These are the wounds I wish for Lord…

“These are the wounds I wish for Lord…”

The statues of Mary and the Crucified Christ in the Church Escuela de Cristo in Antigua, Guatemala

Wounds. We all have them. Some we don’t want. Others we try to hide and still others we can’t help but recall from time to time, if not every day.

Wounds make us who we are. Wounds cut. They hurt. They go shallow and they go deep. Yet, they also can transform.

One of my favorite quotes comes from Pope Benedict XVI, in an idea that he takes from some of the Fathers. The idea that we must allow ourselves to be wounded by beauty. We must allow the beauty of God, the love of God to pierce our heart and to make it beat and bleed for love of God.

What wounds do you not want?

Fear?

Hatred?

Not being loved?

Told that you’re worthless?

Told that you’re not beautiful?

Abuse?

Physical?

Mental?

Emotional?

Vocal?

Passion?

Friendship?

Family?

The list could go on and on. But what happens if we allow the Lord to have that wound? What happens if we allow he Lord to take that wound and join it to his 5 most glorious and precious wounds? What if we allow the Lord to crucify that wound in our life to the cross with himself? What then?

How might our lives be changed? How might they grow? How might we be transformed by our wounds?

“Inspire our hearts, I ask you, Jesus, with that breath of your Spirit; wound our souls with your love, so that the soul of each and every one of us may say in truth: Show me my soul’s desire, for I am wounded by your love.

These are the wounds I wish for, Lord.

What if we allow our wounds to be replaced with new wounds? What if we allow Christ to wound us with his love?

The Abbot St. Columban put it beautifully in the Office of Readings this morning. Read his words below and imagine what would happen if you and I allow our wounds to be transformed by love? What would happen if we allow ourselves to be transformed by Him who loves us more than anything else he has created? What if?

From an instruction by Saint Columban, abbot

(Instr.13, De Christo fonte vitae, 2-3: Opera, Dublin 1957,118-120)

You, O God, are everything to us

Brethren, let us follow that vocation by which we are called from life to the fountain of life. He is the fountain, not only of living water, but of eternal life. He is the fountain of light and spiritual illumination; for from him come all these things: wisdom, life and eternal light. The author of life is the fountain of life; the creator of light is the fountain of spiritual illumination. Therefore, let us seek the fountain of light and life and the living water by despising what we see, by leaving the world and dwelling in the highest heavens. Let us seek these things, and like rational and shrewd fish may we drink the living water which wells up to eternal life.

Merciful God, good Lord, I wish that you would unite me to that fountain, that there I may drink of the living spring of the water of life with those others who thirst after you. There in that heavenly region may I ever dwell, delighted with abundant sweetness, and say: “How sweet is the fountain of living water which never fails, the water welling up to eternal life.”

O God, you are yourself that fountain ever and again to be desired, ever and again to be consumed. Lord Christ, always give us this water to be for us the source of the living water which wells up to eternal life. I ask you for your great benefits. Who does not know it? You, King of glory, know how to give great gifts, and you have promised them; there is nothing greater than you, and you bestowed yourself upon us; you gave yourself for us.

Therefore, we ask that we may know what we love, since we ask nothing other than that you give us yourself. For you are our all: our life, our light, our salvation, our food and our drink, our God. Inspire our hearts, I ask you, Jesus, with that breath of your Spirit; wound our souls with your love, so that the soul of each and every one of us may say in truth: Show me my soul’s desire, for I am wounded by your love.

These are the wounds I wish for, Lord. Blessed is the soul so wounded by love. Such a soul seeks the fountain of eternal life and drinks from it, although it continues to thirst and its thirst grows ever greater even as it drinks. Therefore, the more the soul loves, the more it desires to love, and the greater its suffering, the greater its healing. In this same way may our God and Lord Jesus Christ, the good and saving physician, wound the depths of our souls with a healing wound—the same Jesus Christ who reigns in unity with the Father and the Holy Spirit, for ever and ever. Amen.

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Active Participation in the Liturgy: Misunderstood, and Full of Love

Fr. Bob Robeson, Rector of Bishop Bruté, celebrates Mass during Lent.

Fr. Bob Robeson, Rector of Bishop Bruté, celebrates Mass during Lent.

