Sunday, December 31, 2017

Recessional/Processional Song

The parties have started; the countdowns have begun. We celebrate the end of one year and the beginning of the next. We give thanks for what 2017 bestowed and optimistically look ahead to 2018. And shortly after the stroke of midnight, that familiar tune and that familiar poem by Robert Burns fill the air: 

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 God grace the New year with favor upon favor. May His blessings upon you be manifold and plentiful. May you grow holier in His sight and continue to be His beloved child.

Happy New Year, Everybody!

Corners Of Time

On this, the first day of the week, it also happens to be the last day of the year.

What an interesting juxtaposition.

An intersection of an alpha and omega, a beginning and an end.

And so 2017 comes to a close.

What else can I say?

The status quo is status quo.

Again it seems the focus is still on my economic woes. The job front continues to be a source of consternation. I did return to that amusement park for a third season (and would be welcomed back for a fourth).  I balanced that with a part-time position at a branch of the county's library system; however, that ended five months into a six-month probationary period. Fortunately, two weeks after that, a two-year old application for a school crossing guard position came to fruition. It is not much in terms of an income, but at least I still have a sense of usefulness. Perhaps along with St. Anthony of Padua it's time to add St. Jude into the mix.

Lest this dourness color your perception of what is happening in my infinitesimal corner of the universe, let it be known I am still grateful for what has happened the past twelve months. I still live, move, and have being. While the dismissal from the library was a psychological punch in the stomach, one that brought my self-worth to my knees for a time, I still grasp onto the hope I will find something gainful and full-time. While my value as a human being is seemingly tied to the size of a paycheck, I know it isn't.

Beat up by the world as I am, I realize my problems are not as bad as many in this world, especially those who world have been turned inside out and upside down by natural catastrophes and man-made calamities. I am still learning to bear my cross profitably. At least my prayers can be their Simon of Cyrene.

For that is where we all can turn. It is not, "My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?" It is remembering I am fearfully, wonderfully made in His image and likeness. His divine indwelling in me is more than enough; His Grace is sufficient. Introvert that I am, it is within my soul where I will meet the living Triune God, who will show me how to love, how to have faith, how to hope and trust. If this is not my cornerstone, I really do have nothing upon which to build.

Perhaps this is the real meaning of "Go Forward".

Which is all I can do in 2018.

Which starts at the end of this day.

Monday, December 25, 2017

2017 Christmas Card

May God, Who gave to us His only begotten Son, born of the Virgin Mary through the power of the Holy Spirit, grant us the joy this holy night brings. May the Word made Flesh, of the Father's love begotten, also bestow that love upon us. May the King of Kings and Lord of Lords grace us with His peace which is beyond all measure.

Merry Christmas, Everybody!

Sunday, December 24, 2017

2017 Christmas Eve Reflection

The Gospel Reading of the Feast of the Nativity--Vigil Mass (Short Version):
This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about. When his mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found with child through the Holy Spirit. Joseph her husband, since he was a righteous man, yet unwilling to expose her to shame, decided to divorce her quietly. Such was his intention when, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, "Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary your wife into your home. For it is through the Holy Spirit that this child has been conceived in her. She will bear a son and you are to name him Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins." All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet:
Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son,
and they shall name him Emmanuel,
which means "God is with us." When Joseph awoke, he did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took his wife into his home. He had no relations with her until she bore a son, and he named him Jesus.
Matthew 1:18-25
The complete opening chapter of the Gospel of St. Matthew is the Gospel reading for this Mass. It has two parts:  the genealogy from Abraham to Jesus (a total of 42 generation) and the birth of Jesus. It is this second part which will be my focus.

But before we look at this couple, we have to look at another.

The First Couple.

God, Who made man and woman in His image and likeness, is with Adam and Eve as He gives them dominion over all the Earth. He asks one thing:  to not eat the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil; if so, they will die. So our First Couple hear the words of the Lord and heed them--they obey. They continue to do that until the Fall. And while God is still with them, they are not with Him.

