Sunday, January 28, 2007

Adoration and Benediction

If you've never been to Adoration, you might be surprised at how enjoyable it is. Adoration is when the Consecrated Host is placed in a monstrance. The monstrance is placed on the altar and everyone is encouraged to sit in the pew and adore Him. It is very quiet, no conversations, no singing, no vocal prayers (the exception is during the Benediction which I'll cover in a bit).

People typically bring a book or two of devotional or spiritual reading or they may just sit and mentally converse with God.

I began doing this a month or so ago and now I am addicted. When I arrive, I feel like I'm in a hurry about something. It feels very strange then to just sit there and hear nothing and do nothing. But the calm/peace comes over me pretty quickly and I just let my mind wander, talking to God about this, that, or the other thing. The hour passes pretty quickly. You certainly don't need to stay for an hour but time flies!

By the way, when you enter, most people get down on both knees, i.e. they don't do a simple genuflection. I think after Vatican II it was changed (I know, I know) so that is no longer necessary but just because something is not necessary doesn't mean it isn't worth doing.

Then, about 15 minutes before the end of Adoration, the Benediction begins.

At our parish, we say the Divine Mercy Chaplet. If Father Carroll
leads the chaplet, we may get one of his wonderful homilies. Then, we sing Tantun Ergo (in Latin!!!)* and say the Divine Praises (in English)**. Then we sing "Holy God, We Praise Thy Name". Finally, the priest puts on a humeral veil and picks up the monstrance, turns to face those of us in the pews and blesses us by raising and lowering the monstrance 3 times (while a lay person incenses the monstrance).

After the blessing the priest replaces the blessed sacrament in the tabernacle (the Reposition) and genuflects.

The first time I attended the Benediction, I walked out in a daze. It
was so beautiful and holy. Now, I try to attend whenever possible.
It's on a Saturday at our church so it's a little challenging to get to sometimes...

* Tantum Ergo
Tantum ergo Sacramentum
Veneremur cernui:
Et antiquum documentum
Novo cedat ritui:
Praestet fides supplementum
Sensuum defectui.

Genitori, Genitoque
Laus et iubilatio,
Salus, honor, virtus quoque
Sit et benedictio:
Procedenti ab utroque
Compar sit laudatio.

** The Divine Praises
Blessed be God.
Blessed be His Holy Name.
Blessed be Jesus Christ, true God and true man.
Blessed be the name of Jesus.
Blessed be His Most Sacred Heart.
Blessed be His Most Precious Blood.
Blessed be Jesus in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar.
Blessed be the Holy Spirit, the Paraclete.
Blessed be the great Mother of God, Mary most holy.
Blessed be her holy and Immaculate Conception.
Blessed be her glorious Assumption.
Blessed be the name of Mary, Virgin and Mother.
Blessed be Saint Joseph, her most chaste spouse.
Blessed be God in His angels and in His Saints.

Monday, January 22, 2007

To Be A Priest

Several days ago, Curt Jester (Jeff Miller) blogged about vocations in
an entry called "Heed the Call". One of his readers posted the comment below and he (the commenter) gave me permission to post it here.

You might want to consider printing it out and sending it to your favorite (or even your not-so-favorite) priest.


I think it is going to take more than appealing videos. We really need to resurrect the culture of the hero because that is exactly what priests are: heroes.

The primary job of the hero is to save people. This means saving
people from any danger from any source -- even if that means trying to save someone from themselves. The hero accomplishes this task through sacrifice. He will constantly cast aside any concern for his own well-being to do the right thing. Not the easy thing -- the RIGHT thing.

The main method of heroic sacrifice is: waiting. The hero must be constantly ready. He must wait for and wait on.

He waits for trouble. Much like your mother lion, Clark Kent, or policeman; the hero remains in a position of readiness so he may counter strike at any moment. The cool thing about being a priest is that his job is to counter strike evil itself. There are a lot of jobs in this world that involve taking on evil, but none so courageously direct than that of the priest. It is such a horrifically important burden. And that is exactly what makes it so darn cool.

The hero also waits on -- the poor, the afflicted, the victims of evil. What is the point of stopping bullets if you are not protecting those innocents who need your protection?

A lot of noise is made about the discipline of celibacy but the tomes of both pop culture and literature make it clear that when you marry the hero, you end the romance of adventure. Superman, Batman, Captain America and Spiderman are all unmarried (they try every now and then in comics but it totally kills the story), Frodo, Sam, Gandalf, and Aragorn are also all unmarried. This is not some logic of Catholicism imposed upon the story by force but the true nature of the universe shinning through the veil of fiction. Marriage is a different kind of adventure. The Priesthood is wild and free like a fire. But it is also focused and controlled like a lantern. Priests are a light unto the darkness.

To be a priest is to be a hero.


We Finally Took the Christmas Tree Down!

We were late putting it up this year (December 21st) and it finally came down yesterday. There's only 2 days of the year that I hate having a real tree...the day we put it up and the day we take it down.

I've had real trees each Christmas for over 25 years, before my husband and I were even an item. I love the look and the smell of them. When I was growing up, we had real trees for a while (I think) but most of my childhood, I remember that ugly silver Christmas tree with the colorwheel that sat on the floor and shown colors on the tree. Because the tree was metal (aluminum!), we couldn't put electric lights on it.

Who knew! I just googled aluminum Christmas tree and sure enough, there's a website for them.

Isn't the Internet great?!

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Finkelstein and Jesus

Jesus was wandering around Jerusalem when He decided that He really needed a new robe.

After looking around for a while, He saw a sign for Finkelstein, the Tailor. So, He went in and made the necessary arrangements to have Finkelstein prepare a new robe for Him.

