Friday, April 18, 2014

THE PASCHAL TRIDUUM: IS IT WELL ATTENDED IN YOUR AREA?

Last year's Holy Thursday Mass at St. Joseph:

A blessed Good Friday to all of you. Last year's Good Friday Liturgy here:

Last night here in Macon, The Evening Mass of the Lord's Supper was well attended. We were not standing room only, but the church was full. I'd say we had about 500 in attendance and I was impressed with the number who remained afterward for adoration. It concluded at 12 midnight with Night Prayer.

Today we will have The Stations of the Cross twice to accommodate the crowds, at 12:10 PM and again at 3:00 PM. The church will be full for both. In addition to that, we three priests will hear confessions after each!

Then at 7PM we will celebrate The Liturgy of the Passion of the Lord. The church will be full.

The Paschal Vigil will be at 8 PM Holy Saturday. The Church will be full for it as well. On Easter Sunday we have to change our Mass schedule to accommodate all those who come and add a Mass: 7 AM; 9 AM; 11 AM; 1 PM; and 5 PM.

Where you live how is attendance like at the Paschal Triduum?


AN OPTIONAL PART OF THE LITURGY, ACTUALLY AN EXTENSION OF THE HOMILY, IS REINTERPRETED BY POPE FRANCIS


There is nothing new in women having their feet washed by a bishop at the Holy Thursday Mass. When I was master of ceremonies for Bishop Raymond W. Lessard of Savannah from 1985 to '91 he would wash the feet of women. However he did not want to confuse this with what Jesus actually and literally did at the last Supper in terms of making it appear to be a reenactment of Jesus washing the feet of the apostles. Therefore he directed me to choose only six people. I usually asked three women and three men.

In other words, in this act of foot washing, the bishop was acting as an apostle, not as Christ, in doing what Jesus Christ mandated his apostles to do, the first bishops, in terms of service. The new Covenant priesthood Jesus instituted the night before He sacrificed His life for our salvation was not to be exclusively cultic or temple oriented with purity as the most important aspect as it was for the Jewish priesthood. The apostles Jesus ordained, the first bishops, where to imitate Jesus and not fear ritual impurity in their ministry of modeling their lives after the great High Priest Jesus Christ whose ministry transcended the temple.

In fact, the ministry of deacons of Holy Orders is symbolized in the bishop washing the feet of others, which is the foundational aspect of Holy Orders with priesthood and episcopacy built upon that first aspect of Holy Orders. Just imagine at the Last Supper, Jesus who had humbled Himself to become Man further humbled Himself to become a deacon when He washed the feet of His apostles!

The rubrics of the post-conciliar liturgy for the foot washing on Holy Thursday tend to focus on this being a sort of "play" with the priest acting as Jesus and the twelve chosen "vir" "men" acting as the apostles. Therefore there is consternation when women are chosen because in this model it implies that women should be ordained. There is a political statement being made about a future hope, as false as it is, when women are chosen by some communities (certainly not all though).

However for Pope Francis, his interpretation is that he as Bishop of Rome is acting as the Apostle Peter, not in the "person" of Jesus Christ and implementing what Jesus taught all the apostles, not just Peter, to do in their ministry after Jesus' sacrifice of the Cross, His passion, death and resurrection until He comes again for the final judgment, the Second Coming.

And more importantly the Bishop of Rome is acting as a "deacon" the foundation of Holy Orders as he wears either a deacons stole alone or can add the dalmatic. The people chosen for this liturgy do not in any way symbolize the apostles. I would recommend to the Holy Father, in terms of his reinterpretation of this ritual, to choose more or fewer than 12 so that the complete break with the tradition of "re-enacting" what Jesus actually did at the Last Supper is made clear. Bishop Lessard was ahead of his time!

Pope Francis confirms others in their ministry of helping the poor by the locations he chooses to wash the feet.

Here in Macon where Catholics are a small minority and yet we have four major institutional outreaches to the poor, the vast majority of the poor we help, almost 99.9% of them are not Catholic.

