Sunday, April 12, 2020

2020 Easter Card

May our risen Lord and Savior Jesus Christ bless you abundantly and keep you close to Him. May He who broke the bonds of sin and death raise you up to this new life in Him. May He, with the Father and Holy Spirit, grace us with love, mercy, joy and peace.

Happy Easter, Everybody!

He is Risen! He is Risen Indeed!

Saturday, April 11, 2020

Echoes In The Light

Thanks to EWTN, I have seen a few of the Triduum Liturgies via the host's livestream media. With only a minimal amount of people assisting, both clerical and laity, the starkness of the empty church seems to me to bring out more of the solemn nature of the rituals. I don't think this is what the Church Fathers had in mind when they spoke of "noble simplicity", but the bare-bones nature of the execution of these rites is more out of necessity than anything. They have their own beauty, just as much as a full-blown "smells and bells" service would.

So how does one approach tonight's Vigil Mass? When normally "this is the night" to wrap the glory of the Resurrection and its accompanying Rites of Initiation with all the pomp and circumstance befitting the moment, this is not going to be the case this year. Less will be enough. But this "less" takes nothing away from the actions.

Consider the beginning of tonight's festivities as an example. The creation of the Vigil fire and the preparation and procession of the Paschal candle will be done in its required red and black. What will be missing is the myriads of candles held by the People of God in attendance. This may not be such a bad thing. It will allow the light of Christ to shine even brighter throughout the Church.And isn't this what we need right now?

This "enhancement" of sight will also apply to the intoning of the Exsultet, the Church's great hymn of praise and thanksgiving to our risen Lord and Savior. Without the pews full of the Church Militant, the sound will symbolically carry farther, alerting the world to the ultimate message of the Good News:  "He is not here. He is Risen." Is this also not a message we need to hear?

The Light of the World shining brighter because of the darkness enveloping us right now. The Word made Flesh made more audible because of the silence which has fallen upon us right now. This is noble simplicity at its finest. This is the worship done in spirit and truth.

The text of this prayer, in both Latin and English, is provided for your meditation.

Sunday, April 05, 2020

"Words" For All Time In This Time

Interesting times, no?

While the People of God have no direct access to the liturgies of the Church, we are reminded they are still our public expression of our Faith, even when they are seemingly done in "private". The Communion of Saints still shine in all its glory, even when this veil has been placed over them. (Which begs the question--do all these wonderful attempts around the world to use media old and new to bring the Mass and the Liturgy of the Hours/Divine Office to screens on various devices a form of "active" or "actual" participation?)

So while we are for a time deprived of the horizontal aspect of our worship, it would be interesting to see how much of an increase there has been in private devotions. The Rosary has always been an excellent fallback. Chaplets (including and especially the Divine Mercy Chaplet) could find a bit of a renaissance. Perhaps the eight officially approved Litanies of the Church are finding their way into your prayer life. And then devotional reading, whether the Bible or other pieces of literature, are another tried and true method.

In that regard, I once again step into the breach. Allow me once again to offer my meditations on the "Seven Last Words" of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, the sentences He uttered while hanging on the Cross. A traditional service of this 'blog since its inception, I hope they will provide a point of departure to find other deeper insights into what became Jesus' last "sermon" before His Resurrection.

In a time when comfort is needed more than ever, what could be better than the consoling words of the Suffering Servant.

"Come to me, all you who are weary...."

"I will not leave you orphans...."

"And know that I am with you always...."

Re-acquaint yourself with what He said.

They appear for the next seven days "at the hour of His death."

April 2020 Morning Offering Prayer Intention

Here is the intention for this month when reciting the Morning Offering:
Freedom from Addiction. We pray that those suffering from addiction may be helped and accompanied.
A reflection for this intention is found here.