Here is my paper that I wrote for Moral Theology on how the Roman Canon (Euchristic Prayer I) leads us to love how Christ loves. I also discuss how Active Participation (though somewhat misinterpreted after the council) in the Liturgy is most closely related to the Eucharistic Prayer. (A Benedict XVI/Cardinal Ratzinger idea)

I REALLY enjoyed writing this and was very pleased with the “A” grade and how the paper turned out. Check it out and let me know what you think.

Written for Dr. Matthew Sherman’s Fundamental Moral Theology class at Marian University on 4-13-15:

Active Participation in the Eucharistic Prayer leads us to love as Christ loves. 

The life of a Christian is one thirsting for and seeking after truth. Pope Benedict XVI said, “The human person finds his perfection “in seeking and loving what is true and good.”” For Catholic Christians the closest we can get to actual truth is through our faith, especially through our worship in the Mass. The Second Vatican Council Fathers acknowledged this when they called for Active participation in the liturgy by all of the faithful.[1] This important document on the Liturgy known as Sacrosanctum Concilium further calls the Sacred Liturgy the “primary and indispensible source from which the faithful are to derive the true Christian spirit.”[2] This true Christian Spirit or perfection as Pope Benedict taught is found in loving, specifically through our interaction in the Liturgy, the source of what is true and good.

Pope Benedict XVI, (then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger) in one of his most famous works discusses the idea of active participation. He says that this was “very quickly misunderstood to mean something external…a need for general activity…as if as many people as possible, as often…should be visibly engaged in action.”[3] He goes on to explain how a deeper study of the sources for this call to active participation in the Liturgy points to the “the Eucharistic Prayer. The real liturgical action, the true liturgical act, is the oratio, the great prayer that forms the core of the Eucharistic celebration…”[4] Through the Eucharistic Prayer in the Mass the Christian people seek the truth (Christ, himself) and learn to love through it.

There are three main types of love, which exist in the Christian life: (1)Agape, (2)Eros, and (3)Philia. Authors of The Christian Moral Life, Patricia Lamoureux and Paul J. Wadell point to Jesuit Father Edward Vacek’s explanation of these three loves as being that “We may love the beloved (1) for the sake of the beloved, (2) for our own sake, or (3) for the sake of a relationship we have with the beloved.”[5]   Taking after Pope Benedict XVI if we look at The Roman Canon, known also as Eucharistic Prayer I, which has remained relatively, unchanged since the 7th century we can see an assortment of the three different types of love, that are present throughout it. These three loves help us to see the role of active participation in the Eucharistic Prayer and the ways in which it has affected different branches of Christianity throughout the centuries.

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Fr. Bob, elevates the host in the chapel at the Church of the Transfiguration on Mt. Tabor during our Holy Land Trip

Agape as Fr. Vacek states is, loving for the sake of the beloved. Many theologians tend to point to this love as being the primary Christian love, made evident through Christ’s sacrificial gift of himself upon the cross. Christ, through loving those in the world gave his life out of love for those whom he loved. One could say that the greatest proof of this love in the Roman Canon would be Christ talking of his sacrifice in the Institution Narrative: “Take this all of you… For this is my body, which will be given up for you.”[6] This total gift of self, of Christ’s body on the cross and then made present at every Mass celebrated demonstrates that way of loving someone so much for the sake of them, that nothing else matters. As Lamoureux and Wadell state, “agape does not require reciprocity.”[7]