So begins a pattern between God and humanity, now the tarnished and broken crown of His creation. Throughout salvation history, when the figures of the Old Testament heard and heeded the words of the Lord, He was with them. All the while, the promise of a savior rang through what God commanded.

When we return to St. Joseph and the Blessed Virgin Mary, the parallelism somewhat ends. While our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is the new Adam and not St. Joseph, this couple still has the same choice as the First Couple. They must now hear and heed the words of the Lord, lest God not be with them. But this time, the stakes were seemingly much higher. To not hear and heed the words of the Lord could mean the Word would not be made flesh at the appointed time. To not obey could mean even more delay in our salvation.

Like Eve, Mary would have the first chance. Gabriel, not the serpent, would speak to the New Eve. Instead of a denunciation, a rejection of the Word, Mary chose to heed the words of the Lord. And in the most intimate way possible, the way God desires our relationship with Him to be, God was truly
with Mary.

Now, it was St. Joseph's turn. Devoutly obedient to Mosaic Law as he was, there was a voice greater than Moses speaking to him--the One Who wrote the Law. Like Mary, assured this was all part of the plan of salvation, he also chose to heed the words of the Lord. Once again, God was truly with him.

The key to all this, as you have surmised by now, is obedience. While all those we've seen who heard and heeded the words of the Lord make great examples, there is no greater example than our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ Himself. His life on Earth was all about saying "yes" to God, hearing and heeding the words of the Lord (and because He is the Word made Flesh, being true to Himself), doing His Father's will. St. Paul says it best:
Christ Jesus, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God something to be grasped. Rather, he emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, coming in human likeness; and found human in appearance, he humbled himself, becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Because of this, God greatly exalted him and bestowed on him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, of those in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Phil. 2 6:11
Advent has been a time of preparation. It has been a time of hearing and heeding. It has given us an opportunity to become more obedient. It has been about "making room at the inn" of our being so that God can be with us even more. It is the answer to this verse of "O Little Town Of Bethlehem":
O holy child of Bethlehem! Descend to us we pray;
Cast our our sin and enter in; Be born in us today.
We hear the Christmas angels the great glad tidings tell;
O come to us, abide with us, our Lord Emmanuel!
Our time to prepare for this year is finished.

Hodie Christus natus est!

Advent's Final Hymn

This is the original Latin, from the 7th. century Liturgia Horarum:
Conditor alme siderum
aetérna lux credéntium
Christe redémptor ómnium
exáudi preces[voces] súpplicum

Qui cóndolens intéritu
mortis perire saeculum
salvásti mundum languidum
donans reis remedium.

Vergénte mundi véspere
uti sponsus de thálamo
egréssus honestissima
Virginis matris cláusula.

Cuius forti ponténtiae
genu curvántur ómnia
caeléstia, terréstia
nutu faténtur súbdita.

Te, Sancte fide quáesumus,
venture judex sáeculi,
consérva nos in témpore
hostis a telo perfidi.

Sit, Christe rex piissime
tibi Patríque glória
cum Spíritu Paráclito
in sempitérna sáecula.

Virtus, honor, laus, gloria
Deo Patri cum Filio,
Sancto simul Paraclito,
in saeculorum saecula

This is the English translation of John M. Neale found in the 1852 Hymnal Noted:

Creator of the stars of night,
Thy people’s everlasting light,
Jesu, Redeemer, save us all,
And hear Thy servants when they call.

Thou, grieving that the ancient curse
Should doom to death a universe,
Hast found the medicine, full of grace,
To save and heal a ruined race.

Thou cam’st, the Bridegroom of the bride,
As drew the world to evening-tide;
Proceeding from a virgin shrine,
The spotless Victim all divine.

At Whose dread Name, majestic now,
All knees must bend, all hearts must bow;
And things celestial Thee shall own,
And things terrestrial, Lord alone.

