Monday, December 31, 2012

Joining The First Sing-A-Long


While time keeps moving forward, we take this moment to remember what has happened with family and/or friends.  The past twelve months are behind us, the next fifty-two weeks beckon.  We make a toast to what has been and what will be, with the help of Scottish poet Robert Burns:

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And auld lang syne? 
For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne,
We'll tak a cup o' kindness yet,
For auld lang syne. 
And surely ye'll be your pint-stowp,
And surely I'll be mine!
And we'll tak a cup o' kindness yet,
For auld lang syne. 
For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne,
We'll tak a cup o' kindness yet,
For auld lang syne. 
We twa hae run about the braes,
And pu'd the gowans fine;
But we've wandered mony a weary fit
Sin' auld lang syne. 
For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne,
We'll tak a cup o' kindness yet,
For auld lang syne. 
We twa hae paidled i' the burn,
Frae morning sun till dine;
But seas between us braid hae roared
Sin' auld lang syne. 
For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne,
We'll tak a cup o' kindness yet,
For auld lang syne. 
And there's a hand, my trusty fiere,
And gie's a hand o' thine!
And we'll tak a right guid-willie waught
For auld lang syne. 
For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne,
We'll tak a cup o' kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.
May our eternal God grant us a year of blessings.  May He Who holds all time and places in a single thought bring us "the peace which surpasses all understanding".  May we seek Him with our whole being, find Him in everything good, and love Him Who Is Love.

Happy New Year!

A Brief EOY Review

For the past few years, my motto has been, "Go Forward."  (This is not to be confused with the campaign slogan used by the current sitting and soon to be re-inaugurated POTUS.)

I can honestly say that during 2012, I went the other direction.

I'll spare you the details; it's not a pretty picture.  Let's just say the triplets of despair, discouragement, and disappointment continue to hound me.  While things could be a whole lot worse than they are, I can't say there has been any improvement in the lot of my life.  I wouldn't say I was back at square one, but I do have one foot hovering over it.

Maybe it's not a bad thing if I did, in a way, begin again.  I don't know what to expect anymore, so maybe I should not have expectations.  But, then, that would be a form of hopelessness.

This is a time when I truly need to remind myself of the blessings I do have, the fundamental ones being I still have being and dignity.  Food, clothing, and shelter are still in my realm, unlike so many.  I have a small place in my part of society, unlike so many.  I do have what I need, unlike so many.

The question becomes then about my wants.  What is it my heart truly desires? What is the priority in my soul? What of my essence that will make my existence wholly acceptable to God?

Those are the questions I am being lovingly asked.  When I will give the loving answers will be up to my accepting the grace of God.  When that will happen?

In God's time, when I recognize it.

The end of the world has not happened

2013 is right around the corner.

"Pray, trust, and don't worry."

Go Forward.


Sunday, December 30, 2012

Year Of Faith In Action

Yet even now—oracle of the LORD—return to me with your whole heart, with fasting, weeping, and mourning.  Rend your hearts, not your garments, and return to the LORD, your God, For he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, abounding in steadfast love, and relenting in punishment.  Perhaps he will again relent and leave behind a blessing, Grain offering and libation for the LORD, your God.  Blow the horn in Zion! Proclaim a fast, call an assembly! Gather the people, sanctify the congregation; Assemble the elderly; gather the children, even infants nursing at the breast; Let the bridegroom leave his room, and the bride her bridal tent.  Between the porch and the altar let the priests weep, let the ministers of the LORD weep and say:  “Spare your people, LORD! do not let your heritage become a disgrace, a byword among the nations! Why should they say among the peoples, ‘Where is their God?’”
Joel 2:12-17

Even though we are in the middle of the Octave of Christmas, there is a call to begin Lent early, as this excerpt from the First Reading of Ash Wednesday reminds us.

On December 6, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops issued a statement urging the faithful "to pray for rebuilding a culture favorable to life and marriage and for increased protections of religious liberty."  Approved by the bishops in November, this "pastoral strategy is essentially a call and encouragement to prayer and sacrifice—it's meant to be simple," said Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco, chairman of the bishops' Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage.  While this is all voluntary on the part of individuals, parishes, and dioceses, it is also a tangible way in this Year of Faith to practice what we preach.

The five-point plan:
1.Starting with the Sunday after Christmas (Feast of the Holy Family) and continuing on or near the last Sunday of every month through Christ the King Sunday, November 2013, cathedrals and parishes are encouraged to hold a Eucharistic Holy Hour for Life, Marriage, and Religious Liberty.
2.Families and individuals are encouraged to pray a daily Rosary, especially for the preservation of Life, Marriage, and Religious Liberty in the nation.
3.At Sunday and daily Masses, it is encouraged that the Prayers of the Faithful include specific intentions for respect for all human life from conception to natural death, the strengthening of marriage and family life, and the preservation of religious liberty at all levels of government, both at home and abroad.
4.Abstinence from meat and fasting on Fridays are encouraged for the intention of the protection of Life, Marriage, and Religious Liberty, recognizing the importance of spiritual and bodily sacrifice in the life of the Church.
5.The celebration of a second Fortnight for Freedom at the end of June and the beginning of July 2013 is being planned. This Fortnight would emphasize faith and marriage in a particular way in the face of the potential Supreme Court rulings during this time. The Fortnight would also emphasize the need for conscience protection in light of the August 1, 2013 deadline for religious organizations to comply with the HHS mandate, as well as religious freedom concerns in other areas, such as immigration, adoption, and humanitarian services.

Religious faith is not meant to be put under a bushel basket nor shoved out of the public arena.

Static religious practice is not religious practice at all.

"The God Who gave us life gave us liberty at the same time."

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

2012 Christmas Card


As we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, the Savior of the World, may we be filled with every grace and blessing, with peace and joy, with faith, hope and love.  May He, "of the Father's Love begotten, e'er the world began to be," the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, reign in our lives.  As Emmauel, "God is with us," may His works shine forth in all our thoughts, words, and deeds.  "God bless us, every one!"

Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 24, 2012

2012 Christmas Eve Reflection

The King shall come when morning dawns
And light triumphant breaks,
When beauty gilds the eastern hills
And life to joy awakes.
The verse of this Advent hymn is rich in imagery.  We who are asleep in the darkness of sin will awake to a new and radiant Light.  We finds ourselves now in a kingdom whose Ruler still must win the final battle, but Who will be victorious in the end.  In the middle of this "night" something wonderful for us has happened.  Only a few knew about this event when it happened and set out in haste to confirm what the angels said to them.  Now that the morning sun has greeted the Morning Sun, the whole world can now see Him as He really is.

The Propers for the Christmas Mass at Dawn reinforce the ideas of light and kingship.  He Who is Lord and God over all has made Himself manifest in the most unlikely of ways by taking on the nature of His ultimate creation.  He becomes "like us in all things but sin."  The most radical solution to the most radical problem.

(Note:  The translations used, as for the past two years, are from the 1990 Gregorian Missal, published by the monks of Solesmens, France.)
Radiant light will shine upon us today, for the Lord is born unto us.  He shall be called Wonderful God, Prince of Peace, Father of the world to come.  His reign shall have no end. 
Cf. Isaiah 9: 2, 6; Luke 1:33
The words of the Annunciation and the First Reading at the Midnight Mass are set before the faithful in this Introit.  While Mary would have recalled Gabriel's message, the people of Israel would be familiar with the prophecy.  Now that this new morning has broken, now that the eternal and infinite has cloaked Himself with time and matter, we can have our first clear look at Love made visible and manifest.  We see our newborn King and instinctively reach out to Him.  In this act, symbolic of the first step of the Prodigal Son, we begin to return to the Father with the help of the Son by the guidance of the Holy Spirit.  He Who seems helpless shows His power and might just by the act of reciprocating, by reaching for us and making us His own again.  St. Augustine is correct:  He Who made us without our consent will only save us with it.
Blessed is he Who comes in the name of the Lord.  The Lord God is our light. 
Psalm 117:26, 27
The adoration hymn of the angels is recalled in the Graduale.  Are not our souls also joining in and saying, "Holy, holy, holy Lord God of Hosts"?  The new Temple is created, one of living stone, lit by His own radiance, made for a "once for all" sacrifice of Himself, Victim and Priest, offering and oblation.  No wonder why the shepherds were the first to see Him; they saw the spotless Lamb of God and "knew" their care of Him would be special task.  The Good Shepherd was recognized by those like Him; those who took care of flocks of sheep saw He Who would take care of the flock of Israel.
The Lord reigns, he has enrobed Himself with majesty; the Lord has clothed Himself with strength, He has girded Himself with power. 
Psalm 92:10b
What irony we have in the Alleluia.  Helpless as an infant, needy, dependent, Mary's question of  "how can this be" in a broad sense becomes our own.  Humanity still hasn't learned the lesson--you can't put anything past God.  We still try to make God in our own image and likeness, to make Him equal to us.  We have forgotten the fact first and foremost the relationship between God and us is Creator/creature, despite the fact God has befriended us.  We owe Him everything for everything good came from Him.  Because of Original Sin, obedience is a struggle.  Only through humility, by adoring on bended knee, do we begin to receive the grace He offers so that we can hear His voice and follow Him.  As we have to stoop to pick up any infant, so must we stoop to pick up the Christ Child.
For it is God Who has established the world, it shall never be moved; Your throne is established from of old; You are from all eternity. 
Psalm 92:1c, 2
In the Offertory the perfect statement is made as we bring forth the gifts of bread and wine, symbols of creation, which will become the Real Presence.  He Who established the world receives "the world" back from whom and for whom it was created.  Here is our reminder God is God.  Here is the beginning of the proper relationship between God and us.  Here is the acknowledgement we "are dust and unto dust we shall return".  Here is where we can say with the Psalmist, "How can I repay the Lord for all the great good done for me? I will raise the cup of salvation and call on the name of the Lord." (Psalm 116:12-13) Here is the first lesson of humility.
Exult, O daughter of Zion, sing praises O daughter of Jerusalem; behold, your King is coming, the Holy One, the Savior of the world. 
Zechariah 9:9
Echoes of Palm Sunday reverberate in the Communion.  Once again, as before, the King comes riding on a donkey (albeit the first time in the womb of His Mother). Once again, as before, it was time to be delivered.  Unlike the first time, there was no earthly rejoicing, for He came in cover of night and darkness.  It was only in the light of day that the Light of the World could be seen, even while this Light cannot be overcome by darkness..  It all ties in simply;  no Birth, no Life, no Death, no Resurrection, no Salvation.  And in the receiving of the Precious Body and Blood does He also come, as completely as He did on Holy Thursday, as completely as He did on Good Friday, as completely as He did on Easter Sunday.

Emmauel.  God is with us.  "For a Child is born to us, a Son is given us; upon His shoulder dominion rests".  The King of Kings has come when morning dawns.  The Light has triumphantly broke.  Beauty is all around us, not just the hills of the east.  And Life to Joy has awaken forever.  "Come to Bethlehem and see Him whose birth the angels sing.  Come, adore on bended knee Christ, the Lord, the newborn King."

Hodie Christus natus est.

Standing Guard

It's not as short of a fourth week of Advent as it could be, but the time of preparation comes quickly to an end.  This translation of the German "Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme", originally from the pen of Philipp Nicolai and harmonized famously by Johann Sebatstian Bach, reminds us to be be like good sentinels:
Wake, O wake, and sleep no longer,
For he who calls you is no stranger;
Awake, God's own Jerusalem!
Hear, the midnight bells are chiming
The signal for his royal coming:
Let voice to voice announce his name!
We feel his footsteps near,
The Bridegroom at the door--
Alleluia! The lamps will shine
With light divine 
As Christ the savior comes to reign.
Zion hears the sound of singing;
Our hearts are thrilled with sudden longing;
She stirs, and wakes, and stands prepared.
Christ, her friend, and lord, and lover,
Her star and sun and strong redeemer--
At last his mighty voice is heart.
The Son of God has come
To make with us his home:
Sing Hosanna! The fight is won,
The feast begun;
We fix our eyes on Christ alone. 
Glory, glory, sing the angels,
While music sounds from strings and cymbals;
All humankind, with songs arise!
Twelve the gates into the city,
Each one a pearl of shining beauty;
The streets of gold ring out with praise.
All creatures round the throne
Adore the holy One
With rejoicing: Amen be sung
By ev'ry tongue
To crown their welcome to the King.
Ero cras.  The Bridegroom will soon quit His chambers.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Musical Plan "B"

As I had mentioned in my previous post, I look for ways to add to the content of my series of meditations on the "O" Antiphons.  This year I actually found something to use, but not in a format which would allow me to incorporate it as I need.  However, that's not to say I won't use it.