Eros is love for our own sake,5 It does not require loving someone or something else for their sake, but rather what brings us joy, pleasure, and comfort. Lamoureux and Wadell go on to explain that Fr. Vacek “emphasizes that even though eros is self-interested, it is not necessarily self-centered because it does involve recognition of another thing’s value or goodness and, in that respect, is genuinely love of the other.”[8] One could argue that eros in the Liturgy could be found in the intercessory side of the prayer. Asking for something, (good) because we desire it and its’ effects in our lives is an example of intercession. The Mass by its’ very nature is as a whole intercessory, that is, it is offered up for the sake of someone. In the Roman Canon we see where the priest prays commemorating the living and offering a specific line of petition to God on their behalf. “For them, we offer you this sacrifice of praise or they offer it for themselves and all who are dear to them…”[9] I would argue that even though the priest is praying these prayers on behalf of the people, this is a moment, where the active participation occurs that Pope Benedict XVI alluded to. The priest says, “or they offer it for themselves”9 This offering up of one’s intentions and prayers with those of the mass is a perfect example of focusing on what is happening and being present and a living part of this living sacrifice. The eros, or love for the sake of oneself is beautifully demonstrated in this way of intercession, asking God to accept this sacrifice for something we desire. So often in our culture we line Eros up with erotic love, and while it is that, the basis for it, is love for the sake of oneself. One could argue that the love with which Christ gave up his life on the cross was as Fr. Vacek states, “love of the other”8 We see in Paul’s letter to the Ephesians this love in a sacrificial nature, like Agape. “Even as Christ loved the church and handed himself over for her.”[10] Fr. Vacek also states, “Eros emotionally unites the lover with the beloved and therein affirms the beloved’s value, but does so for the sake of the perfection that accrues to the lover.”[11] Thus, the sacrifice of Christ on the cross not only united him with his bride the church, but through it, and through the words spoken during the Eucharistic prayer, the goal of which Christ died is made present. Christ, through the incarnation in taking on our human flesh restored the sacredness and beauty to the human body that was removed by sin, thus his own physical body perfected with his divinity affirmed those redeemed by his action, as well as uniting him more wholly to his people.

Philia, also known as friendship makes up the third type of love. Lamouroeux and Wadell talk of how “even though we love our friends for their own sake (agape), as well as for the joy and meaning they bring to our lives (eros), more than anything we love the relationship that exists between us and our friends.”[12] This relationship that exists between us and our friends is made evident through the relationship which Christ redeemed with his people through his sacrifice. We see in the Roman Canon an example of this love as the priest prays, “so that all of us, who through this participation at the altar receive the most holy Body and Blood of your Son, may be filled with every grace and heavenly blessing.”[13] The relationship with which the people, priest, and Christ have through the celebration of the Eucharistic prayer shows the “perfection” which exists in a philia form of relationship. Thomas Aquinas discusses whether Charity is the form (origin) of all other virtues. He states, “that it is charity which directs the acts of all other virtues to the last end.”[14] Thus, Agape, and eros, point us towards our relationship with the one whom we love for the sake of a relationship.5

Through seeking the truth, man discovers God, and discovers him in the person of Jesus Christ, our beloved. This encounter happens most profoundly through the Sacrifice of the Mass, when those present are united to the one, “true and singular sacrifice”[15] of Christ on the cross. This union which forever bridged the gap between Man and God is renewed each time by those who participate actively in the Eucharistic Prayers of the Mass. By seeking him who is true and good, we come to love Him, in a unique way and experience love in all its’ forms. The goal of our attendance and participation at Mass is a life of grace from the Sacraments. This love of Christ present in the Sacraments is brought out through Christ loving us for the sake of us, loving us for the sake of himself, and his human body, and loving us for the sake of the relationship he desires to have with us forever in Heaven. This union with God in the person of Jesus Christ is made present at every Mass. This relationship of lover to the beloved is made present to all who actively participate in the praying of the Eucharistic Prayer, through loving Christ who loved us first.

Fr. Bob and Deacon Cronin, elevate the chalice and host in the Church of the workshop of St. Joseph, Nazareth

Fr. Bob and Deacon Cronin, elevate the chalice and host in the Church of the workshop of St. Joseph, Nazareth

Through our active participation in the prayer, we receive a foretaste of the love which exists in the Kingdom of Heaven for all who lead a moral and virtuous life, a life, which Christ came to call all of us to, a life, which calls us to love ourselves, and others, for the sake of the union to come. For as John says, “I, (Christ) when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself.”[16]

[1] Paul VI, Vatican II: Sacrosanctum Concilium (Collegeville: Liturgical Press, 1996), 7.

[2] Ibid. 8.

[3] Joseph Ratzinger, The Spirit of the Liturgy (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 2008), 171.

[4] Ibid. 172.

[5] Lamoureux and Wadell, The Christian Moral Life (New York: Orbis Books, 2010), 194.

[6] Eucharistic Prayer I, The Roman Missal, trans. The International Commission on English in the Liturgy, 3rd typical ed.. sec. 89 (Washington D.C.: United States Catholic Conference of Bishops, 2011), 639.

