Thirty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time,
November 6, 2011
It is hard to believe that we are only about thirty days away from the first Sunday of Advent, which means we are only about thirty days away from using the New Roman Missal. Quite frankly, I got a little nervous when I realized that we have so little time, and there is still so much to explain. I do plan to offer a workshop called “A Biblical Walk Through the Mass” and Bryan Cosham is going to offer the parish a workshop on the new music very soon.
But since the time is getting short, I think another article is in order about the new translation. Soon you will be changing the responses that you use in the Mass. One response will be “And with your spirit” instead of “And also with you.” Those of you who were around from 1966-1970 will probably remember using this response.
I remember using this response, but also thinking Why do they insist on only wishing salvation to my soul, what about the rest of me? At the time I did not realize that the greeting was straight out of scripture. Paul uses it in at least four of his letters, see for example Galatians 6:18, Philippians 4:23, 2 Timothy 4: 22, and Philemon 25.
In the context of Paul’s letters, he is explaining to the individual or to the community receiving the letter that the grace of the Lord be “with your spirit.” In Pauline theology the “spirit” is said to be the part of the human being that is directly influenced by the “Spirit’s” action.
So when the priest says “The Lord be with you” and you respond with “and with your spirit” this little dialogue is actually a prayer to God, the priest praying that God’s grace be given to the people, that they receive God’s gift of peace and salvation, that the Holy Spirit be rekindled in their hearts and minds. The people’s response “and with your spirit” is their prayer for the priest and a reminder to the priest that the sacrifice of the Mass is not done by his own power but by God. It is by the Spirit of God who penetrates “the spirit” of the priest that enables the priest to obey Christ’s command, “Do this in memory of me.”
It is by God’s Spirit of truth and love that not only are the bread and wine transformed into the body, blood, soul and divinity of Christ, but we ourselves who are transformed and made one body with Christ, as it says in the book of Genesis, “the two shall become one.” Nourished by this food we are sent forth to proclaim the word by our example and way of life the healing and saving messages of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
The Lord be with you.
A Digest of Articles from Catholic Blogs and Websites
November 6, 2011
Foolish and Wise Bridesmaids
“The religion thing can wait. After all, I believe in God and am basically a good person. I really did intend to go to church this morning, but last night’s dancing took a lot more out of me than I thought and I had one drink too many. I’ll catch it next week. I’ll pray later.”
Foolishness is a matter of priorities. The foolish person majors in the minors, investing money and time in things that really don’t pay very well. Wisdom is a matter of putting first things first, not last. Prudence, which is the practical side of wisdom, is about making a plan to pursue and attain the things that matter most (Wisdom 6:12-16), the things that really last..
Why the wise virgins could not share their oil – On this Sunday’s Gospel
The foolish [virgins] said to the wise, “Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.” But the wise ones replied, “No, for there may not be enough for us and you.”
Have you ever wondered why it is that the wise virgins refuse to assist the foolish virgins by sharing a little of the oil from their own lamps? Doesn’t it seem a bit odd that they care more for themselves than for the others?
EWTN Presents Father Robert Barron’s Epic Series ‘Catholicism’
Now, get the rest of story as EWTN premieres the six episodes of this lavishly-produced series that PBS didn’t! See “Catholicism” Wednesday, Nov. 16 through Saturday, Nov. 19. These six episodes have never before been seen on national television and will air exclusively on EWTN!
What Does it Mean that the Gates of Hell Won’t Prevail?
In Matthew 16:18, Jesus says to Simon:
“And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”
Lots of ink (and blood) has been spilled on the issue of Peter’s role as the Rock, and that’s usually where the debate ends. Catholics say that Simon is the rock, since Jesus just renamed him Peter (which means Rock), and this is pretty clearly what’s meant. Protestants deny this, claiming that Peter’s Greek name means small rock. Nevermind that Jesus named Peter in Aramaic, not Greek (as John 1:42 tells us), and that Petros is the masculine form of the Greek word for rock (petra).
And He Will Wipe Every Tear From Their Eyes, yes, Every Tear.
A Reflection on the Healing Hope of Purgatory
Oh Lord, I’m running….Trying to make a 100. Ninety-nine and a half won’t do! These are the words of an old African American spiritual. And ultimately they are rooted in a promise of God that we will one day be perfect.
Well, I’ll tell you, God’s been good to me and he’s brought me a mighty long way, but I’m not at 100, not even close. Because this “100″ is not graded on some human curve or scale. The 100 is God’s 100! Jesus says, Be therefore perfect, as also your heavenly Father is perfect (Matt 5:48).
How about you? Are you there yet?
The Happy Priest on the Virtue of Humility
The only way that we can get into Heaven is by being humble. The door of life is a door of mystery. It becomes slightly shorter than the one who wishes to enter it. And thus only he who bows in humility can cross its threshold.
One day, the famous news correspondent, Walter Cronkite, was sailing down the Mystic River in Connecticut, following the channel’s tricky turns through a stretch of shallow water. A boatload of young people sped past his boat and its occupants shouted and waved their arms. Cronkite waved back a cheery greeting and his wife said, “Do you know what they were shouting?” “Why, it was ‘Hello, Walter,'” Cronkite replied. “No,” she said. “They were shouting, “Low water, Low water.'”