Found in a post at the Chant Cafe, here are a set of motets on these antiphons written by Marc-Antonie Charpentier, who also wrote a Mass for Christmas.  While I wish I could use these independently of each other, they are still delightful little musical nuggets.  A fedora doff to Kathleen Plum, the newest contributor at the Cafe, for finding these.




"O" Yes, Again

Daylight grows shorter here in the Northern Hemisphere.  The winter solstice soon will be upon us and the days after that will start to see increased sunlight.  While we know this comes with the passing of time, we still long for the darkness to abate.

What a perfect metaphor for the ebb and flow of our spiritual life.  The Church uses the rhythm of the seasons to her liturgical advantage.  She gives us the words to express the longing of our hearts and souls at the times we need them.

So it is right now as for those who pray the Liturgy of the Hours/Daily Office on a regular basis. Especially at this time of Advent, as our preparations for the coming of the Christ Child intensify, the yearning for our Savior to come quickens.  It finds its greatest expression at Vespers in the antiphons preceding the Magnificat the next seven days.  It is almost a plea to God through the Virgin to finally be delivered

Yes, making its appearance for the seventh straight year are my modest and humble reflections on the "O" Antiphons.  Those of you who are familiar with these posts know in past years I have included thoughts from Fr. John Zuhlsdorf (What Does The Prayer Really Say) and Fr. Mark Daniel Kirby, OSB (Vultus Christi) as well.  I hope to add something else to the mix; we'll see if happens.

Arguably my most popular and well-received musings, I hope you continue to enjoy these meditations from those people who know them better and one person who thinks he can match that content.

Maranatha.  Come, Lord Jesus.

Tonight, our cries will begin to be heard.

Sunday, December 02, 2012

December 2012 Morning Offering Prayer Intentions

Here are the intentions for this month when reciting the Morning Offering:
General:  Migrants. That migrants throughout the world may be welcomed with generosity and authentic love, especially by Christian communities.

Mission:  Christ, light for all humanity. That Christ may reveal himself to all humanity with the light that shines forth from Bethlehem and is reflected in the face of his Church.

Saturday, December 01, 2012

Four Weeks 'Fore Christmas

Here we are again at the start of a new liturgical year.

The Advent of our King, as we celebrate His first coming and continue to prepare for His second, is upon us.

It is time to change colors.

More importantly, it is time to change our souls, hearts, and minds.

It is time to physically prepare for Christmas.

More importantly, it is time to spiritually prepare for the coming of the Christ Child.

Unlike the world, who waited for ages, and Mary, who waited nine months, we only have "four" weeks until "the Word was made Flesh and dwelt among us".

How are we preparing our manger? How are we heeding the words of St. John the Baptist? How much are we like Elizabeth? How much are we like St. Joseph?

Let this be a fruitful time, so that "we, like Mary, rest, confounded that a stable should display Heaven's Word, the world's Creator, cradled there."

Let us be sincere when we say, "Maranatha."

Let us again prepare the way for the Lord.


Thursday, November 22, 2012

2012 Thanksgiving Day Card


As we gather to feast with family and friends, let us truly be grateful for all the blessings God has bestowed upon us.  May He Who is the creator of all good things continue to shower us with graces and gifts, peace and joy, life and love.  May our gratitude continue to be shown in all we do and say.

Happy Thanksgiving, Everybody!

To The Musical Maiden


Another view of the patron saint of musician.

A spotless bride of Christ, may the music we create also be unblemished, beautiful, and give glory to God.

**********



Thursday, November 01, 2012

November 2012 Morning Offering Prayer Intentions


Here are the intentions for this month when reciting the Morning Offering:
General:  Ministers of the Gospel. That bishops, priests, and all ministers of the Gospel may bear the courageous witness of fidelity to the crucified and risen Lord. 
Mission:  Pilgrim Church. That the pilgrim Church on earth may shine as a light to the nations.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Ten Minutes In The Sun



Today marks the 95th. anniversary of the culmination of the Marian apparitions at Cova da Iria near Fatima, Portugal.  The sixth and final appearance of the Blessed Virgin Mary to Lucia dos Santos and Jacinta and Francisco Marto concluded with the event known as "the miracle of the Sun".

What happened, according to Wikipedia.

Two eye-witness accounts are noted:  one from a well-know researcher of all the events; the other, a very familiar figure in Church history.

Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Going Away Gifts

I haven't see one of these kind of stories in a while.  It was a post from one of my "friends" on Facebook.  Edited for spelling and punctuation:

**********

I saw a cashier hand a little boy his money back at the mall; the boy couldn't have been more than 5 or 6 years old.  The cashier said, "I'm sorry, but you don't have enough money to buy this doll."

The little boy turned to the old woman next to him. "Granny, are you sure I don't have enough money?"

She replied, "You know that you don't have enough money to buy this doll, my dear."  Then she asked him to stay there for just 5 minutes while she went to look around.  She left quickly.

The little boy was still holding the doll in his hand.  Finally, I walked toward him and I asked him who he wished to give this doll to.

"It's the doll that my sister loved most and wanted so much for Christmas. She was sure that Santa Claus would bring it to her."

I replied to him that maybe Santa Claus would bring it to her after all and not to worry. But he replied to me sadly, "No, Santa Claus can't bring it to her where she is now. I have to give the doll to my mommy so that she can give it to my sister when she goes there.  "His eyes were so sad while saying this.  "My sister has gone to be with God.  Daddy says that mommy is going to see God very soon too, so I thought that she could take the doll with her to give it to my sister."

My heart nearly stopped.  The little boy looked up at me and said, "I told daddy to tell mommy not to go yet. I need her to wait until I come back from the mall."  Then he showed me a very nice photo of himself.  He was laughing.  He then told me, "I want mommy to take my picture with her so she won't forget me.  I love my mommy and I wish she didn't have to leave me, but daddy says that she has to go to be with my little sister."  Then he looked again at the doll with sad eyes, very quietly.