[7] Lamoureux and Wadell, The Christian Moral Life (New York: Orbis Books, 2010), 195.

[8] Ibid. 197

[9] Eucharistic Prayer I, The Roman Missal, trans. The International Commission on English in the Liturgy, 3rd typical ed.. sec. 85 (Washington D.C.: United States Catholic Conference of Bishops, 2011), 636.

[10] Ephesians 5:25 NABRE

[11] Lamoureux and Wadell, The Christian Moral Life (New York: Orbis Books, 2010), 197.

[12] Ibid. 198

[13] Eucharistic Prayer I, The Roman Missal, trans. The International Commission on English in the Liturgy, 3rd typical ed.. sec. 94 (Washington D.C.: United States Catholic Conference of Bishops, 2011), 641.

[14] Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica: Question 23 on Charity, (Handout, abridged from NewAdvent.org) 2.

[15] Pius IV, Decretum de sacrificio Missae, (handout prepared by K. Harmon 2015, originally published in 1562) 1.

[16] John 12:32 RSV

Walking the Way of Beauty: Speak lord, your servant listens

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In this period I have recalled several times the need for every Christian, in the midst of the many occupations that fill our days, to find time for God and for prayer. The Lord himself gives us many opportunities to remember him. Today I would like to reflect briefly on one of these channels that can lead to God and can also be of help in the encounter with him. It is the way of artistic expression, part of that “via pulchritudinis” — the “way of beauty”, of which I have spoken several times and whose deepest meaning must be recovered by men and women today.” – Pope Benedict XVI (31, Aug. 2011)

Usually I change my blog design in the Spring, something new, fresh, etc. This time, I took it a step further and changed the name and design of my blog completely. Those who know me will tell you that I love beautiful things. I love art, music, architecture, liturgy, woodworking, flowers, etc. For me, beauty has always been a lens through which I am able to see God in my life. Whether it be through the beauty of human achievement and the powers of the mind and intellect or a walk through nature smelling the scent of fresh lawn clippings or feeling the warmth of the sun on my neck through my window as I drive down the road I always find myself smiling and saying: “Thanks, God!”

Beauty is a very prevalent part of what I would define as my spirituality, how I experience God in my life. As I continue through seminary I am constantly amazed at the ways in which God works through our lives. His plan which covers everything down to the most minute detail leaves me speechless at times. In the first reading from 1 Samuel we hear at Mass today of the way in which our Lord called Samuel and the somewhat lengthy way it took for him to finally realize who it was who was speaking to him. In Seminary we listen to his call, we try to interpret it, with the aid of our Spiritual directors, formators, brother seminarians, Bishops, etc. For me, beauty is a way in which I hear Christ speak and call me. It’s no mystery that one of the major factors that drew me to consider a vocation to the priesthood was my involvement with beautiful liturgies growing up. To take something created by God, sometimes imperfect-ed by our human hands, and offer it back up to him in thanksgiving, love, and worship has such a powerful influence on me.

Pope Benedict continuing his address discussing the “via pulchritudinis”  explains how “A work of art is a product of the creative capacity of the human being who in questioning visible reality, seeks to discover its deep meaning and to communicate it through the language of forms, colour and sound. Art is able to manifest and make visible the human need to surpass the visible, it expresses the thirst and the quest for the infinite.”

He goes on: “May the visits to places filled with art, then, not only be opportunities for cultural enrichment — that too — but may they become above all moments of grace, incentives to strengthen our bond and our dialogue with the Lord so that — in switching from simple external reality to the more profound reality it expresses — we may pause to contemplate the ray of beauty that strikes us to the quick, that almost “wounds” us, and that invites us to rise toward God.

I end with a prayer from a Psalm, Psalm 27[26]: “One thing have I asked of the Lord, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and contemplate his temple” (v. 4).

Let us hope that the Lord will help us to contemplate his beauty, both in nature and in works of art, so that we, moved by the light that shines from his face, may be a light for our neighbor.”

At the end of the Gospel today we hear: “Samuel grew up, and the LORD was with him,
not permitting any word of his to be without effect.” May we be able to listen to our Lord’s call in our own lives, may we who discern his call to whatever vocation he asks respond with Mary’s humble “yes.” And may we who contemplate his temple see the beauty that exists in our world and walk this path, this way of beauty which leads us to him, to God, May the beauty that we create and experience always lead us closer to him, the source of beauty.