The symbolism of Pope Francis washing not only the feet of women but of non-Catholics indicates that our service to the world is to the world not just to Catholics. This in reality has always been the case with the Church, Pope Francis simply symbolizes it in who is chosen for him to was their feet.

John Nolan rightly indicates that prior to the placing of the foot washing in the Liturgy it was usually a postlude or a prelude and in convents Mother Superiors would was the feet of nuns and Queens in civil society would wash the feet of a variety of people.

But John Nolan fails to point out that in the EF Mass, the homily and its extension of it through the washing of the feet immediately following the homily is seen as "outside" the Mass. In fact, it is licit to remove the chasuble to preach in the EF.

On Holy Thursday in the bishop or priest is to remove the chasuble as did Pope Francis clearly indicating this is outside the "Order of Mass." The Pope placed the stole of a deacon on himself to carry out this foot washing.

Finally in keeping with subsidiarity, the other interpretations of this rite can also be included. It can be celebrated as a drama that literally has the priest or bishop acting as Christ and 12 men acting as the apostles to emphasize the institution of the priesthood on Holy Thursday night.This is certainly in keeping with the current rubrics for this optional part of the Mass.

However, I think having everyone wash everyone's feet turns the symbolism of a liturgical act into a literalism best left to the Protestants to do who have no real liturgy to celebrate.

Given His Holiness interpretation of the Mandatum, I do not fault him for washing the feet of laity to include women or of non-Catholics. It makes perfect sense and is in continuity with what our Lord mandated His apostles to do in their priesthood of worship and service.

I think, though, we can critique in a charitable way the music of this liturgy and its style. This is the greatest liturgical problem for the Church today, music, not whose feet get washed!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

THE EVENING MASS OF THE LORD'S SUPPER

Well the music is, well what most parishes have in Italy and here. But it is the thought that counts.


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Pope Francis: 'Serve one another in love'



(Vatican Radio) In a gesture of humility and service, and in imitation of Christ, Pope Francis put on an apron and knelt down to wash the feet of 12 patients at a long-term care facility, during the Missa In Coena Domini, or the Mass of the Lord’s Supper, on Thursday evening.

Visibly fatigued and requiring assistance to kneel and stand up again as he came close to the end of the rite, Pope Francis conveyed tenderness and concern for each person, pouring water on each person’s foot, then drying it and kissing it, before offering a loving gaze, sometimes reciprocated, depending on each person’s state of health. The patients ranged in age from 16 to 86, and all suffer from a variety disabilities. All of them are Italian (though three were of a different ethnic origin), including one Muslim man.

The Mass was celebrated in Italian in the chapel of the Santa Maria della Provvidenza Centre, one of more than two dozen healthcare facilities, run by the Don Carlo Gnocchi Foundation. It reflected the character of the healthcare centre and of the local Christian community, with the centre’s usual Sunday choir, consisting of patients, volunteers and staff, singing popular Italian hymns. Many of the centre’s patients sat in their wheelchairs in the front rows of the assembly.

The Mass, which recalls Christ’s last Passover meal with this Apostles, his washing of their feet in a gesture of service, and the institution of the Eucharist, begins the Easter Triduum.

The Pope’s selection of the location and his gesture of washing the feet of 12 people with disability was intended to underline the forms of fragility, in which the Christian community is called to recognize the suffering Christ and to which it must devote attention, solidarity and charity.
In his brief homily, the Pope recalled that God made himself a servant in Christ and that this is the inheritance of all believers. Christ came to love and his followers, in turn, “need to be servants in love”.

Speaking extemporaneously, he said to wash the feet of another was, in Jesus’ time, the task of the slave or the servant of the house. In executing this gesture, Jesus tells his followers that they are called to be servants to each other.

“Everyone here must think of others… and how we can serve others better,” he said.

At the end of the Mass, the Pope carried the Blessed Sacrament to an Altar of Repose. He remained there in prayer until the end of the Pange Lingue hymn, after which he processed out of the chapel in the usual silence with which the Holy Thursday evening liturgy concludes.