I quickly reached for my wallet and said to the boy, "Suppose we check again, just in case you do have enough money for the doll! '

"OK." he said.  "I hope I do have enough."  I added some of my money to his without him seeing and we started to count it.  There was enough for the doll and even some spare money.

The little boy said, "Thank you God for giving me enough money!" Then he looked at me and added, "I asked last night before I went to sleep for God to make sure I had enough money to buy this doll, so that mommy could give it to my sister. He heard me! I also wanted to have enough money to buy a white rose for my mommy, but I didn't dare to ask God for too much.  But He gave me enough to buy the doll and a white rose.  My mommy loves white roses."

A few minutes later, the old lady returned and I left with my basket.  I finished my shopping in a totally different state of mind from when I started. I couldn't get the little boy out of my mind.  Then I remembered a local newspaper article two days ago which mentioned a drunk man in a truck who hit a car occupied by a young woman and a little girl.  The little girl died right away and the mother was left in a critical state.  The family had to decide whether to pull the plug on the life-sustaining machine because the young woman would not be able to recover from the coma.  Was this the family of the little boy?

Two days after this encounter with the little boy I read in the newspaper that the young woman had passed away.  I couldn't stop myself as I bought a bunch of white roses and I went to the funeral home where the body of the young woman was for people to see and make last wishes before her burial.  She was there in her coffin holding a beautiful white rose in her hand with the photo of the little boy and the doll placed over her chest.

I left the place teary-eyed, feeling that my life had been changed forever.  The love that the little boy had for his mother and his sister is still, to this day, hard to imagine; and, in a fraction of a second, a drunk driver had taken all this away from him.

**********
"Lord, make me an instrument of your peace."

Thursday, October 11, 2012

A Sword Which Divides?

Tonight will be a novelty.

Two men who share the same Faith but differ on how to utilize it in the public square.

Two candidates, vying for the same position, debate on how best to serve the United States, with their shared religion in the background.

This could be a referendum on the state of Catholicism in this part of the world.

This article describes the differences.

Benedict As Janus

He was there when it opened fifty years ago, and recalls that day.

He now use the occasion of that anniversary to preach (with commentary from Fr. John Zuhlsdorf) on what the Year of Faith should mean to all of us.

Let the conversations start.

Annus Fidei

And so it begins.

Today marks the opening of the "Year Of Faith", from now until the Feast of Christ the King in 2013.

Held in conjunction with the Golden Anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council and the 20th. anniversary of the promulgation of the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

The goal, from the website of the United State Conference of Catholic Bishops:
During the Year of Faith, Catholics are asked to study and reflect on the documents of Vatican II and the catechism so that they may deepen their knowledge of the faith. 
The upcoming Year of Faith is a “summons to an authentic and renewed conversion to the Lord, the One Savior of the world” (Porta Fidei 6). In other words, the Year of Faith is an opportunity for Catholics to experience a conversion – to turn back to Jesus and enter into a deeper relationship with him. The “door of faith” is opened at one’s baptism, but during this year Catholics are called to open it again, walk through it and rediscover and renew their relationship with Christ and his Church.
In accordance with Faith seeking understanding, I think this could be the most significant year in a person's spiritual life.  Do we understand what we believe? Do we even know what we are to believe? Do we know the tenets of our Faith?  These are the question to be answered in the next 13 months.

At least we can look at the same pages, if not be on the same page.

I have both editions of the Catechism and have read the revised version (twice).  As to the "Sweet Sixteen", the documents issued in the three years Vatican II met--no, I have not.  Looks like I have some homework to do.

There is so much confusion and division within the Church.  Much of it stems from how to implement what happened as a result of the 21st. Ecumenical Council.  This is where the so-called "spirit of Vatican II" make an appearance.  This is where the hermeneuetic of continuity comes into play.  This is an interaction worth having.

May this be a time when the phrase "ut unam sit" becomes more a reality.

Here is how to gain a Plenary Indulgence during this time.

Monday, October 01, 2012

October 2012 Morning Offering Prayer Intentions

Here are the intentions for this month when reciting the Morning Offering:
General:  New Evangelization. That the New Evangelization may progress in the oldest Christian countries. 
Mission:  World Mission Day. That the celebration of World Mission Day may result in a renewed commitment to evangelization.

Friday, September 28, 2012

A Discernment Continues

I had mentioned his story here.

Here's an update.

Fedora doff to Fr. Erik Richtstieg, via his Facebook post, for the new info.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Ordaining And Establishing

Thus begins the current "Contract with America" (the Articles of Confederation having governed us the first 12-14 years of our existence):
We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
Today marks the 225th. anniversary of the adoption of the framework of our federal government.  From its inception, what has been written on these four pieces of parchment have been hotly contested in terms of what it does (or should) mean.  Still, now in its fourth century of existing, it remains one of the greatest achievements of civilization.  That individuals would come together peacefully, but not without contentiousness and compromise, and craft a document which spells out how they wish to pursue self-government is something on this side of miraculous.  That it has held up, even through a civil war, for this long is a tribute to the men who arduously worked through the summer of 1787 to create it.

When was the last time you read it, just for the sake of it? We argue over what it says and what it implies, but do we really go to the source? Are certain groups of people just in love with one portion of it while being ignorant of the whole? It may have been a while for the vast majority of us (a government or civics class back in our days of formal education).

How about brushing up on the work itself?

From there you may begin to make your case.

It does, after all, belong to "We, the People."

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

The "Perfect" Anniversary


In the world-wide web, a 'blogversary is defined by the day your weblog first appeared on the internet.

Seven years ago from the time stamp of this post, the world saw this entry:
Greetings! 
I have decided to add my voice to the cacophony of chatter known as the 'blogosphere. (Is there a relationship to the tower of Babel?) 
It will be a small, quiet voice for now. So many subjects, so little time! 
I need to carve a niche and develop a writing style. I have some ideas, though. 
Welcome to my infinitesimal corner of the universe!
And so began my journey as a 'blogger.  You can thank (or blame) Rick Lugari for getting me into this endeavor.  I still am grateful for his encouragement.