O Thou Whose coming is with dread
To judge and doom the quick and dead,
Preserve us, while we dwell below,
From every insult of the foe.

To God the Father, God the Son,
And God the Spirit, Three in One,
Laud, honor, might, and glory be
From age to age eternally.

After what seems to be a long wait from the fall of Adam, humanity finally gets its answer:

Ero cras.

Sunday, December 17, 2017

A Week Full Of "O's"

It is always a pleasant surprise when the liturgical calendar and the Gregorian calendar syncronize in a way that gives one a focus upon an event. While it is not a rare event, the infrequency of it does make one pay attention. It's as if God is tapping you on the shoulder and saying, "Here. Look at this."

This can only happen when December 17 falls on Gaudete Sunday. (And how much rose did you see in church?) It's as if the change in color is also highlighting another aspect of the liturgy which will be celebrated later. It seems to say, "Your rejoicing is about to become complete."

All this week, the last "full" week of Advent this year, the Liturgy of the Hours will include some of the most beloved chanted prayer the Church can offer.

From the website of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops:
The Roman Church has been singing the "O" Antiphons since at least the eighth century. They are the antiphons that accompany the Magnificat canticle of Evening Prayer from December 17-23. They are a magnificent theology that uses ancient biblical imagery drawn from the messianic hopes of the Old Testament to proclaim the coming Christ as the fulfillment not only of Old Testament hopes, but present ones as well. Their repeated use of the imperative "Come!" embodies the longing of all for the Divine Messiah.
As has been this 'blog's tradition, for the next seven days I offer my own very humble reflections upon these liturgical passages. The format has not changed much over the past few years; it has, in a way, become an on-line booklet. It is my hope that my meager musings will give your soul cause to reflect ever more deeply upon the great mystery to be celebrated. May they continue to be a means to finishing your Advent worthily.

In two hours, they begin.

"Venite, venite."

Saturday, December 02, 2017

Less Prep Time

Last year, we had four full weeks.

This year, because December 24 falls on Sunday, we are "missing" six days.

It's a moot point.

Advent is here.

Regardless of its length, the time to "prepare the way of the Lord" so we can "see the salvation of our God" is at hand.

Readying ourselves for the birth of Jesus seems much easier than readying ourselves for His death (Lent). We are missing the point. Both "purple" seasons are about new life; we look forward to the two biggest solemnities of the year (the Incarnation and the Resurrection) and give renewed effort to "make straight His path" to our hearts and souls. The work of the interior life is just that. But we must make the time to make the work to make it work.

So amid the decorating (the first thing should be the Advent wreath), the gifting, the baking, and the partying should be praying, meditating, contemplating, and sacramental doing. Balancing Mary and Martha is always a challenge. But by paying attention to the "reason for the season", we hope not to issue the veiled complaint of Martha and instead have "the better portion".

Find the time to watch and wait, like the Blessed Virgin Mary. (If you think about it, her "advent" was nine months long.) Let the Holy Spirit be the true "spirit of the season". Prepare a place for the Christ Child, unlike the inn keeper.

Do it soon.

This year, you don't have a lot of time.

Friday, December 01, 2017

December 2017 Morning Offering Prayer Intention

Here is the intention for this month when reciting the Morning Offering:
The Elderly.  That the elderly, sustained by families and Christian communities, may apply their wisdom and experience to spreading the faith and forming the new generations.
A reflection for this intention is found here.

Thursday, November 23, 2017

2017 Thanksgiving Day Card

May God, the giver of all good things, continue to bestow His blessings upon you. May He, Who knows us and our deepest desires before we were made, continue to be gracious to us. May we bless Him by raising our hymns of thanks and praise for all He has done for us.

Happy Thanksgiving, Everybody!

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Cantate Domino

On this day of the Feast of St. Cecilia, Virgin and Martyr, patron saint of musician, I was looking for inspiration on what to write about her or the art.