A few days later, when the robe was finished, Jesus tried it on and it was a perfect fit!

He asked how much He owed. Finkelstein brushed him off: "No, no,no, for the Son of God ? There's no charge! However, may I ask for a small favor? Whenever You give a sermon, perhaps You could just mention that Your nice new robe was made by Finkelstein, the Tailor ? "

Jesus readily agreed and as promised, extolled the virtues of his Finkelstein robe whenever He spoke to the masses.

A few months later, while Jesus was again walking through Jerusalem, He happened to walk past Finkelstein's shop and noted a huge line of people waiting for Finkelstein's robes.

He pushed his way through the crowd to speak to him and as soon as Finkelstein spotted him he said: "Jesus, Jesus, look what You've done for my business! Would You consider a partnership?"

"Certainly," replied Jesus. "Jesus & Finkelstein it is."

"Oh, no, no," said Finkelstein. "Finkelstein & Jesus. After all, I am the craftsman." The two of them debated this for some time.

Their discussion was long and spirited, but ultimately fruitful and they finally came up with a mutually acceptable compromise.

A few days later, the new sign went up over Finkelstein's shop.

Can you guess what it read?

click here to see new sign

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Overheard at Mass

A little old Italian man, after receiving Holy Communion and returning to the pew, was heard to say, "I love you".

Show About Benedict XVI on EWTN - 1/27/07

Actually, it's a two-part series on il Papa, beginning January 27th (60 minutes) on their EWTN Global Showcase program at 8:00 pm (EST).

Oh joy!

Ten Reasons Your Dog's Hair Cut Costs More Than Yours

10. Your hairdresser doesn't wash and clean your rear end.
9. You don't go for 8 weeks without washing or brushing your hair.
8. Your hairdresser doesn't have to give you a sanitary trim.
7. Your hairdresser doesn't have to clean your ears.
6. Your hairdresser doesn't have to clean boogies from your eyes.
5. You sit still for your hairdresser.
4. Your haircut doesn't include a manicure or pedicure.
3. Your hairdresser only washes and cuts the hair on your head.
2. You don't bite or scratch your hairdresser. (I hope not anyway).

And the Number 1 reason your dog's haircut costs more than yours...

1. The likelihood of you pooping or peeing while your hair is being cut is extremely slim.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Our Lady of America

Have you heard about Our Lady of America?

This statute was presented to the Bishops at the November 2006 Conference of USCCB by Archbishop Raymond Burke.

Our Lady of America
It was on the eve of the feast of the North American martyrs, September 25, 1956, that Our Lady appeared to Sr. Mary Ephrem. In 1938, Sister began to have what seem like mystical spiritual experiences. She thought little of them, presuming all religious have them. As these visits took on the nature of a specific program of devotion to Mary which Sister was asked to propagate, she then turned to Monsignor Paul F. Leibold. Monsignor Leibold, later Archbishop of the Cincinnati, Ohio Archdiocese, would be her spiritual director from many years until 1972, when he suddenly died due to an aneurysm. Archbishop Leibold had become so convinced of the authenticity of this message that he approved Sister's writings and placed his imprimatur on the design of the medal. Our Lady had asked Sister to have struck a medal that would bear the image of Our Lady of America on the front and the symbol of the Christian Family and the Blessed Trinity on the back.


Stuff for Your iPods

For those of you who got an iPod for Christmas, you can get Greg and Jennifer Wilits of Rosary Army saying the 4 sets of Rosary Mysteries (Glorious, Luminous, Joyful and Sorrowful). They are dated October 5, 2005 in the archive. Download them, import them into iTunes and put them on your iPod. They have a beautiful scripture for each of the 20 mysteries.

Monday, January 01, 2007

A Fantasy Bulletin Notice

I love our pastor and our parochial vicar, both hard-working orthodox priests. Every parish could use a little tightening up, though, and so I am tempted to adapt this to my church and put these in the bulletins some week.

In an attempt to restore the sacredness to the Holy Mass, and piety to the people, the following changes will be implemented immediately at [insert name here] Parish:

Sacred Silence is prescribed for 15 minutes before and after every Mass. Please refrain from socializing in front of the Blessed Sacrament. You are encouraged to spend this time in prayer, in preparation for the Mass and in thanksgiving to God.

Effective immediately, [insert name here] Parish will no longer be allowing girls to altar serve. Since altar serving is traditionally a stepping stone to the priesthood, only boys will be encouraged to serve.

Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion are no longer required. The priest will be distributing Communion, and even though this may take a few moments longer, your cooperation is requested.

Applause is not encouraged, nor will it be tolerated during the Mass. If you wish to acknowledge another person's achievements, please do so privately after Mass.

Please refrain from visiting the sacristy prior to Mass, as the priest needs to spend some moments in prayer as he vests for the Mass.

Parishioners will notice a change to the choir in the coming weeks. We will be singing more Latin hymns, with special emphasis on sacred songs that reflect the Divine Mysteries of the Mass. Only an organ will be used for musical accompaniment. Anyone wishing to learn Gregorian Chant, please see the choir director after Mass.

We are looking for volunteers to re-install the communion rails and the kneelers. If you can help with this, please see Father to sign up.

hat tip to Salve Regina...

Celebrating Justice (Saddam Hussein)

From the excellent blog, Iraq the Model, an excerpt...

Executing the dictator renews the hopes of not only Iraqis but also of other oppressed peoples in the world in having a better future where they enjoy freedom. It's time for other tyrants to learn from this lesson and realize that a similar fate is on the way if they refuse to change.
Yes, it was the people though their elected government who put Saddam on trial and who says otherwise should go back and learn about how Saddam humiliated, murdered and tortured Iraqis and plundered their fortunes in his stupid adventures.