakes but at least they weren't hypocrites like their mother.

Thirty years ago a Catholic man left his wife for another woman. Today his daughter is an atheist. Her Catholic husband no longer goes to Mass or is doing so secretly and the kids are being raised as secular humanists.  Grandpa's lust was a wild bullet and his sins are visited on innocents who hadn't even been born at the time.

Parents, you have an awesome vocation. You have incredible society building or destroying power. The woman and the two men I mentioned here were all sorry when they got old but that just doesn't cut it when that sorrow comes decades too late. May God bless you with wisdom and sufficient grace.

Saturday, August 04, 2018

McCarrick fallout

Years ago a co-worker of mine noticed that I was Catholic and happily told me that he was as well. He was an altar server at the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception for high Masses and told me that Cardinal McCarrick was the most political man he'd ever met. I asked how so and he told me a tale. My co-worker was coming out of the sacristy and greeted Cardinal McCarrick in the hall. The cardinal asked him who was in the sacristy, what they were talking about and what kind of rings they were wearing. My co-worker told him and then the cardinal took a jewelry case or pouch (my co-worker may have specified but I can't recall that) from his pocket and picked from the collection an episcopal ring that most resembled the ones that the other bishops were wearing and put it on. He was ready and sailed in to charm everyone.

I myself, once met the cardinal on the street  near the DC Cathedral and  I was surprised to find him all alone. I'd read stories about the cardinal and the beach house by that time and found myself expecting to see some sign of it in his face and manner but of course I didn't. He did not behave anything like the white collar homosexual men I see everyday on the street downtown or any of the flamboyant priests I've come across. He is a remarkable, well trained chameleon.

What is interesting and hopeful is that the laity is not reacting to Cardinal McCarrick like most of us  did in 2002.  The bishops can hold another meeting and update the Dallas charter again but that won't cut it this time. People are not dropping this. They are asking awkward questions about who enabled Cardinal McCarrick and who rose high because they were close to him. I've also read a lot of discussions about protesting by withholding money, demanding lay oversight of known problem seminaries and  the feasibility of lay people buying convents and church buildings to keep them from being sold off to pay secret settlements.

Besides these there have been a few naive calls for married priests as if being forced to marry would actually keep a homosexual chaste. My mother's family are Southern Baptists. In the subset of their denomination no-one can become a pastor without having a wife. This is to avoid dating problems with young ministers. Interestingly enough, the deacons of my family's church broke this rule when they hired the current pastor. That caused a great deal of upset and later the reverend's search for a mate darn near split the congregation and resentments still simmer. One old man even told the reverend to leave when he showed up for a sick call at the old man's house with his girlfriend in tow. Sick calls with the reverend are a duty of the church's First Lady or members of the shut in ministry and the old congregation member was shocked and angry.

 To avoid all this hullabaloo many young ministers get married in the seminary. Not all of these marriages are love matches. It's not unheard of for a minister who wants to lead his own  congregation to get married to a woman who he thinks will make a good First Lady and hope for the best. He may come to love her later or he may find "comfort" elsewhere but he's not going to get his own church without her. A man who is determined to do something, will. If a predator has to get married to have a perfect disguise while he preys on the innocent, he will.

The important thing this go round is that people are talking amongst themselves and talking back to bishops and priests who try to smooth this over or act as if McCarrick was a complete surprise and a one time fluke.

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Oh come on...

  •  This is not my parish, thank goodness.  Rocky hasn't come across a used diaper yet but he and  the other ushers find some really icky stuff in the pews after Mass, particularly after weddings.

  • Bishop Tobin of Rhode Island has deleted his Twitter account.  He couldn't stomach the blow-back that came his way after writing:"

    “Despite the egregious offenses of a few, and despite the faults and sins we all have, I’m very proud of my brother bishops and I admire and applaud the great work they do everyday for Christ and His Church”.

    He followed that unwise and offensive tweet with this little charmer:

    "If you find a perfect church out there somewhere, by all means, join it. But remember, the moment you join it, it will cease being perfect."

    Well thanks, your Excellency, I never thought I'd see the day when a bishop would say to the Faithful that they should leave the Church if they are upset by the scandals. Bishop Tobin seriously miscalculated how angry and more importantly, how sick with grief the laity has become, people let him know and he ran away. St. Peter Damien, pray for us.

  • Cardinal Kevin Farrell finally has made a public statement about his old mentor, Cardinal McCarrick. He states, "I never heard any of this before in the six years I was there with him." So far, the response from the lay folk has been skeptical.