The internet is not an easy place to exist, even if you live in an infinitesimal corner of it.  My hit-and-miss nature of posting probably puts me in the category of those who are hanging on by the ends of their fingernails.  In a sense it is true.  But 'blogging has always been a hobby; there are more important things and concerns in my life, both internally and externally.  This has become "a small, quiet voice" but one which is not ready to become permanently mute.

Do I want fame? No; although I think I have a little bit of recognition with some of my more popular posts.  Do I want fortune? No; I doubt this will turn into any kind of money-making proposition of any proportion.  So, why do I keep on keeping on with this?

Because I am using this as a learning tool:  about me, my Faith, topics which affect me, topics which interest me.  I have certain channels to which I am attuned in this "cacophony of chatter"; I have to work on staying open to those whom I find more white noise than harmonious sound.  I am reminded how little I know and definitely heed Mark Twain's advice; there is a lot of homework to be done before one can voice a truly coherent opinion.  However, I am never opposed to being a Socratic gadfly.

Hopefully, I am up to the task.

It hasn't been easy, but it is still enjoyable.

And so, we begin the eight year.

Welcome, again, to my infinitesimal corner of the universe!

It has expanded some; here's hoping I gain a little more room.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Eleven Years On: 9/11



Tuesday, September 11, 2001.

It was supposed to be "just another day".

History had other ideas.


Today marks the eleventh anniversary of the destruction of the "Twin Towers" at the World Trade Center in New York City via a most hideously ingenious plan:  by ramming each of them with a commercial jet aircraft.  A similar fate awaited the Pentagon in Washington, DC, although the damage to that building was mild compared to the skyscrapers.  A fourth airliner was targeting another prominent landmark in the country; but, because of the bravery of some of the passengers, crashed in a field near Shanksville, PA.

The Gregorian calendar, in its effort to help humanity mark time, takes advantage of the adage "what goes around comes around".  For only the second time since it happened (the other being 2007), the anniversary date falls on the day when it originally occurred.  While we may have "leap days" to keep in sync with our reckoning of the solar cycle, we cannot skip remembering a day where evil seemingly won a big battle.


Gone but not forgotten are those who perished.  For all of them except those who perpetrated this crime, it was going to be "just another day".  Nothing out of the ordinary, they were going to do what they were supposed to do:  live out their lives.  No one had scheduled Emily Dickerson's guest; then, again, it is rare we know that hour is coming.  Even this thief in the night will do his work in the full light of day.

Yet eleven years on, we still don't know what to make of it.  Fellow 'blogger Anastasia Crosswell of "Kyrie Eleison Me" wrote a poem two years ago in where she struggled with the "why" of this, a statement which still rings true to this day.  In a blatant act of gamesmanship, evil gets in our faces and taunts us unmercifully.  "I'm still here, making your life miserable," it says. "Give up and give in."


My response to that is, "Hell? No!" How fortunate the Feast of the Triumph of the Cross is a mere three days away from today.  It is a reminder that Christ has overcome death, sin, and evil.  The Church with her greatest icon, a crucifix, assures us time and again that victory is ours as long as we persevere.  This is a spiritual battle fought as well on a temporal plane.  As we are made of both flesh and spirit, the conflict will rage until death "kindly stops for me."


As has been the case for the past eleven years, there will be prayers and speeches, tributes and memorials, words and deeds to mark the occasion.  If there is something in your locale, I encourage you to attend.  Check out other commentary in the 'blogosphere.  Fly Old Glory, if weather permits.

We should not forget.

We cannot forget.

This is not "just another day".


UPDATE (9/12/12):  Miss Crosswell  has informed me the poem was written shortly after the 9/11 attacks and was re-posted at that later date.  Duly noted.

Saturday, September 01, 2012

September 2012 Morning Offering Prayer Intentions


Here are the intentions for this month when reciting the Morning Offering:
General:  Politicians. That politicians may always act with honesty, integrity, and love for the truth.
Mission:  Help for the Poorest Churches. That Christian communities may have a growing willingness to send missionaries, priests, and lay people, along with concrete resources, to the poorest Churches.

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Yard Sale?

Fr. John Zuhlsdorf, 'blogging priest extraordinaire, has been on a sorting spree as of late.

This post reveals some of the treasures he has.

The related combox expressions have been, so far, of "salvage what can be salvaged."

My two cents (grammatically correct here):
...As large a readership as you have, there must be people will(ing) to do the necessary repairs/replications as a “labor of love” and/or able to purchase these vestments from you.   
I challenge your followers: Save what can be saved.
For those 'bloggers out there with a wider audience than me, help spread the word.

UPDATE 8/3/2012:  And the beat goes on.

August 2012 Morning Offering Prayer Intentions


Here are the intentions for this month when reciting the Morning Offering:
General:  Prisoners.  That prisoners may be treated with justice and respect for their human dignity. 
Mission:  Youth Witness to Christ.  That young people, called to follow Christ, may be willing to proclaim and bear witness to the Gospel to the ends of the earth.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Encore

It must have gone well enough.

The announcement of the location of Colloquium XXIII of the Church Music Association of America.

Here we go again.

Thursday, July 05, 2012

Golden Day

Some time during the day of July 5, 1962, a woman was admitted to Mary Greeley Hospital in Ames, Iowa to prepare for the birth of her and her husband's first children.  Yes, plural.  She was pregnant with twins.


At 8:12 PM, the first boy was delivered.  Five minutes later, child number two entered the world.  Five decades later, the second of this pair sits at his computer keyboard to celebrate and reminisce about the first of the 18,263 days he has been on Earth.  (BTW, we are very fraternal twins.  My twin brother is 6'7" with black hair and brown eyes; I am 5'11" with light brown hair and blue eyes.)


While it made have been a little crowded in my mother's womb, I certainly thank God I was allowed to share the space.  I am grateful to be an apple of His eye.  I am humbled He bestowed the gifts of material and spiritual life upon me.  I am awed He brought me into existence.


So, what do you say when you hit 50?


It is truly a matter of perspective.


A Working Solution?