So this is the new design for my blog and hopefully more of the path in which I hope to take it. Let me know what you think. Pray for me and I will pray for you as we walk the way of beauty together.

Check out the above video for an excellent organ-based musical piece, from one of my favorite movies.

Divine Mercy Sunday, Two Saints, and Homosexuality… Three gifts to the church!

 

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Today on the Feast of Divine Mercy, we have received many gifts in the church. The first being a reminder of Christ’s love and mercy, the second being two new saints: John Paul II and John XXIII, and the third, coincidentally titled similarly is The Third Way. Fr. John Hollowell, a priest from the Archdiocese of Indianapolis has been working on producing this video with Blackstone Films, in an effort to show the world what the Catholic Church really teaches about homosexuality. 

“The Catholic Church opens her arms in welcome to all…Come to the waters of salvation…those who have same sex attraction belong in the Catholic church…we will listen to you…we will support you…we will love you for who you are…”

People always think that the Catholic church rejects those who have same sex attraction, but that is quite the contrary! Watch this beautiful video to see what the church truly teaches on homosexuality. Please share!!

It really challenges all of us who are involved with ministry to treat all in and outside the church with welcoming and loving arms. How can you change the way you encounter others and bring them Christ’s love and mercy?

Happy Feast of the Divine Mercy!!

<p><a href=”http://vimeo.com/93079367″>The Third Way</a> from <a href=”http://vimeo.com/blackstonefilms”>Blackstone Films</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

“We can have the most beautiful Liturgy in the World, but without love it is for nothing.”

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The video below is of Archbishop Alexander Sample’s homily on the Liturgy, which he offered on Quinquegesima Sunday at the Brigittine Monastery of Our Lady of Consolation. Wow! Wonderful homily. One of my favorite quotes from it is: “We can have the most beautiful Liturgy in the World, but without love it is for nothing.” The Mass is not about us, but about Christ. Everything we do is a call to give the glory to God that is due him. The Liturgy is a wonderful opportunity to grow in our love of Christ and deepen our faith. Beautiful liturgies have played a great part in my life, especially in inspiring my vocation. I give thanks for being able to be a part of many beautiful liturgies over the year. We are blessed to celebrate beautiful liturgies at the seminary and it really adds to the spiritual growth that our men experience at Bishop Bruté. The love of the priests in my life for God has shown by how they celebrate the Mass and it trull has deepened my faith.

No matter whether the Mass is celebrated in the Novus Ordo, Byzantine, Dominican, Carmelite, Extraordinary, or another Rite/Form the Liturgy is a way to bring Heaven to Earth, to interact with the people in a very real way and draw them closer to God. Our love of God should echo in the ways in which we attend and celebrate Mass. Our movements, gaze, voice, everything we do leads us to God in extremely intimate ways.

May Our Lady queen of priests, always help priests and those who assist them to celebrate beautiful liturgies, truly worthy of the sacrifice being offered. As we near Holy Week and the Triduum, may our hearts and minds be on Christ, the mysteries we celebrate, and may we be granted the graces to serve at his Altar’s worthily, and with much love. Amen.

 

St. Stephen and the “Bloody Octave of Christmas”

St.  Stephen: protomartyr, deacon, and patron of the Diocese of Owensboro

St. Stephen: protomartyr, deacon, and patron of the Diocese of Owensboro. This image hangs in the back of the Cathedral, near the baptismal font.

A blessed feast of St. Stephen to you all! St. Stephen is the patron saint of the Cathedral and Diocese of Owensboro, KY. He was the first martyr of the early Christian church, and was also a deacon. His death (by stoning) is recorded in the Acts of the Apostles, having been witnessed by Saul of Tarsus (St. Paul). Stephen’s name is derived from the greek Stephanos, meaning “crown”. Traditionally, Stephen is invested with a crown of martyrdom; he is often depicted in art with three stones and the martyr’s palm. (In our Cathedral image, though he is just shown wearing a dalmatic (the vestment of the deacon in the Mass.) I keep a small statue of St. Stephen on my nightstand at the seminary, reminding me to ask for his intercession and to pray for the people in the diocese who are praying for me.