This is the second year the Pope celebrates the Mass of the Lord’s Last Supper among a group of people usually marginalized by society. Last year, the Pope celebrated the Mass of the Lord’s Last Supper at a youth detention centre.

Listen to the report by Laura Ieraci: RealAudioMP3

HOLY THURSDAY'S CHRISM MASS AT SAINT PETER'S



This is the Holy Father's homily for the Chrism Mass (the prepared text, not any off-the-cuff remarks:

Pope Francis: Chrism Mass homily



(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis delivered the homily at the Chrism Mass of the Rome diocese on Holy Thursday morning, in St. Peter's Basilica. The Chrism Mass is the traditional liturgy, during the course of which the oils to be used in the sacraments of initiation, Holy Orders and healing throughout the coming year are blessed. It is also a particularly profound moment of unity among the clergy of the diocese together with the bishop. The theme of the Holy Father's homily was the joy of priestly service. Below, please find the official English translation of the Holy Father's prepared remarks.

*******************************************************

“Anointed with the oil of gladness”

Dear Brother Priests,

In the eternal “today” of Holy Thursday, when Christ showed his love for us to the end (cf. Jn 13:1), we recall the happy day of the institution of the priesthood, as well as the day of our own priestly ordination. The Lord anointed us in Christ with the oil of gladness, and this anointing invites us to accept and appreciate this great gift: the gladness, the joy of being a priest. Priestly joy is a priceless treasure, not only for the priest himself but for the entire faithful people of God: that faithful people from which he is called to be anointed and which he, in turn, is sent to anoint.

Anointed with the oil of gladness so as to anoint others with the oil of gladness. Priestly joy has its source in the Father’s love, and the Lord wishes the joy of this Love to be “ours” and to be “complete” (Jn 15:11). I like to reflect on joy by contemplating Our Lady, for Mary, the “Mother of the living Gospel, is a wellspring of joy for God’s little ones” (Evangelii Gaudium, 288). I do not think it is an exaggeration to say that priest is very little indeed: the incomparable grandeur of the gift granted us for the ministry sets us among the least of men. The priest is the poorest of men unless Jesus enriches him by his poverty, the most useless of servants unless Jesus calls him his friend, the most ignorant of men unless Jesus patiently teaches him as he did Peter, the frailest of Christians unless the Good Shepherd strengthens him in the midst of the flock. No one is more “little” than a priest left to his own devices; and so our prayer of protection against every snare of the Evil One is the prayer of our Mother: I am a priest because he has regarded my littleness (cf. Lk 1:48). And in that littleness we find our joy.

For me, there are three significant features of our priestly joy. It is a joy which anoints us (not one which “greases” us, making us unctuous, sumptuous and presumptuous), it is a joy which is imperishable and it is a missionary joy which spreads and attracts, starting backwards – with those farthest away from us.

A joy which anoints us. In a word: it has penetrated deep within our hearts, it has shaped them and strengthened them sacramentally. The signs of the ordination liturgy speak to us of the Church’s maternal desire to pass on and share with others all that the Lord has given us: the laying on of hands, the anointing with sacred chrism, the clothing with sacred vestments, the first consecration which immediately follows… Grace fills us to the brim and overflows, fully, abundantly and entirely in each priest. We are anointed down to our very bones… and our joy, which wells up from deep within, is the echo of this anointing.

An imperishable joy. The fullness of the Gift, which no one can take away or increase, is an unfailing source of joy: an imperishable joy which the Lord has promised no one can take from us (Jn 16:22). It can lie dormant, or be clogged by sin or by life’s troubles, yet deep down it remains intact, like the embers of a burnt log beneath the ashes, and it can always be renewed. Paul’s exhortation to Timothy remains ever timely: I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God that is within you through the laying on of my hands (cf. 2 Tim 1:6).