This birthday which ends in a zero seems to be a touch unsettling to me, perhaps due to the fact I have been unemployed for as long as I have (now in my 62nd. month).  Perhaps that society is deeming me "useless" and "unproductive" because I "have nothing to offer the workplace" anymore is playing on my self-esteem more than I want to admit.  And I do have to wonder, with every rejection by a perspective employer, how much more my ego can take.


Yet, I am not ready to "hang it up".  As psychologically taxing and emotionally draining this time has been, I keep hoping.  I don't when it's going to end, but it is going to end.  I had to wait for my time to be born; surely that first test of patience is my example to persevere.


Going Downhill


While we are never sure of our length of days, I am becoming more aware my time on Earth is growing shorter.  The death of my maternal grandmother, a maternal aunt, and a paternal uncle-in-law within the past few months sees the older branches of my family tree getting pruned even more.  My mother is dealing with two serious medical issues right now, although neither of them are life-threatening.  And there are signs I am slowing down a bit.  It is nothing serious; rather, they are caution flags which do need my attention and adaptation.


Perhaps I am "over the hill", as lots of people will say at this age.  Well, growing old gracefully means not letting that momentum take you down into the grave until it is time.  It means living, not dying.


Back To The Future


I am reminded of a phrase that we don't know what the future holds for us, but we do know Who holds it..  Even more than ever, it is a time for discernment.  It is a time to more firmly unite your will to the Father, to more securely strengthen your relationship to the Son, to listen more intently to the whisperings of the Holy Spirit.  It is time for an increase in your spirituality.  And what better vehicle than the one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church who provides that grace in so many ways?  Prayer, the Sacraments, spiritual reading of Scriptures and other books--the treasure is vast; the array, amazing; the options, almost infinite.


Once again, I return to the words of Blessed John Henry Cardinal Newman: 
God has created me to do Him some definite service. He has committed some work to me which He has not committed to another. I have my mission -- I may never know it in this life, but I shall be told it in the next. 
I am a link in a chain, a bond of connection between persons. He has not created me for naught. I shall do good. I shall do His work. I shall be an angel of peace, a preacher of truth in my own place while not intending it -- if I do but keep His commandments. 
Therefore I will trust in Him. Whatever, wherever I am. I can never be thrown away. If I am in sickness, my sickness may serve Him; in perplexity, my perplexity may serve Him; if I am in sorrow, my sorrow may serve Him. He does nothing in vain. He knows what He is about. He may take away my friends. He may throw me among strangers. He may make me feel desolate, make my spirits sink, hide my future from me -- still He knows what He is about.
May God grant me a long life, as many birthdays as He sees fit.  May this apple of His eye bear good fruit.  May this day, and the rest of what I am granted, be pleasing to Him.


While I may, like Dylan Thomas says, "rage against the dying of the light" at times of despair, William Wordsworth has the right attitude.


"Come grow old with me.  The best is yet to be."

Monday, July 02, 2012

July 2012 Morning Offering Prayer Intentions


Here are the intentions for this month when reciting the Morning Offering:
General:  Work Security. That everyone may have work in safe and secure conditions. 
Missionary:  Christian Volunteers. That Christian volunteers in mission territories may witness to the love of Christ.

Monday, June 25, 2012

A Voice Of Singing

I am back from the opening events of Colloquium XXII, the Church Music Association of America's celebration of sacred music.  This is my second time at this event, having been to Pittsburgh two years ago in the middle of catching "chant fever".  I have remade acquaintances with a few people whom I have met over the two-and-one-half years I have been involved with this organization and am looking forward to meeting many more new people.

This is fondly known as "seven days of musical heaven".  For the next week, participants will be immersed in celebrations of the Mass in both forms, chanted Morning and Night Prayers, and a Vespers service according to the Extraordinary Form.  In between there will be plenty of rehearsals and workshops on various aspects of the music that is sung and/or played.  The goal is to expose people to the ideals and possibilities of what their own local liturgies can become.

The Cathedral of the Madeline and the Madeline Choir School are the hosts for this event, the first time in its history it has been held west of the Mississippi River.  I believe everybody is looking forward to all the liturgies at the Cathedral, given its beautiful architecture and acoustics.  I'm just glad it's being held in my "back yard"; I will be taking the bus to get there.

Speaking of which, it's time to call it a night.  In order to get there on time, the bus rolls by at 7:06 AM.

Friday, June 01, 2012

June 2012 Morning Offering Prayer Intentions

Here are the intentions for this month when reciting the Morning Offering:
General: Christ, Present in the Eucharist. That believers may recognize in the Eucharist the living presence of the Risen One who accompanies them in daily life. 
Mission: European Christians. That Christians in Europe may rediscover their true identity and participate with greater enthusiasm in the proclamation of the Gospel.

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

May 2012 Morning Offerning Prayer Intentions

Here are the intentions for this month when reciting the Morning Offering:
General:  The Family. That initiatives which defend and uphold the role of the family may be promoted within society.

Mission:  Mary, Guide of Missionaries. That Mary, Queen of the World and Star of Evangelization, may accompany all missionaries in proclaiming her Son Jesus.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

An Altar Ego

My first visit to Mike Aquilina's 'blog The Way of the Fathers showed me a quiz, which I dutifully took.

The result?









You’re St. Melito of Sardis!

You have a great love of history and liturgy. You’re attached to the traditions of the ancients, yet you recognize that the old world — great as it was — is passing away. You are loyal to the customs of your family, though you do not hesitate to call family members to account for their sins.



Thursday, April 19, 2012

Old Dog, New Tricks

It has been a long time since I have posted something original or new.  Thank goodness for this forwarded e-mail via Catherine Garcia.  With all that is happening in my life right now, a good chuckle is sorely needed.  Some editing has been done for clarity.

**********

One day an old German Shepherd starts chasing rabbits and, before long, discovers that he's lost. Wandering about, he notices a panther heading rapidly in his direction with the intention of having him for lunch.  The old German Shepherd thinks, "Oh, oh! I'm in deep trouble now!"

Noticing some bones on the ground close by, he immediately settles down to chew on the bones with his back to the approaching cat. Just as the panther is about to leap, the old German Shepherd exclaims loudly, "Boy, that was one delicious panther! I wonder if there are any more around here?" Hearing this, the young panther halts his attack in mid-strike. A look of terror comes over him and he slinks away into the trees.  "Whew!," says the panther, "That was close! That old German Shepherd nearly had me!"