The Holy Spirit obliged.

Along the lines of quotes about music which I did back in 2005, 2006, and 2007, below are some Bible verses (Douay-Rheims version) which have the word "sing." (The search engine found 89.) Most of them, as you would expect, are found in the Psalms.

I will be glad and rejoice in thee: I will sing to thy name, O thou most high.
Psalm 9:3

Sing to him a new canticle, sing well unto him with a loud noise.
Psalm 32:3

Sing praises to our God, sing ye: sing praises to our king, sing ye.
Psalm 46:7

For God is the king of all the earth: sing ye wisely.
Psalm 46:8

Sing to God, ye kingdoms of the earth: sing ye to the Lord: Sing ye to God.
Psalm 67:33

It is good to give praise to the Lord: and to sing to thy name, O most High.
Psalm 91:2

Come let us praise the Lord with joy: let us joyfully sing to God our saviour.
Psalm 94:1

Sing joyfully to God, all the earth: serve ye the Lord with gladness. Come in before his presence with exceeding great joy.
Psalm 99:2

I will sing to the Lord as long as I live: I will sing praise to my God while I have my being.
Psalm 103:33

And let them sing in the ways of the Lord: for great is the glory of the Lord.
Psalm 137:5

Sing praise, and rejoice, O daughter of Sion: for behold I come, and I will dwell in the midst of thee: saith the Lord.
Zachariah 2:10

Is any of you sad? Let him pray. Is he cheerful in mind? Let him sing.
James 5:13

Plenty of inspiration, both spiritually and musically.

Let those who pursue this art keep these things in mind.

St. Cecilia, pray for us.

Wednesday, November 01, 2017

November 2017 Morning Offering Prayer Intention

Here is the intention for this month when reciting the Morning Offering:
Christians in Asia: That Christians in Asia, bearing witness to the Gospel in word and deed, may promote dialogue, peace, and mutual understanding, especially with those of other religions.
A reflection for this intention is found here.

Monday, October 02, 2017

October 2017 Morning Offering Prayer Intention

Here is the intention for this month when reciting the Morning Offering:
Workers and the Unemployed: That all workers may receive respect and protection of their rights, and that the unemployed may receive the opportunity to contribute to the common good.
A reflection for this intention is found here.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

A 'Blogger's Dozen

I can't believe it's been twelve years since this first appeared on the internet.

Then again, I can't believe this 'blog has continued for this long. I started this shortly after the crest of 'blogging began and have been riding that wave until now. There have been times I have wondered out loud if I should hang it up and reduce the cacophony of chatter that has only increased since then.

It has been a small, quiet voice. My Faith has been my guide. My leanings toward things liturgical and musical in the Catholic Church have been my Polaris. My personal story has been a detour. The peaks and valleys of posts have seemingly correlated with my own waning and waxing of living my life.

At times, it's been a chore. (But ask any professional writer if this is not the case.) But, for the most part, this is still a labor of love. While I have "required" times where I have to move the muse into action, I still maintain a level of spontaneity about posting. My philosophy is to (hopefully) make meaningful comments. I tend not to get in over my head, but perhaps more venturing into the deep end is what's needed to keep what very little relativity I have. Less re-posting (although I have traditions to maintain); more new material.

I do cherish my history.

The "here and now" is still my place.

The future still awaits.

My twelve-year old invitation is still open:

"Welcome to my infinitesimal corner of the universe!"

Monday, September 11, 2017

Bitter Sixteen

When General Lord Charles Cornwallis formally surrendered to General George Washington at Yorktown, VA on October 19, 1781, legend has it the British army band played a tune called "When The King Enjoys His Own Again". The lyrics associated with it at the time was an English ballad titled "The World Turned Upside Down". While this story has been historically refuted, the last line in each of the song's five verses seemed very appropriate:
Yet let's be content, and the times lament, you see the world turn'd upside down.
History does seem to repeat itself on occasion. For sixteen years ago today, the world again was turned upside down. Someone could make the argument it hasn't been righted since.