A Spiritual Battle – How to Win the Culture War
To win any war, the three most necessary things to know are: (1) that you are at war, (2) who your enemy is, and (3) what weapons or strategies can defeat him.
You cannot win a war (1) if you simply sew peace banners on a battlefield, (2) if you fight civil wars against your allies, or (3) if you use the wrong weapons.
Here is a three point checklist for the culture wars.
One of the Easy Ways to Become a Saint – Meditation
I am finishing up a terrific little book by Father Paul Paul O’Sullivan, O.P. I think everyone in the world would benefit from reading his entire series of books, especially this one An Easy Way to Become a Saint and The Wonders of the Holy Name.
The following is one way Father instructs us on becoming a saint, by meditation:
Some facts about purgatory
These early days (indeed, the whole month) of November is a time specifically devoted to praying for the poor souls in purgatory. How sad it is that relatively few Catholics even think of the poor souls! Certainly, this woeful neglect on the part of so many is due largely to the fact that few priests have been preaching about purgatory over the past thirty to forty years.
I do hope that we all are taking advantage of the opportunity to gain a plenary indulgence for the dead each day between the first and eighth of November. The requirements for gaining this special grace (from the handbook of indulgences) are:
The Three Theological Virtues in Catholicism are Faith, Hope, and Charity
What does it really mean to have faith?
Is all faith really “blind faith” or is there more to it than that?
When we see people of strong faith, do we ask them about their journey?
How can prayer helps us acquire Faith? Can praying the Rosary strengthen our faith?
Is faith and belief in God an intellectual and academic conclusion that truly thoughtful people can arrive at?
Thank you, St. Jude!
Last summer I drove up to Portland, Oregon to visit my cousin. The melanoma that had apparently responded so well to previous treatment had in fact spread to his lungs.
His type of melanoma was aggressive – typically only about a 5-10 percent survival rate. So he was looking at about a year to live, maybe even less. Like so many others, I just wanted to pay him a visit.
Fear of the Lord
The French bishop Jean-Pierre Camus (1584-1652) was a disciple of St. Francis de Sales and the author of “The Spirit of St. Francis de Sales.” In that work, he recorded these words of the great bishop, confessor and Doctor: “Meditation on the four last things will be useful to you provided that you always end with an act of confidence in God. Never represent to yourself death or hell on the one side unless the cross is on the other; so that when your fears have been excited by the one you may with confidence turn for help to the other.”
Bishop Camus then recorded this striking observation of St. Francis de Sales: “The one point on which he chiefly insisted was that we must fear God from love, not love God from fear.”
Pondering Punishment in the Light of Love
Consider this text from the Prophet Amos. He has God speaking of some rather strong punishments coming Israel’s way due to her lack of repentance. God says the strong shall be brought low and the swift shall not escape! There is also a vivid line in the psalm that read: Consider this, you who forget God, lest I rend you and there be no one to rescue you. He that offers praise as a sacrifice glorifies me; and to him that goes the right way I will show the salvation of God (Ps 50:22-23)
Town Rejects Rosary as Offensive and the Prayers that Changed Everything
Mike Casey is a praying man. The father of two believes in the power of prayer to change things. But it’s easy to believe in the power of prayer when you see how a little prayer can change so many things.
It all started simply. Mike Casey wanted to pray. As part of the nationwide “America Needs Fatima” movement, Mike wanted to hold a public rosary in the small Massachusetts town of Upton. It would be one of 7,515 Public Square Rosaries held across the United States on October 15th.
Before I even read today’s Magnificat’s meditation by Caryll Houselander, I have been trying to simplify our family. Getting rid of excess things in our home is a priority for me. One of the main reasons I am focusing on this is because of Matthew 6:19 :“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and decay destroy, and thieves break in and steal. But store up treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor decay destroys, nor thieves break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there also will your heart be.”
Why Did Paul Get Arrested at Philippi and What Should We Learn From It?
There is a story of St. Paul’s arrest, beating and imprisonment at Philippi that serves as a kind of paradigm for the radicality of true Christianity and why it so perturbs many in this world. For, of itself the Christian faith, its message and the transformation it can effect, is very unsettling for a world that quite literally and figuratively banks on sin. Lets consider this lesser known story of Paul and see what it ought to mean for us, if we take the Christian faith seriously and do not try to “tame” it.
The Illusion of Perfect Life/…
When we were all young mothers, one of my pals phoned me sounding blue. It turned out her life wasn’t what she believed it was supposed to be. She adored her little 18-month-old son almost to distraction and was trying very hard to be the perfect wife with perfect husband, the perfect mother with the perfect son. She felt she was failing, because her life wasn’t all coming together “just so.” Her son, a biddable, gorgeous little kid, wasn’t expressing the tiniest interest in the potty. “But the magazines say…”
The German pope who took on the secular world
For 100 years or more, most western countries have worked on the axiom that our common life together ought to be deliberately secular. Religion in a free society may be acceptable as a private activity, like knitting or going to the gym, but it has no proper place in the spheres of politics, economics or citizenship.
The rise of militant Islam, like the influence of the Christian Right on American foreign policy and, perhaps more encouragingly, the role of the Catholic Church in the overthrow of Polish Communism, might suggest that in the real world things are not necessarily quite so simple.