A missionary joy. I would like especially to share with you and to stress this third feature: priestly joy is deeply bound up with God’s holy and faithful people, for it is an eminently missionary joy. Our anointing is meant for anointing God’s holy and faithful people: for baptizing and confirming them, healing and sanctifying them, blessing, comforting and evangelizing them.

And since this joy is one which only springs up when the shepherd is in the midst of his flock (for even in the silence of his prayer, the shepherd who worships the Father is with his sheep), it is a “guarded joy”, watched over by the flock itself. Even in those gloomy moments when everything looks dark and a feeling of isolation takes hold of us, in those moments of listlessness and boredom which at times overcome us in our priestly life (and which I too have experienced), even in those moments God’s people are able to “guard” that joy; they are able to protect you, to embrace you and to help you open your heart to find renewed joy.

A “guarded joy”: one guarded by the flock but also guarded by three sisters who surround it, tend it and defend it: sister poverty, sister fidelity and sister obedience.

Priestly joy is a joy which is sister to poverty. The priest is poor in terms of purely human joy. He has given up so much! And because he is poor, he, who gives so much to others, has to seek his joy from the Lord and from God’s faithful people. He doesn’t need to try to create it for himself. We know that our people are very generous in thanking priests for their slightest blessing and especially for the sacraments. Many people, in speaking of the crisis of priestly identity, fail to realize that identity presupposes belonging. There is no identity – and consequently joy of life – without an active and unwavering sense of belonging to God’s faithful people (cf. Evangelii Gaudium, 268). The priest who tries to find his priestly identity by soul-searching and introspection may well encounter nothing more than “exit” signs, signs that say: exit from yourself, exit to seek God in adoration, go out and give your people what was entrusted to you, for your people will make you feel and taste who you are, what your name is, what your identity is, and they will make you rejoice in that hundredfold which the Lord has promised to those who serve him. Unless you “exit” from yourself, the oil grows rancid and the anointing cannot be fruitful. Going out from ourselves presupposes self-denial; it means poverty.

Priestly joy is a joy which is sister to fidelity. Not primarily in the sense that we are all “immaculate” (would that by God’s grace we were!), for we are sinners, but in the sense of an ever renewed fidelity to the one Bride, to the Church. Here fruitfulness is key. The spiritual children which the Lord gives each priest, the children he has baptized, the families he has blessed and helped on their way, the sick he has comforted, the young people he catechizes and helps to grow, the poor he assists… all these are the “Bride” whom he rejoices to treat as his supreme and only love and to whom he is constantly faithful. It is the living Church, with a first name and a last name, which the priest shepherds in his parish or in the mission entrusted to him. That mission brings him joy whenever he is faithful to it, whenever he does all that he has to do and lets go of everything that he has to let go of, as long as he stands firm amid the flock which the Lord has entrusted to him: Feed my sheep (cf. Jn 21:16,17).

Priestly joy is a joy which is sister to obedience. An obedience to the Church in the hierarchy which gives us, as it were, not simply the external framework for our obedience: the parish to which I am sent, my ministerial assignments, my particular work … but also union with God the Father, the source of all fatherhood. It is likewise an obedience to the Church in service: in availability and readiness to serve everyone, always and as best I can, following the example of “Our Lady of Promptness” (cf. Lk 1:39, meta spoudes), who hastens to serve Elizabeth her kinswoman and is concerned for the kitchen of Cana when the wine runs out. The availability of her priests makes the Church a house with open doors, a refuge for sinners, a home for people living on the streets, a place of loving care for the sick, a camp for the young, a classroom for catechizing children about to make their First Communion… Wherever God’s people have desires or needs, there is the priest, who knows how to listen (ob-audire) and feels a loving mandate from Christ who sends him to relieve that need with mercy or to encourage those good desires with resourceful charity.

All who are called should know that genuine and complete joy does exist in this world: it is the joy of being taken from the people we love and then being sent back to them as dispensers of the gifts and counsels of Jesus, the one Good Shepherd who, with deep compassion for all the little ones and the outcasts of this earth, wearied and oppressed like sheep without a shepherd, wants to associate many others to his ministry, so as himself to remain with us and to work, in the person of his priests, for the good of his people.