Once again we mark the anniversary of the largest terrorist attack on this country's soil. Four commercial airliners were turned into suicide bombs. Two struck each of the "Twin Towers" in the borough of Manhattan in New York City. One slammed into the Pentagon in Washington, DC. The last one was headed to the Capitol Building, but was diverted into a field near Shanksville, PA.

The damage to the Pentagon was repaired. The "Freedom Tower" now stands near where those two buildings at the World Trade Center were destroyed. The crash site of the fourth plane is now a National Memorial.

But nothing could ever replace the loss of life.

The death toll:  2,996.

To paraphrase Gordon Lightfoot, "And all that remains are the faces and the names of the spouses, the sons, and the daughters." (Living memorials, indeed.)

Plenty of ink and pixels have been used since then in an attempt to answer the simplest yet most complex question humans can ask:  "Why?"

I don't have nor will I ever have an answer. Who other than God understands evil? How from the depth of the heart and soul comes this kind of darkness? We will never fully know while we are here.

Perhaps we can take some comfort in these words from St. Paul:
We know that all things work for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose....What then shall we say to this? If God is for us, who can be against us?...What will separate us from the love of Christ? Will anguish, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or the sword?...No, in all these things we conquer overwhelmingly through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor present things, nor future things, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 8:28, 31, 35, 37-39
The world was turned upside down because of sin. We lament what it has done to creation and ourselves. Yet, we can find not only contentment, but joy in the love God has shown us in the life, death, and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. By His stripes we are healed. By His brokenness we are made whole. We only need to cooperate with His Grace by which we are made perfect. By His Passion the world was righted.

The scars of that day will remain will us. Today is a somber and solemn occasion, a time to recollect and grieve a little more. There will be plenty of commentary other than my own; seek and reflect upon those words. There will be ceremonies commemorating these event; avail yourself to one if possible.

Never Forget.

Friday, September 01, 2017

September 2017 Morning Offering Prayer Intention

Here is the intention for this month when reciting the Morning Offering:
Parishes: That our parishes, animated by a missionary spirit, may be places where faith is communicated and charity is seen.
A reflection for this intention is found here.

Sunday, August 06, 2017

PM: Special Edition--Feast Of The Transfiguration

When I did my meditations on the Propers in 2016, I omitted some of the feast days as they did not fall on a Sunday. Since this one does this year, it would be a good time to "catch up" on the "neglected" ones.
Of you my heart has spoken:  Seek his face. It is your face, O Lord, that I seek; hide not your face from me.
V. The Lord is my light and my Salvation; whom shall I fear?
Ps. 26:8, 9; V. 1
One of the two Introits for the Second Sunday of Lent as well (as the Gospel Reading that day is the same). While it is our sins that cause us to hide our face, God still calls us from hiding.
Your beauty surpasses that of all the children of me; grace is poured out upon your lips.
V. My heart overflows with a goodly theme; I address my works to the King; my tongue is like the pen of an agile scribe.
Ps. 44:3; V. 2
Rarely heard, this Graduale is from the Second Sunday after Christmas (as the Solemnity of the Epiphany instead is celebrated in parts of the world). When we seek and find the face of the Lord, where truth, beauty, and goodness come together, our lips proclaim what our heart speaks.
He is the splendor of eternal light, an unspotted mirror and the image of His goodness.
Wisdom 7:26
This obviously speaks of the Son. And as Jesus said, He can only reflect what He sees the Father doing.
You have crowned him with glory and honor, and you have placed him over the work of your hands, O Lord.
Ps. 8:6,7
This originally refers to humanity. It finds its true fulfillment in Jesus after His Death and Resurrection, where His Divinity and Humanity are one.
As for the vision you have seen, tell no one until the Son of Man has risen form the dead.
Matt. 17:9
He is Risen indeed! And we should proclaim the fulfillment of the Law and Prophets in Him.

