Saturday, July 30, 2016

Reflections on Corpus Christi

Obviously, the feast of Corpus Christi has long since passed, but I wanted to call attention to a holy priest I know. This is the man who has baptized my children, and he is a wonderful speaker and homilist who truly can be called a pastor of souls, and also loves the beautiful traditions of the Latin Rite. He actually posts many of his homilies in his parish's bulletins, so there are many that may catch your attention if you look, but this one really caught my eye and I thought would serve a good first look for those that haven't heard of him before. He talks about the Real Presence in his homily, which you can find after the jump here. But here's a snippet of it before you follow the link to read the rest:

Another college seminary story—we were going up for Communion in the line and the priest who was giving out communion in our line—dropped a host—and said to the seminarian “Pick it up—its yours.” 
Did he or anyone else in charge of the seminary think that that seminarians belief in Jesus Real Presence and his love for Our Lord in Holy Communion was enhanced by ‘Pick it up its yours” ? 
What a struggle during that time—and this time—to maintain our belief that after the Consecration—there is neither bread nor wine upon the altar—but the Son of God. The change in substance is not imaginary or symbolic or allegorical. That change actually happens and that is why the priest genuflects—and why we ring bells and chimes. 

Find the full homily here on the parish's website.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

When Does Choosing the Lesser of Two Evils Become Untenable?

With the Republican Convention looming in the next day, we're getting closer and closer to the reality that the the next Presidential election in the United States will come down to Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. Obviously, Clinton is a no go for faithful Catholics, with her track record on abortion and a number of other social issues. In my opinion, Donald Trump is too. This article nicely spells out why. But now, we're starting to see hashtags such as "anybodybuttrump" and "anybodybutclinton". Obviously, many people don't like Clinton or Trump, but are settling for one because they perceive that the other person is far worse. Things is, I don't trust either of them.

Friday, July 15, 2016

The So-Called "Altar Wars": Is All the Arguing Worth It?

So if you haven't heard, Cardinal Robert Sarah, Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, had some not-so startling things to say. He made a suggestion that pastors and bishops of the Latin Rite worldwide consider turning East towards the altar (ad orientum) in the Ordinary Form of the Mass. He said in part:
"I believe that it is very important that we return as soon as possible to a common orientation, of priests and the faithful turned together in the same direction—Eastwards or at least towards the apse—to the Lord who comes, in those parts of the liturgical rites when we are addressing God. This practice is permitted by current liturgical legislation. It is perfectly legitimate in the modern rite. Indeed, I think it is a very important step in ensuring that in our celebrations the Lord is truly at the centre."
There truly is nothing controversial in this, as facing towards the East has always been permitted since Vatican II, although it's something that isn't commonly seen in the Ordinary Form since the 1960's. However, many people have made a big deal about it, and it caused such a stir (apparently) that a clarification had to come out that the good Cardinal did not issue a mandate to be implemented this Advent, but merely a suggestion. I, and many others, thought that this being a suggestion was apparent. It seems to me that with all this correction and clarification going on, we've been seeing a lot more recently (and not just on this issue) the words of Our Lady at Akita in 1973 coming to pass: "The work of the devil will infiltrate even into the Church in such a way that one will see cardinals opposing cardinals, bishops against bishops." We should never see cardinals opposing cardinals, as it's scandalous not only for Catholics, but other Christians and non-Christians as well... and yet here we are.
Robert Cardinal Sarah

Monday, July 11, 2016

Should We Ever Disregard the Law and "Follow Our Hearts"?

Perhaps this post won't make total sense, as it's more a stream of consciousness type deal I'll be writing here. I apologize in advance if it isn't totally coherent, and really, this is going to be my sounding board so I don't lose the thoughts floating around in my head. It's just that something really bugged me about the homily given by a visiting priest at Mass today, and it left me scratching my head, trying to figure out what point the priest was trying to get across. Now I don't think there's anything wrong with this man, he is a priest following his vocation and brings us the Eucharist, but there are some questionable things that he says, and it's a bit disconcerting. The part that really got me was when he said that mantra we all seem to hear from the secular world and Hollywood: "Follow your heart". Seeing as we're humans who suffer from concupiscence, it might not be good to always follow our heart, especially if by "heart" we mean our "conscience" and "good intentions", as the connotation seems to mean so often today.
Sacred Heart of Jesus with Saint Ignatius of Loyola and Saint Aloysius Gonzaga- José de Páez 

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Addendum and Clarification to Article on Muslims

In response to a piece I wrote a few days ago on an Episcopalian church allowing Muslims to worship inside the church building on a weekly basis, I received a letter from a commenter who felt I was being overly-critical, and had perhaps crossed a line in the way I had worded what they thought was an otherwise good article that made valid points. Below is the e-mail I sent back with some minor alterations, and I hope that if anybody else had similar questions regarding the piece, that this might clear it up. Obviously, I disagreed with the commenter for the most part, but realized I could've been a little more explanatory at some points. The commenter understood my reasoning after reading the reply you can find below, and hopefully it clears up any questions one might have had regarding it. I make it clear here why we must stand on guard for Truth, and help to lead as many souls as we can to Christ. I apologize if I was not clear enough before.
The Holy Trinity

Saturday, July 9, 2016

News Flash: Archbishop Chaput Has Not Changed Church Teaching... And Neither Has the Pope

"Archbishop Chaput's Arrogant Contradiction of Pope Francis"
"Archbishop Chaput's actions 'are not Christian'"
"Divorced Catholics Must Avoid Sex"

These are actual headlines in response to Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia's letter “Pastoral Guidelines for Implementing Amoris Laetitia” released last week.  You'd think three things from headlines in the secular main-stream media (MSM) looking at the examples above:

1. Pope Francis changed Church doctrine to be more lax
2. Archbishop Chaput has thought he can change this doctrine again to make it more "rigid"
3. This is actually news.

Here's a hint for number 3... it's not news. It's not because the first and second points are false. Pope Francis didn't change anything with Amoris Laetitia, no matter how bad people in the secular or liberal Christian world want it to, and Archbishop is saying nothing new; he's just reiterating Catholic teaching. And judging by the response, the world, especially those Catholics who have embraced modernity and the lifestyles of the secular culture, need to hear it.
Archbishop Chaput of Philadelphia

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Christians Sharing Worship Space With Muslims: When Is It Too Much?

Apparently, at an Episcopalian Church in Washington D.C., there are two congregations sharing the same worship space at different times: Christians and Muslims. My curiosity was piqued when I saw the lede for the article on the story, and after reading it, I have to say I'm thoroughly disappointed in the leaders of this church, and in some Episcopalians who proclaimed they were "proud" of this church and pastor for what they did. I'm all for tolerating other people's religion, but not in the sense that the buzzword of "tolerance" has in the modern-day lexicon. Instead, what I see, is that at one service at this Christian church, the God-Man is not being worshiped as He should be.

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Intro to the Eastern Catholic Churches Part V: The Antiochene Rite

Just got my latest essay up on the Eastern Catholic Churches. This time we're looking at the ancient Antiochene Rite, which houses the Syriac Catholic Church, the Maronite Catholic Church and the Syro-Malankara Catholic Church, and you can check out the full article over on Hopefully, my next essay on the Byzantine Rite will be up in the next week or so, but there's a lot more detail going into that one, and I have some other things being worked on, so please bear with me if that next part is delayed a bit. Same goes for a lack of posts lately; things may be more sporadic in the coming weeks, but I plan on still getting on here at least once or twice a week. Here's a preview of the current essay:
St. John's Syro-Malankara Catholic Cathedral, Kerala, India