On this priestly Thursday I ask the Lord Jesus to enable many young people to discover that burning zeal which joy kindles in our hearts as soon as we have the stroke of boldness needed to respond willingly to his call.

On this priestly Thursday I ask the Lord Jesus to preserve the joy sparkling in the eyes of the recently ordained who go forth to devour the world, to spend themselves fully in the midst of God's faithful people, rejoicing as they prepare their first homily, their first Mass, their first Baptism, their first confession… It is the joy of being able to share with wonder, and for the first time as God’s anointed, the treasure of the Gospel and to feel the faithful people anointing you again and in yet another way: by their requests, by bowing their heads for your blessing, by taking your hands, by bringing you their children, by pleading for their sick… Preserve, Lord, in your young priests the joy of going forth, of doing everything as if for the first time, the joy of spending their lives fully for you.

On this priestly Thursday I ask the Lord Jesus to confirm the priestly joy of those who have already ministered for some years. The joy which, without leaving their eyes, is also found on the shoulders of those who bear the burden of the ministry, those priests who, having experienced the labours of the apostolate, gather their strength and rearm themselves: “get a second wind”, as the athletes say. Lord, preserve the depth, wisdom and maturity of the joy felt by these older priests. May they be able to pray with Nehemiah: “the joy of the Lord is my strength” (cf. Neh 8:10).

Finally, on this priestly Thursday I ask the Lord Jesus to make better known the joy of elderly priests, whether healthy or infirm. It is the joy of the Cross, which springs from the knowledge that we possess an imperishable treasure in perishable earthen vessels. May these priests find happiness wherever they are; may they experience already, in the passage of the years, a taste of eternity (Guardini). May they know the joy of handing on the torch, the joy of seeing new generations of their spiritual children, and of hailing the promises from afar, smiling and at peace, in that hope which does not disappoint.



Wednesday, April 16, 2014

WHICH GLORY BE TO THE FATHER OR GLORY TO THE FATHER DO YOU SAY?


Of the many abnormalities our old English translation of the various liturgies of the Church brought was the obnoxious reordering of the Gloria Patri.

The version that most Catholics say with the Rosary is:

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit; as it was in the beginning is now and every shall be world without end. Amen.

However, the official English liturgical use of this, at least for America, and only in the Liturgy of the Hours is this oddity:

Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit; at it was in the beginning, is now and will be forever. Amen.

It seems that Rome, when translating the Gloria Patri from Latin to English prefers the devotional form that is a more accurate translation than the dumb-downed one currently in use with the Liturgy of the Hours.

I suspect this will revert to its original English translation for the Liturgy of the Hours, thus bringing it into line with what most priests and laity say for the Rosary. Most priests and religious though, say the corrupted one with the Liturgy of the Hours.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU! HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU...

Say a prayer for Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI. Today is his 87th birthday.

YIKES! SO MUCH FOR ECUMENISM


But at least these Greek Orthodox bishops are honest! You've got to hand them that. What I find odd, though, is that there is so much we have in common with the schismatic Eastern Orthodox. We have together all of the seven sacraments including Holy Orders and Apostolic Succession in a valid episcopacy.

The two bishops say they are motivated by love in condemning Pope Francis and all Catholics as being possessed of "satanic pride."

With love like that, I wonder what their hatred is? Maybe we can learn a lesson on what not to do and say to win others over the Christ telling them we are insulting them out of love. 

Why or why won't this radical group of Orthodox bishops play fairly?  But I wish they wouldn't beat around the bush and really say what they think!

Greek Orthodox prelates denounce Catholicism as heresy

In a harsh 89-page letter addressed to “Francis, head of state of the Vatican City,” two Greek Orthodox prelates have denounced Catholicism as a heresy and urged the Pope to repentance.