Tuesday, August 01, 2017

August 2017 Morning Offering Prayer Intention

Here is the intention for this month when reciting the Morning Offering:
Artists.  That artists of our times, through their ingenuity, may help everyone discover the beauty of creation.
A reflection for this intention is found here.

Wednesday, July 05, 2017

Life At The Speed Limit

It's that time of the year again.

It's that time of my life again.

Another candle on the cake. (No jokes about if I need a fire extinguisher. Inquire when I reach 100.)

And while the status quo is still status quo, there are some things that have changed.

Some not so good. The slight bulge in my disc between the 4th. and 5th. lumbar vertebrae, causing the back problems that will be with me for the rest of my life. Between that and my tendonitis in my right elbow, my limited ability to do manual labor, and to do it for any length of time. The anxiety that is causing regarding my working career, as I still seek a full-time position that will utilize my talents without stressing those joints. The worry about the meager income I do earn, knowing it's not close to meeting my financial needs. (And, no, I am not asking for monetary help. I had that already. And to this day, it is still appreciated.)

In a word, I am a little more than a little scared.

But then, there are some things that not changed.

Those are good. I am still fighting to earn my place in the working world with the right job. I still have belief in my abilities. I still have hope my patience and perseverance will be rewarded. I still have plans and dreams and goals and schemes. Although it is being tried and tested, I still have faith I will come through this.

In a word, I am not letting this beat me.

"With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world." It is. I am grateful to still be among the living, enjoying the gift of life which God has bestowed. While there are times my negative emotions betray the stoic in me, I still hold true to the phrase of St. Irenaeus. And while I may cloud that glory with pessimism and fear, it may be the end of the poem "Footprints" is right now more a reality than even I realize.

Over the past few months I have developed a new catch phrase. While the first part of it is always of grateful praise, the second half could be left open to interpretation, based on apprehension or anticipation. I use it to mark the end of a significant part of my life, no matter how small.

Today, I use it to mean I am ready (willing and able are different matters) to "Go Forward".

"Thank you, God. What's next?"

Let's see "what's next" in the next twelve months.

Saturday, July 01, 2017

1-5-O, Canada

A very happy sesquicentennial to our neighbors to the north.

A brief explanation of just what they are celebrating. (Quite a civics lesson.)

May you see many more years.

And may we continue to be good neighbors.

July 2017 Morning Offering Prayer Intention

Here is the intention for this month when reciting the Morning Offering:
Lapsed Christians.  That our brothers and sisters who have strayed from the faith, through our prayers and witness to the Gospel, may rediscover the merciful closeness of the Lord and the beauty of the Christian life.
A reflection for this intention is found here.

There is also this note:
Pope Francis has decided to keep one monthly prayer intention. He is no longer proposing an urgent prayer intention. However, on every Sunday on which he gives an Angelus Address, he asks for prayers for specific people and situations that are of deep concern to him.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Deja Vu

"I hope it doesn't happen again for a long time."

That was the final remark of this event.

Well, it seems "a long time" is just over seven years.

Yesterday, it happened again.

This time it was at the other parish where I apply my musical skills. I had just arrived (having cantored at my home parish) just as the "Gloria" was being sung. After the Opening Prayer had been recited, we waited for the Lector to proceed to the ambo. The only problem was that there was no Lector.

The situation was eerily similar to what had happened back in 2010. The solution was the same, however. After looking around, I made eye contact with the deacon (as there was a visiting priest celebrating the Mass) and tapped my hand on my chest while mouthing, "I'll do it." Once I got to the ambo, everything proceeded as usual (only this time I just had the readings to proclaim).

My only concern was that of being presumptuous. Since I am not a member of that parish, I would have preferred someone else stepping forward. But there had been enough of an awkward time lapse. I just did the right thing.

Shall I prepare for this sometime in 2024?

