Wednesday, March 30, 2011

No Chicken Littles

I have to admit there are times when it seems Christ's assurance of the gates of Hell not prevailing is nothing more than a hollow promise instead of a hallow promise. It does challenge my faith when all the assaults and allegations just seem to amass all at once; especially as Christmas and Easter come near. Satan and his cohorts are working overtime (all the more amazing since we are talking about eternal things).

Sometimes you need an honest perspective. His Excellency, the Most Reverend Thomas J. Tobin, Bishop of Providence, RI (how about that for reassurance of His care), gives us that in the "Rhode Island Catholic" (the diocesan newspaper). His article in his bi-weekly column, "Without A Doubt", rings of the phrase from "Desiderata": With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world.

As he refutes the article's title, "The Sky Is Falling! Really?", he could easily be saying, "In spite of all its trials, tribulations, and worldly worries, it is still a beautiful Church." Yes, despite the fact it is full of sinners, She is still holy and strong. It is all Grace.

This does help, after falling to one's knees, to keep them strong while they sometimes still shake.

Friday, March 25, 2011


Aristotle A. Esguerra, the "Recovering Choir Director ", posted this in 2005.

The money quote:
No, it’s not a Holy Day of Obligation. However, consider that without the Annunciation, there would be no Christmas. It’s not as simple as that, but it is as simple as that. The obligation is on your hearts, not on paper. Do with it as you wish.
Yes, God could have chosen another way for His Son to come into this fallen world. But He willed for us to be saved by Someone like us in all things except sin. To paraphrase St. Augustine, while we were created without our permission, we cannot be saved but with our permission.

So Mary's "yes" to God is our example, the penultimate expression of "Thy will be done," the first instance of her leading us to Him.

We would do very well to emulate her.

Prayer Of The Day

The Angelus, by Jean Francois Millet (1857)

Traditionally, the Angelus is prayed three times a day, when one hears the church bells peel in the morning, at noon, and in the evening. Invoked for peace and the safety of all Christians, it recalls a most familiar story in the Gospel of St. Luke. It is to be recited every day except during the Easter Season, where the Regina Coeli take its place.


V. The angel of the Lord declared unto Mary,
R. And she conceived of the Holy Spirit.

(Hail Mary, full of grace....)

V. Behold, the handmaid of the Lord;
R. Be it done unto me according to thy word.

(Hail Mary, full of grace....)

V. And the Word was made flesh,
R. And dwelt amongst us.

(Hail Mary, full of grace....)

V. Pray for us, O holy Mother of God.
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let us pray: Pour forth, we beseech Thee, O Lord, Thy grace into our hearts, that we, to whom the Incarnation of Christ Thy Son was made know by the message of an angel, may, by His Passion and Cross, be brought to the glory of His Resurrection; through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.


Originally posted (without print) 3/25/2006.
Re-posted 3/25/2009

Monday, March 14, 2011

"Flash Mob" Dance

From a Facebook post from Mary Jane Ballou, musician extraordinaire and 'blogmistress at Sacred Miscellany, come this:

My original reactions to it are in red (probably as was my face when I viewed it); additional comments are in black:
I do understand "flash mobs" require some planning to pull off the desired effect. The surprise is not in the "spontaneity" but rather in the execution. This is nothing more than liturgical abuse barely disguised as a pop culture phenomena.
And why was the local TV station brought into play? As Mary Jane pointed out, "...And I always notify the media before I do something liturgically spontaneous." You can't convince me this was not more deliberate that just what was claimed. If you listen to the adult interviewed, her justification for bringing it to Mass is lame.
And the pastor didn't know this was coming? Whether he did or didn't, this should have been halted in its tracks.
They must be auditioning for a spot at the Los Angeles Religious Education Convention. Any bets you see that there in some form?

It was wonderful in its rightful spot, a talent show.

It is abhorrent during worship.

Another example of what someone has rightly labeled these kinds of abuses: "liturgitainment".

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

The Other Purple Season

And so ends the beginning of the first day of Lent.

It is time for the Church and Her faithful to be repentant and renewed in preparation for the climax of The Greatest Story Ever Told.

Many have received their ashen cross upon their forehead.

Many will make the extra effort of prayer, almsgiving, and fasting.

This annual forty day retreat is a sign the seed must die before it can be fruitful.

The Holy Spirit is our Retreat Master Who leads us into the core of our being, our heart, our desert.

There the Word will speak again of the Father's love.

There the call to conversion will be heard.

There will the task of obedience be undertaken.

May this be a profitable time for your soul.