In their lengthy message, heavily laced with anti-Catholic claims and conspiracy theories, Metropolitan Andreas of Dryinoupolis and Metropolitan Seraphim of Piraeus condemn the Catholic Church, the Vatican, and Pope Francis himself. The two Greek Orthodox prelates say that the teachings of the Catholic Church “are a clear blasphemy against the All-Holy Spirit and which show your theological departure and the satanic pride of which you are possessed.” 

Metropolitans Andreas and Seraphim claim at the outset that their message is motivated by “pure, sincere, and selfless Christian love.” At a time when most Christian leaders are sending Easter greetings to each other, they say that the feel compelled to “endeavor with all our might to restore you to the Mother Orthodox Catholic Church.”

The two Greek prelates also express their contempt for the “pan-heresy of ecumenism” and decry the willingness of other Orthodox leaders to engage in dialogue with Rome.

Metropolitan Seraphim has long been the most intransigent representative of the Greek Orthodox Church, which has retained pockets of animosity toward Rome. In March 2012, Metropolitan Seraphim issued a series of anathemas, condemning Pope Benedict XVI, drawing a rebuke from Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople. The bitter new message from Metropolitans Seraphim and Andreas may prompt an apology to the Pope from Archbishop Ieronymos, the leader of the Greek Orthodox Church.

I WONDER WHY A VAST MAJORITY OF YOUNGER PRIESTS LOVE THE NEW AND GLORIOUS ENGLISH TRANSLATION OF THE MASS COMPARED TO MY AGE AND BIT YOUNGER AND CERTAINLY THE MUCH OLDER?


A recent survey of priests concerning the new and glorious English translation of the Mass finds that the vast majority of younger priests appreciate the new translation over the old, equivalent (inaccurate, mundane and banal) translation used by the Church since 1970.

Whereas the priests heading for retirement and glory seem to dislike it and long for the good old days of equivalent, banal and easier to manipulate prayers by ad libs of the 1970 missal.

As you know, being the hip, young at heart priest that I am, I like the new and glorious English translation of the Mass. I am one with my younger counterparts in the priesthood.

What is it about the new translation that I and my younger brothers in the priesthood love so much?

1. You can't manipulate the text and do your own thing with it. You have to read the text as is.

2. Tied into reading the text as it, you have to read the text before Mass and study it and make sure you chant or say the text properly. In other words you can't fly by radar and simply show up and celebrate Mass. You have to be intentional! That's got to be good!

3. The text is an accurate translation of the Latin, meaning that we are finally getting the post-Vatican II Latin Mass in English. We've only had this grace and blessing for about 3 years, whereas the English Mass we had since 1970 was unfaithful to the post-Vatican II Latin text because it was an equivalent interpretation of it.

4. Finally, the best thing about the new and glorious English translation is that we are now getting for the first time the post-Vatican II's Latin Mass piety, spirituality and devotion that moves beyond words to feeling and a sense of our unworthiness in the presence of God who nonetheless calls us into communion with him. It shows how popular piety and spirituality can be mixed with sterile theology. This was completely missing in the inglorious English translation now placed in the Vatican Museum of liturgical mistakes when it comes to translating Latin into the vernacular.

AUGUSTA'S HOLY WEEK ENDED ON PALM SUNDAY WITH BUBBA WATSON WINNING THE MASTERS

Winning the Masters must make Bubba very hungry. After putting on the green jacket he goes to the Steak and Shake and gets milkshakes, (with plenty of butterfingers inside it, yum!) and then later takes a selfie with his friends while eating yet again at the Waffle House down the road.
WJBF-TV ABC 6  Augusta-Aiken News, Weather, Sports

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

YOUR PIOUS FACE: ARE YOU TIRED LOOKING OR LOOK LIKE YOU ARE IN A BAD MOOD?

Glum or a piety of the pre-Vatican II era which should still be in effect in the post-Vatican II era? This is not a liturgical happy-clappy face so often  found at modern Ordinary Form Masses, but certainly not at the Extraordinary Form Mass.

Which of the two images below capture the sentiment of Pope Francis' serious, pre-Vatican II piety in the photo above?