Thursday, June 01, 2017

June 2017 Morning Offering Prayer Intention

Here is the intention for this month when reciting the Morning Offering:
National Leaders.  That national leaders may firmly commit themselves to ending the arms trade, which victimizes so many innocent people.
A reflection for this intention is found here.

Monday, May 01, 2017

May 2017 Morning Offering Prayer Intention

Here is the intention for this month when reciting the Morning Offering:
Christians In Africa.  That Christians in Africa, in imitation of the Merciful Jesus, may give prophetic witness to reconciliation, justice, and peace.
A reflection for this intention is found here.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

2017 Easter Card

May the resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ bring you eternal joy. May He Who once was dead but now is alive bring you infinite peace. May the Son of God, with the Father and the Holy Spirit, bring you everlasting love.

He Is Risen! He Is Risen Indeed!

Happy Easter, Everybody!

Saturday, April 15, 2017

This Candle's Perfect Praises

If one really thinks about it, there are no words that can truly describe the joy the soul feels about being redeemed. How can our limited minds understand what has really happened? What finite expression could adequately describe an event of infinite love and mercy?

It is Grace; Sanctifying Grace to be most specific. It is a free, unmerited gift from God. He Who bring us into and sustains our existence by His will grants us the privilege to be called adopted children of His through the life, death, and resurrection of His only begotten Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. We are heirs to the Kingdom of Heaven if only we cooperate with this unfathomable power.

Our response to this is also a gift. I am sure one could comb Scriptures to find appropriate promptings inspired by the Holy Spirit. That same Spirit has also led many a saint to convey some sense of this ecstasy. May I submit, however, that the closest we come to the most sincere heart- and soul-filled reply we could have is found in the Exsultet.

Having had the humble honor of proclaiming this text, even though I am more unworthy than the clerics whose rightful duty it is, it is still in its intonation the closest we can come to joy unbridled. This hymn of glory, laud, and honor to our Redeemer King makes our sweet "Hosanna" ring. It is the true affirmation in our Profession of Faith. It is faith, hope, and love animated completely.

May those who have this role tonight bring forth that joy and set the stage for the rest of the Easter Vigil.

The text, in both Latin and English, is provided.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Be Reminded Again Of Mercy

 Good Friday also marks the start of the Novena to the Divine Mercy.

This post from 2006 provides all the details.

"Jesus, I Trust In You!"

Sunday, April 09, 2017

A Rehearing Of "Words"

We are finally at Palm/Passion Sunday.

We are on the doorstep of the Triduum.

These forty days of Lent are almost over; our Easter joy is close at hand.

Today's Mass is about a swing of moods. We hear of Jesus' triumphant entrance into Jerusalem, then get shocked with one of Isaiah's "Suffering Servant" prophecies, and then witness the Crucifixion through the same eyes of the Gospel writer from the start. From "Hosanna" to "Crucify", from elation to desolation, from seeming victory to seeming defeat.

Holy Week has begun. As has been my custom since the inception of this 'blog, I once again humbly present a series of meditations on the "Seven Last Words", the statements made by Christ as He hung on the Cross. The format has changed little; all I have ever asked is that what I say might inspire you to find others who can present a deeper insight.

Draw closer to the Cross. Join Mary, John and the rest. "Listen to Him."

See you at the hour of mercy--the hour of His Death.

Saturday, April 01, 2017

April 2017 Morning Offering Prayer Intention

Here is the intention for this month when reciting the Morning Offering:
Young People.  That young people may respond generously to their vocations and seriously consider offering themselves to God in the priesthood or consecrated life.
A reflection for this intention is found here.

Tuesday, March 07, 2017

Pomp With Circumstance

The Most Reverend Oscar A. Solis, former Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, CA, will be installed today as the 10th. Bishop of the Diocese of Salt Lake City, UT.

The Mass of Installation will take place at 2:00 PM MST at the Cathedral of the Madeleine.