Meanwhile, a squirrel who had been watching the whole scene from a nearby tree figures he can put this knowledge to good use and trade it for protection from the panther. So, off he goes.  The squirrel soon catches up with the panther, spills the beans, and strikes a deal for himself with the panther.  The young panther is furious at being made a fool of and says, "Here, squirrel; hop on my back and see what's going to happen to that conniving canine!"

Now, the old German Shepherd sees the panther coming with the squirrel on his back and thinks, "What am I going to do now?" Instead of running, the dog sits down with his back to his attackers, pretending he hasn't seen them yet.  Just when they get close enough to hear, the old German Shepherd says, "Where's that squirrel? I sent him off an hour ago to bring me another panther!"

Sunday, April 08, 2012

2012 Easter Card



He said to them, “Do not be amazed! You seek Jesus of Nazareth, the crucified. He has been raised; he is not here. Behold the place where they laid him.
Mark 16:6

May the Resurrection of Jesus Christ bring you blessings beyond all telling.  May the joy you find in the Risen Savior bring you a fullness of grace.  May this ultimate victory over sin and death bring you life, love, and peace.

He is risen! He is risen, indeed!

Happy Easter, everybody!

Saturday, April 07, 2012

A "New" Proclamation

With the revision of the Roman Missal, there also comes a restoration of the Exultet, or, as it is know in the Missal, the Paschal Proclamation.  The revision is more in line with the original Latin, including the refernce to the material in the candle.  Those who have studied the text loving joke, "The bees are back!"

This past March 29,  I assisted at a Chrism Mass for the first time in my life.  While I knew that the second part of the Exultet has a similar chant formula to the Eucharistic Prefaces, I was pleasantly surprised to discover the prayer over the chrism also uses that formula as well.  Quite the nice musical connection.

Unfortunately, I will not be intoning this proclamation tonight at my parish's Easter Vigil; in fact, I was not assigned any of the Triduum liturgies.  Having made the connection above, I also realized these prayers rightfully belong to the ministerial priesthood, although the Missal allows a lay person to chant the Exultet.  Having made this connection, to hear a female voice or even a choir in some type of arrangement sing this, no matter how well, is disconcerting to me.

Nevertheless, I present both the Latin and English versions of this absolutely joyous proclamation, the announcement of the rising from the dead of our Savior and our salvation.

Compare, contrast, and enjoy.


Friday, April 06, 2012

Remembering Divine Mercy Again

The "hour of mercy" is reckoned by Tradition at 3:00 in the afternoon, the moment when Jesus Christ died and gave His life as ransom for many.  It is the time when parishes begin the Good Friday Liturgy.  I have come across a rare case or two when the announcement of His death as told in the Passion Narrative of St. John was timed so as to be at that exact moment.

It is also the time when the Chaplet of Divine Mercy is recited.  I refer you to my first post on this subject (a week short of six years ago) for details about this devotion.

For those who practice this, no reminder is needed.  For those who wish to practice it, this reminder is for you.

Sunday, April 01, 2012

"Last Words": Round Six

As perennial as my re-posting of my series of meditations on the "O" Antiphons, it is time once again to display my meditations on the "Seven Last Words", the statements Jesus Christ made while hanging on the cross.

There are other more detailed thoughts about this subject out there; I encourage you to seek and use them.  My purpose is to get you, dear reader, to pause and reflect on what they mean to you; I am just providing a simple idea, an appetizer, if you wish, to whet you appetite.

Because they are re-posts, they may appear earlier than what the post time actually states.  Just an inconvenience using Blogger.  No matter when you view them, I hope you still enjoy them and pray they are of use to you.

Let us once again hear the words of our Savior before he "suffers death" and is "buried".

April 2012 Morning Offerning Prayer Intentions

Here are the intentions for this month when reciting the Morning Offering:
General:  Vocations.  That many young people may hear the call of Christ and follow him in the priesthood and religious life.

Mission:  Christ, Hope For Africans.  That the risen Christ may be a sign of certain hope for the men and women of the African continent.

Thursday, March 01, 2012

March 2012 Morning Offering Prayer Intentions

Here are the intentions for this month when reciting the Morning Offering:
General: Contribution of Women. That the whole world may recognize the contribution of women to the development of society.

Mission: Persecuted Christians. That the Holy Spirit may grant perseverance to those who suffer discrimination, persecution, or death for the name of Christ, particularly in Asia.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

From Dust To Glory


Without the Cross, there can be no empty Tomb.

Without Good Friday, there can be no Easter Sunday.

Without Sacrifice, there can be no Redemption.

Without Death, there can be no Resurrection.

And so we enter Lent, the Church's built-in forty day spiritual retreat.  A time set aside to contemplate the true meaning of why Jesus came into the world:  to save us from sin.  A time for self-examination as to what prevents us from being more authentic disciples.  A time to focus on denying self, taking up our cross, and following the Way, the Truth, and the Life.  A time of fasting so we can truly savor the Eucharistic feast.  A time of almsgiving so we can truly purchase the Pearl of Great Price.  A time of prayer so we can truly announce "Alleluia".

Roughly a quarter of the calendar year to assist us in our journey to eternal life.

Let us pray for a spiritual harvest of thirty-, sixty-, or even a hundred-fold.

Sunday, February 05, 2012

The Last Grandparent

My mother called me about an hour ago.  She told me at about 7:50 PM CT her mother, my grandmother, had just past away.

Viola (Nawrocki) Sheely was 92.

She was the last of my grandparents to leave this mortal coil.  I have no memories of my paternal grandmother; the best memory of my paternal grandfather was his funeral.  Both died while I was rather young; therefore, the lack of knowledge.  But I grew up visiting my maternal grandparents for many Easters, Thanksgivings, and Christmases, plus the family reunions on that side of the family.  This is where I learned how the "domestic church" became the "domestic diocese".

Funeral services are pending, but my guess it will be this Friday or Saturday.

Please pray for the repose of her soul.

Requiem in pace.

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

February 2012 Morning Offering Prayer Intention

Here are the intentions for this month when reciting the Morning Offering:
General:  Access to Water. That all peoples may have access to water and other resources needed for daily life. 
Mission:  Health Workers. That the Lord may sustain the efforts of health workers assisting the sick and elderly in the world’s poorest regions.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

In "Cultural" Doctrination?