Our Cathedral was restored as part of the Diocesan celebrations for our 75th anniversary. Sam and I who were the only college seminarians for the diocese at Bishop Bruté, were able to take part in the historic, Solemn dedication of the renovated cathedral. You can see pictures from the day, by visiting my old Flickr profile, which is the last link on my photos page.

St .Stephen Cathedral in all of it's glory!

St .Stephen Cathedral in all of it’s glory! AP Imagery: photographer. Find his (Adam Paris) work on Flickr.com

https://flic.kr/p/9r2m8Q (To find photo, search “St. Stephen Cathedral” on Flickr.com)

 

The Cathedral renovation was done by the Talleres Art de Granda studio out of Spain. The work they do is absolutely beautiful, and it really showed with our Cathedral. Part of the renovation project included a new Allen 3-manual organ. We already have a Wicks Pipe Organ in the Choir Loft of the cathedral, so having two organs, both of which are magnificent instruments, really makes an organ nerd(and novice) like me happy!

The "former" cathedral decor. Notice the sound tile in the Choir Loft and the very pale, non vibrant color scheme. It fit it's time, but the new decor fits even better!

The “former” cathedral decor. Notice the sound tile in the Choir Loft and the very pale, non vibrant color scheme. It fit it’s time, but the new decor fits even better! (Wicks Pipe organ casing in the Choir Loft.)

3-manual Allen organ, that was installed in the Cathedral. Notice, the change in color schemes and the organ pipe casing in the choir loft. (There's another organ up there!)

3-manual Allen organ, that was installed in the Cathedral. Notice, the change in color schemes and the organ pipe casing in the choir loft. (There’s another organ up there!)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The cathedral renovation included a reredos, containing three sculptures of the life of St. Stephen. It is a beautiful piece!

The Sanctuary of St. Stephen Cathedral, notice the gold leafing on the Altar, Reredos, etc. Truly a work of art, fitting for God!

The Sanctuary of St. Stephen Cathedral, notice the gold leafing on the Altar, Reredos, etc. Truly a work of art, fitting for God!

So, the next time you are in Owensboro, I encourage you to stop by and visit our lovely cathedral. It will be well worth your time and I am positive that you will enjoy your time with our Lord!

The main entrance to the Cathedral.

The main entrance to the Cathedral.

 

The historic octave of Christmas is one of my favorites. (Yes, in the modern Roman Calendar, there are only two octaves (Easter & Christmas), but the octave of Christmas is one of great rejoicing, in a different sense. Monsignor Charles Pope, of the Archdiocese of Washington wrote a beautiful meditation on what he calls the Bloody Octave. What is the Bloody Octave? Monsignor Pope states: “It is one of the bloodiest weeks of the Church’s years. Thus, on December 26th, when we have hardly digested our Christmas dinner, we celebrate the Feast of St. Stephen, the Martyr who was stoned to death. On December 28th we celebrate the Feast of the Holy Innocents, the young and infant boys who were murdered by Herod seeking to kill Christ. On December 29th we celebrate the feast of St. Thomas Becket who was murdered in Canterbury Cathedral. (I’m planning on watching the great film Becket 1964, starring Richard Burton & Peter O’Toole. You can watch the whole movie free on Youtube here.Even St. (King) Wenceslaus of whom we happily sing “on the Feast of Stephen” was brutally killed by his brother.” 

So, we have a week of blood, a week of remembrance of those who gave their lives for the faith. (Remember Pope Benedict  wearing red shoes? It was a tradition in the church of showing the blood of the martyrs, which he (the pope) would be willing to accept in a moment for the sake of Christ. (JPII and Pope Francis are the first pope in hundreds of years not to wear the shoes))

Christ was born, as a sacrifice, he came to bring peace, through the offering of his life. “He who knew no sin, was made sin for us…” -2 Corinthians 5:12. Christ came to die, he was born into a world, so that he could give his life for it. Christ was born into the wood of the crib, only to be killed on the wood of the cross. This “bloody octave” teaches us that our faith is not that requires no effort, rather it is one that requires a total gift of self like the martyrs. Maybe we aren’t called to be killed physically for Christ, but we are called every day to pick up our cross, face the challenges of life, battle sin and temptation, and work toward our goal of Heaven. May these blessed “bloody” martyrs help us ever in our path toward Heaven as we continue on this Christmas Season, proclaiming: Glory to god in the Highest, and on earth peace to men of good will…

I hope that you and your families have a blessed Christmas Season! Remember, it’s not over until the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord if you follow the Novus Ordo Mass, and then not until February 2nd (The Purification of Mary, Candlemas) in the Extraordinary form. Also, this Friday ranks as a solemnity (it falls in the Octave of Christmas) so go ahead and eat meat, enjoy a piece of cake, Christ the savior is born and we are celebrating!