I've already written another post that Pope Francis' demeanor during the celebration of Mass is very pre-Vatican II. He comes across as a different person or persona as he celebrates the Mass compared to when he simply presses the flesh and visits with people such as after the Palm Sunday Mass.

Even Vatican Insider, Andrea Tornielli, takes the world press to task for reporting that during the Mass the Holy Father looked tired or in a bad mood. And yes the photo above would give the happy clappy types who want to drag happy-clappy antics into the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass where we stand as believers at the Foot of the Cross where Jesus hangs in agony and then in death! How stupid is that? If we truly understood as Pope Francis does, that the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is serious business and not a pep rally, we would all celebrate Mass as Pope Francis does.

Even when the Pope is celebrating Mass outside of the Vatican Walls at Roman parishes that seem to consistently use happy clappy Italian Folk music, he remains serious and glum looking. The same at the fiasco of musical entertainment style of the Masses in Brazil. Watch the pope and see the disconnect between his authentic liturgical piety and the pep rally entertainment style of liturgical music that is so often the case today in so many places.

From the Vatican Insider:

 At the Palm Sunday Mass, Francis reeled off a list of Bible characters asking faithful to think about which one they identified themselves with

ANDREA TORNIELLI vatican city  

The entire square fell silent when the Pope began his Palm Sunday homily, marking the start of Holy Week. Francis looked serious and deep in concentration as he left his prepared text to one side and began by asking himself and all those present the big question: Which Biblical figure do I identify myself with?

His questions - which started with “Am I like…” - obviously moved the crowd; there is no other way to explain the silence that accompanied the Pope’s brief but intense reflection. Some tried to play down Francis’ homily as “similar to those pronounced in many parishes this Sunday”. But this is coming from individuals who never lose a chance to talk down the Argentinian Pope’s words, probably because they are incapable of understanding that it is possible to be profound and simple at the same time.
 
“It would do us good to ask ourselves one question: Who am I before the Lord, who am I before Jesus who enters a Jerusalem during a time of celebration? Am I able to express my joy and shout it to the world or do I take my distance? Who am I before the suffering Jesus? We have heard so many names. The group of leaders, the Pharisees, experts in the law who decided to kill him and were waiting for the opportune moment to get him. Am I one of them?” the Pope asked.
 
“Am I like Pontius Pilate who walks away from his responsibilities when the situation gets tough, allowing others to be sentenced or sentencing people?” Francis went on to ask. “Or am I like the crowd of people who weren’t quite sure whether they were at a religious gathering, a trial or a circus and chose Barabas because to them it was the same; it was all the more fun because they could humiliate Jesus. Am I like the soldiers who beat Jesus, spit at him, insult him and enjoy humiliating the Lord?”
 
“Am I like those leaders who went to Pontius Pilate the next day to tell him that Jesus said he would be resurrected and blocked life by blocking the entrance to the tomb to defend the doctrine, so that life could not come out?”
 
Francis looked serious as he pronounced these questions. His seriousness was mistaken for tiredness or a bad mood by those who are not able to understand that for those who have faith, reliving Jesus’ Passion is no walk in the park and that the liturgy is not a show. At the end of the mass Francis spent a long while in St. Peter’s Square socializing and joking with the many young people present. Indeed, the Pope did not look serious because he was tired or in a bad mood. He was simply in deep concentration as he always is when celebrating one of the mysteries. This is something some Vatican observers fail to grasp, but simple faithful understand fully and they made this clear with their silence and presence.

Monday, April 14, 2014

POPE FRANCIS WASN'T THE ONLY ONE TAKING SELFIES ON PALM SUNDAY--THE FRANCIS EFFECT COMES TO AUGUSTA!

On Sunday night about a mile down from the Augusta National and a couple of miles from where I am blogging right now, Bubba Watson went to eat at the Waffle House, a good ole southern cafe open 24 hours seven days a week.

