Sunday, April 09, 2023

2023 Easter Card

May our Risen Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ bestow upon you blessings upon blessings.

May the Lamb of God, slain for our sins, grant you grace in abundance.

May you experience all the joy, love, and peace He brings to you and all the world.

Happy Easter, Everybody!

He is Risen! He is Risen Indeed! 

Saturday, April 08, 2023

Preface For A Vigil

Before the Exsultet is intoned, the rubrics state the person who will chant this asks for a blessing from the priest, in the same way the deacon does before proclaiming the Gospel. To have the honor and privilege of this task, as I have, is humbling and daunting. One needs all the grace that can be bestowed, especially if a lay cantor is taking the place of "an unworthy Levite", to paraphrase that section of the hymn.

The musical formula for the lion's share of this prayer is the same as the Preface before the Eucharistic Prayer, with some joyful sounding motives added to some phrases. The connection between the two is unmistakable. We are asked to lift up our hearts to the Lord and truly and righty give Him thanks. It is in acknowledgement of the great gift the Father through the Son in the Spirit has bestowed upon us:  eternal life by the life, death, and resurrection of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. In the Eucharistic Prayer, we have re-presented the saving action of Calvary, veiled in the Upper Room at the Last Supper. In the procession starting the Easter Vigil, it is in the presentation of the Pascal Candle, a symbol of the Risen Christ, "a torch so precious", this "pillar of fire" which "banished the darkness of sin". 

Therefore "(i)t is truly right and just, with ardent love of mind and heart, and with devoted service of our voice, to acclaim our God invisible, the almighty Father, and Jesus Christ, our Lord, his Son, his Only Begotten." Why? "To ransom a slave, you gave away your Son." Is there any other god who would do that?

We humans are so loved. When are we going to act like it?

If you assist at the Vigil, let what amounts to the Church's greatest Introit ring in your ears, mind, heart, and soul.

Both the Latin and English texts are provided for your meditation.

Friday, April 07, 2023

"My Jesus, Mercy"

Good Friday marks the beginning of the Divine Mercy Novena.

Details about this devotion are here.

While justice will come, mercy will always be requested.

And aren't we sinners in need of it?

Thursday, April 06, 2023

The Second Mile

Should anyone press you into service for one mile, go with him for two miles.

Matthew 5:41
Our Lenten journey is complete.

We have accompanied Jesus into Jerusalem. We have seen a foretaste of His burial. We have experienced His betrayal.

We have come this far with Him. But the journey is not complete. We have only gone the first mile, both in terms of Lent and Holy Week.

We are now on the threshold of the Sacred Triduum, the High Holy Days of Christianity. 

We still need to travel to the Upper Room, the Mount of Olives in Getsemani, the places where Annas and Caiaphas lived, the Praetorium, Golgotha (Calvary), and the tomb of Joseph of Arimathea. The Via Dolerosa awaits both Jesus and us.

The above verse is part of the Sermon on the Mount, where Jesus speaks about how not to retaliate. But this should also be our response to sin and evil--to endure the trials it takes to overcome them. And Who better to show the way?

I strongly encourage you to assist at the Church's liturgies (and whatever devotions are offered) the next three days. Avail yourselves of the graces and plenary indulgences associated with these prayers. May your journey into Easter joys find completion in these rite.

Before it was a fixed distance, 1,000 steps were considered a mile.

There are only a few more steps to take.

Take up your cross with Christ and make them. 

Sunday, April 02, 2023

"Words" Before The XII Station

It has been called the greatest Christian sermon ever.

It started about noon and lasted three hours.

Even after nearly 2,000 years, the scope and magnitude of what was preached is still being unpacked.

What I am describing is the crucifixion of our Lord and Saviour Jesus at Golgotha.

Between His being nailed to His Cross and His Death, the 11th. and 12th. Stations of a traditional Way of the Cross, He spoke eight sentences. Grouping two together, they became know as His "Seven Last Words". They have been a source of contemplation and meditation for centuries, They have even been set to music by some of the most famous composers of all time.

As has been the tradition in this infinitesimal corner of the universe, I once again offer my very humble considerations of what Jesus said. The format remains the same:  one set of "Words" from Palm Sunday to Holy Saturday, posted at "the hour of mercy". As always, I hope they inspire you to seek out those who provide more depth than what I have written.

The time has come.

His Hour has come.

Let us be at the most famous pulpit of all, with attentive ears, mind, heart, and soul.

Saturday, April 01, 2023

April 2023 Morning Offering Prayer Intention

Here is the intention for this month when prayer the Morning Offering:
For a culture of peace and non violence. We pray for the spread of peace and non violence, by decreasing the use of weapons by States and citizens. 
(UPDATE--4/29/2023) A reflection for this intention is found here