Merry Christmas!

 

St. Stephen, martyr, deacon, and patron of the Diocese of Owensboro, pray for us who have recourse to thee!

Well written article on Pope-Emeritus Benedict’s return to the Vatican.

Well written article on Pope-Emeritus Benedict’s return to the Vatican.

“And in the end, whether he calls himself Linus, Sixtus, Julius, Adrian, Clement, Pius, John, Paul, John Paul, Benedict… or now – for the first time – Francis, at his core he’s always the same: that is, Peter – that is, the rock on which the Master continues to build, shape and grow His Church.”

 

Tu Es Petrus, Et Super Hanc Petram…. Viva Il Papa!

A picture worth a thousand words…

A picture worth a thousand words...

I can’t get over how powerful this picture is. Just one man, and by him closing the door it symbols the start of conclave. It brings me back to seeing the doors of Castel Gandalfo close, representing the end of the reign of Pope Benedict XVI. Christ is with his church, he has always been and will so continue. We have only to knock at the closed door and ask for him to enter our lives. Open wide the doors to Christ! And pray for our cardinals at this important moment in church history. O Mary, Mother of the Church – Pray for us!

A Fake Bishop tries to get into the Conclave…WHAT?!?

A Fake Bishop tries to get into the Conclave…WHAT?!?

Yes, you heard that right, a man who tried to impersonate a Bishop was escorted from a meeting of cardinals by members of the Swiss Guard on Monday. They figured out that he was an imposter when they noticed his purple “fascia” was too short and he was wearing a black fedora. Well, of course the purple “fascia” was too short, as it turned out to be a scarf. Australian ABC News, says that he claimed to be “a member of the “Italian Orthodox Church”, which does not exist. Before he was discovered, he told reporters Catholic bishops had “made a mistake by moving priests” who were accused of paedophilia around different parishes.”

You can find the full story at the link above, but below is a picture of the “imposter.” This story is just an example of the type of attention that the election of the pope is getting. It is receiving a lot of negative talk, when it should really be positive. Let us join in praying for our church and asking our dear Blessed Mother to call all to a conversion of heart.

I hesitate to even refer to this, but it shows the attacks on the Catholic Church in being the very real, disturbed, and demonic acts that they are. It was just the other day, that I saw a Huffington Post news video (though the actuality of them being a news source is questionable), where a person was saying that Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI was a homosexual. Because, Archbishop Ganswein would continue to live with him and help him, while serving the new pope. What type of person, calls an 85 year old man a homosexual, because he lives in community? What would you call a men’s ward at a nursing home, where men live in community? The negativity that is expressed towards his holiness and the Catholic Church is horrendous, but it is something that the church has to continue to deal with.

In the Gospel of Matthew, 6:18; Jesus didn’t say that the the gates of the netherworld wouldn’t attack the church, he said that they would not prevail against it! Let us continue to pray for our church and for the College of Cardinals, that they will be able to elect someone who will have the strength, knowledge, and graces to guide our church. Pray for the next Holy Father! They don’t call the room where he vests after his election the “Room of Tears” for nothing. The duties and responsibilities of the office of Peter is one that requires much strength.

Back to the original story now:

AABC also says that: “Mr Napierski claims on his blog he is a founder of the Corpus Dei Catholic order. He also says he invented “a system to enable persons to control computers with the power of thoughts”.”

Hmmm, makes you wonder…

Until next time! Have a blessed Tuesday and keep praying for the election of the 266th Succesor of Peter. God knows who it is, pray that the Holy spirit will fill him with grace!

 

imposter052wayCan you spot the impostor? Hint: Notice the purple scarf!