Is this the Francis effect on a Master's winner? And how cool is it that a southerner who attended the University of Georgia along with his wife and named Bubba is golf's Pope Francis?
This is alright but it isn't the Waffle House!


LESS WE FORGET, POPE FRANCIS COMMENDS THE POST VOX CLARA, LITURGIAM AUTHENTICAM INTERNATIONAL COMMITTEE ON ENGLISH IN THE LITURGY (ICEL)




While another blog commissions a survey on how well the new and glorious translation of the English Mass is being received by the clergy, with the younger clergy and those of us young at heart overwhelming approving of it and appreciating what it has accomplished for the English speaking world, that same blog which has from before it was promulagated to be used derided it and thought Pope Francis would overturn it and go back to some vague "equivlant" form of translating the sacred Latin into English.

Of course there is delusion, pride and denial here to say the least. Pope Francis this past October 18th, what would have been my mother's 94th birthday, but also the Solemnity of Saint Luke, praised to the nth degree the post Liturgiam Authenticam, Vox Clara work of the International Committee on English in the Liturgy. READ FOR YOURSELF and don't rely on any "equivalent" translations of this speech to influence you over the literal translation below! Obviously Pope Francis embraces Liturgiam Authenticam and Vox Clara!

ADDRESS OF POPE FRANCIS
TO MEMBERS OF THE INTERNATIONAL COMMISSION
ON ENGLISH IN THE LITURGY  (ICEL)
ON THE OCCASION OF ITS 50TH ANNIVERSARY
Hall of the Popes
Friday, 18 October 2013

My Brother Bishops,
Dear Friends,
I welcome the members and staff of the International Commission on English in the Liturgy as you gather in Rome to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the Commission’s establishment. I thank Archbishop Arthur Roche, Secretary of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, and a former President of ICEL, for presenting you. Through you, I send greetings and the expression of my gratitude to the Conferences of Bishops which you represent, and to the consultors and personnel who cooperate in the ongoing work of the Commission.

Founded as part of the implementation of the great liturgical renewal called for by the Second Vatican Council’s Constitution on the Divine Liturgy, ICEL was also one of the signs of the spirit of episcopal collegiality which found expression in the Council’s Dogmatic Constitution on the Church (cf. Lumen Gentium, 22-25). The present anniversary is an occasion for giving thanks for the work which the Commission has accomplished over the past fifty years in providing English translations of the texts of the liturgy, but also in advancing the study, understanding and appropriation of the Church’s rich sacramental and euchological tradition. The work of the Commission has also contributed significantly to that conscious, active and devout participation called for by the Council, a participation which, as Pope Benedict XVI has rightly reminded us, needs to be understood ever more deeply "on the basis of a greater awareness of the mystery being celebrated and its relation to daily life" (Sacramentum Caritatis, 52). The fruits of your labours have not only helped to form the prayer of countless Catholics, but have also contributed to the understanding of the faith, the exercise of the common priesthood and the renewal of the Church’s missionary outreach, all themes central to the teaching of the Council. Indeed, as Blessed John Paul II pointed out, "for many people, the message of the Second Vatican Council was perceived principally through the liturgical reform" (Vicesimus quintus annus, 12).

Dear friends, last evening you celebrated a solemn Mass of thanksgiving at the tomb of Saint Peter, beneath the great inscription which reads: Hinc una fides mundo refulget; hinc unitas sacerdotii exoritur. By enabling the vast numbers of the Catholic faithful throughout the world to pray in a common language, your Commission has helped to foster the Church’s unity in faith and sacramental communion. That unity and communion, which has its origin in the Blessed Trinity, is one which constantly reconciles and enhances the richness of diversity. May your continuing efforts help to realize ever more fully the hope expressed by Pope Paul VI in promulgating the Roman Missal: that "in the great diversity of languages, a single prayer will rise as an acceptable offering to our Father in heaven, through our high priest Jesus Christ, in the Holy Spirit".
To you, and to all associated with the work of the Commission, I cordially impart my Apostolic Blessing as a pledge of abiding joy and peace in the Lord.