I found this interesting quiz at Dyspeptic Mutterings, Dale Price's wonderfully acerbic 'blog.



How Thick Is Your Bubble?

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Score » 6 out of 20  (30% )
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On a scale from 0 to 20 points, where 20 signifies full engagement with mainstream American culture and 0 signifies deep cultural isolation within the new upper class bubble, you scored between 5 and 8.

In other words, you can see through your bubble, but you need to get out more.

Quiz SchoolTake this quiz & get your score


As I commented there, I think it reflects more my personal attitude than my socio-economic status.  As the son of a blue-collar worker, while I appreciate what those folks do, my aptitudes went in a different direction.  I certainly don't think of myself as "better", even if I had found success.

As the song goes, "I still haven't found what I'm looking for."

Monday, January 23, 2012

Looking A Day Over 39

The Culture of Death has just finished celebrating its greatest feast day.  (Uncle Screwtape would be so proud of that sentence.)  They have processed from their holiest shrine to their holiest temple to mark the occasion as they have for the past five decades.  Their high priests have had their say and their scribes will dutifully notate their words.  The ritual is done for another year.

They celebrate the granting of a great "right".  They recall this tremendous gain made in the name of "equality".  They glory in this earned "freedom".

How ironic it is the 39th. anniversary of the Supreme Court decisions of Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton, the rulings which allowed the abortion of human beings in utero to be done at any time during pregnancy for any and no reason, fell on a Sunday this time.  While normally a fixed date, the observation had to be move to the following day, probably because of some statue prohibiting these kind of events on a Sunday.  Why ironic? How in the world could the Culture of Death celebrate on the day when the Resurrection and the Life is remembered? Even Moloch recognizes Jesus Christ and wants nothing to do with Him.

In this, the ultimate battleground, neither side in the Culture War really made any political progress toward their ultimate victory in the past twelve months.  Unfortunately, it is still not a zero sum proposition.  The number of abortions performed in this country since 1973 is estimated to be 53,000,000.  That is roughly a little more than the populations of California and New York combined (according to the latest Census Bureau figures).

Yet, the pro-life side is more animated and rejuvenated than their counterparts.  The partial defunding of Planned Parenthood at state levels was encouraging.  But a bigger motivation comes in the form of this year's election cycle.  They are looking to defeat the incumbent who resides at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, a president who has given the poor-(pro-)choice crowd all for which they could have hoped.  The abortion mentality is all but cemented into what has been labeled "ObamaCare", the so-called national reform of health care insurance.  The outrage is fueling efforts to make him a one-term president.

But now we look ahead at the next time January 22 comes.  It will be the day after the President of the United States will be publicly inaugurated (since January 20, 2013 will fall on a Sunday).  What meaning these first of the month rituals will have remains to be seen.  All that is known is Washington, DC will be busy for a couple of days.

What the tone of these two feast days in our country will be remains to be seen.

Friday, January 13, 2012

"Losing" Religion


There are people who say they are "spiritual, but not religious".  It implies you can have one without the other, that you can have the internals (spirituality) without the externals (religiosity),that once you get beyond "the rules" you don't need them.  The gentleman who produced this video seems to fall in this category.

He also reminds me of the rich, young man.

I have found two responses to this searcher's inquiry.  The first is from Rev. Lee Nelson, the Rector of St. John the Evangelist Episcopal Church in Stockton, CA.  The second is from Tom Hoopes, a 'blogger at CatholicVote.org.

"Seek, and you shall find."

(Fedora doff to Fr. Erik Richtsteig of Orthometer for providing the basis of this post through his Facebook page.)

UPDATE (12:28 PM):  Here is a third response, this one from the 'blog Bad Catholic.

Monday, January 02, 2012

More Intercession

As I did when I was seeking work in 2006, I return to the prayer below to aid me in my job search. Efforts have almost grounded to a halt.

++++++++++

Prayer to Saint Anthony of Padua:
Good Saint Anthony, in God's providence you have secured for His people many marvelous favors. You have been especially celebrated, good Saint Anthony, for your goodness to the poor and the hungry, for finding employment for those seeking it, for your special care of those who travel, and for keeping safe from harm all who must be away from home. You are widely known also, good Saint Anthony, for securing peace in the family, for your delicate mercy in finding lost things, for safe delivery of messages, and for your concern for women in childbirth. In honoring you, Saint Anthony, for the many graces our Lord grants through your favor, we trustfully and confidently ask your aid in our present need. Pray for us, good Saint Anthony, that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

May it be a source of joy, O God, to your Church that we honor the memory of your Confessor and Doctor, Saint Anthony. May his spiritual help always make us strong, and by his assistance may we enjoy an eternal reward. This we ask through Jesus Christ, your Son, our Lord. Amen.
(This post will remain at the top until further notice.)

January 2012 Morning Offering Prayer Intentions

Here are the intentions for this month when reciting the Morning Offering:
General:  Victims of Natural Disasters. That the victims of natural disasters may receive the spiritual and material comfort they need to rebuild their lives. 
Mission:  Dedication to Peace. That the dedication of Christians to peace may bear witness to the name of Christ before all men and women of good will.

Morning/Intentions

Perhaps this is part of your daily prayer life (or, like me, should be on a more consistent basis):
O Jesus, through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I offer You my prayers, works, joys, and sufferings of this day in union with the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass throughout the world. I offer them for all the intentions of Your Sacred Heart: the salvation of souls, reparation for sin, and the reunion of all Christians. I offer them for the intentions of our bishops and of all Apostles of Prayer, and in particular for those recommended by our Holy Father this month.
You may have wondered at times who are the Apostles of Prayer? And what intentions does the Holy Father recommend every month?

The answer to the first question is here.  (By the way, I have met Fr. Kubicki.  He directed a week long Lenten retreat at my home parish in Mankato a few years ago.)

The answer to the second question will be the subject of my next post.  As I have seen on other 'blogs, I will provide those monthly intentions.  They consist of a general intercession and one geared toward missionary word (in a broad sense of the word--think in terms of the final words of St. Matthew's Gospel).

Offer it up.