A local television station will live stream this event on it's website starting at 1:25 PM.

Come celebrate with us as we will finally have an occupant for the cathedra.

Thursday, March 02, 2017

Being Continued

As I am typing this, it is now tomorrow, although not for very long.

The ashes placed on our foreheads have been removed. The hunger pangs associated with yesterday's fast have subsided. The second day of Lent is almost done.

The season, however, has just started.

Again, we are faced with the dilemma of yesterday's Gospel reading and how to apply it this year.What kind of fasting, prayer, and almsgiving are we to add? How it this going to benefit us not only for the next six week but beyond? How are we going to heed the call to repentance and conversion? How will we ready ourselves to truly take part in celebrating Christ's resurrection?

Suggestions abound, some familiar and some new. Tried and true, while comfortable, maybe might be spiritual milk now. Novelties may not have passed muster. As your body was craving food, your soul might be craving a different kind of nurturing.

Seek, and you shall find. Perhaps by the end of week you will have something in place. And it doesn't have to be grandiose.

For me, it is more consistent prayer. I want to learn how "to pray at all times", to let my thoughts, words, and deeds rise like incense. As I am drawn to formal prayers, it will most likely be a commitment to recite the Rosary, the Angelus, the Morning Offering, and the Divine Mercy Chaplet every day. This will force me to make the time to be in the presence of God and become even more aware of Him.

But if prayer is a conversation with God, I also need to find the time to listen. That may have to evolve as Lent progresses. Again, it is about making time for it.

That's my plan and I am sticking to it, with the help of God's grace.

Go find one for you that will produce much fruit.

March 2017 Morning Offering Prayer Intention

Here is the intention for this month when reciting the Morning Offering:
Support For Persecuted Christians.  That persecuted Christians may be supported by the prayers and material help of the whole Church.
A reflection for this intention is found here.

Wednesday, March 01, 2017

To Be Continued

The clock on my computers says it's 11:45 PM as I start this post.

I am in the final few minutes of my first day of Lent.

Ash Wednesday is about to come and go.

I'll have more to say about this tomorrow.

Wednesday, February 01, 2017

February 2017 Morning Offering Prayer Intention

Here is the intention for this month when reciting the Morning Offering:
Comfort For The Afflicted.  That all those who are afflicted, especially the poor, refugees, and marginalized, may find welcome and comfort in our communities.
A reflection for this intention is found here.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Prepare The Chair

This seemed so long ago.

And with the Most Reverend John C. Wester's installation as the 12th. Archbishop of Santa Fe on June 4, 2015, it left the Diocese of Salt Lake city without a shepherd.

Until today.

Rocco Palmo at his 'blog breaks the news for which we have been waiting for the past 20+ months. The Intermountain Catholic, the diocese's official newspaper, also has a post on its website (note the date).

And we will have to wait an additional 8 weeks.

The installation will take place March 7.

Monday, January 09, 2017

January 2017 Morning Offering Prayer Intention

Here is the intention for this month when reciting the Morning Offering:

Christian Unity.  That all Christians may be faithful to the Lord's  teaching by striving with prayer and fraternal charity to restore ecclesial communion and by collaborating to meet the challenges facing humanity.

A reflection for this intention is found here.


You will notice there is only one intention, rather than the traditional two. From the website:
Starting in 2017 the Pope will present only one prepared prayer intention per month, rather than the two presented before this year. He plans, however, to add a second prayer intention each month related to current events or urgent needs, like disaster relief. The urgent prayer request will help mobilize prayer and action related to the urgent situation. The Apostleship of Prayer will publish these urgent prayer intentions on this website as soon as we receive them from the Vatican.
So, there will be no more Universal Intention or Evangelzation Intention for the time being. Now, I happen to be a proponent of  "if it isn't broken, don't fix it; but do check to see if it is broken". I am wondering myself, "Is this change really necessary?"

I will be posting the updated intention only if I discover it myself.