- Monday, 31 December 2012 12:56
Sing the Te Deum in thanksgiving for the past year and the Veni Creator for new year, and gain a
In the Enchiridion Indulgentiarum, 4th edition, 26:
§ 1. A plenary indulgence is granted to the Christian faithful who, in a
church or in an oratory, are present [take part] in a recitation or solemn
chant of: …
1° the hymn Veni Creator … on the first day of the year, imploring divine assistance for the whole of the coming year…
2° the Te Deum hymn, on the last day of the year, in
thanksgiving to God for the favors received in the course of the entire year.
- Wednesday, 19 December 2012 12:09
Latin Catholics are accustomed to fasting once a year
at Lent. Historically speaking, there was a time when the tradition of fasting
was proposed a few more times a year than merely Lent, e.g., the Assumption fast, the Saints’ fast and the Advent
Liturgically speaking the time before any great feast of the Lord (i.e., Christmas & Easter), the feast of Saints Peter and Paul, and
also of Mary (Assumption of the BVM) was preceded by a distinct time of preparation: prayer, fasting almsgiving.
In time, Catholics have relaxed some traditions and now they have become virtually obsolete. Think of the practice of Ember Days. Today, in fact, is the first of the three Advent Ember Days. You may have heard that the US bishops are encouraging the reinstitution
of abstinence on Fridays. Fasting and abstinence are different; do you know the
difference? What can we do to restore a reasonable practice of the Catholic faith that includes expanding our utilization of spiritual disciplines such as fasting? Can Catholics reinstitute the Ember Days in the praying of the Novus Ordo Liturgy?
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- Sunday, 28 October 2012 18:16
An Orthodox friend of mine posted this prayer and icon in light of the weather storm Sandy coming our way, and I am reposting. State government predictions are sounding exaggerated right now, but one can really tell. In Connecticut, along the waterfront, it is predicted that four high tide cycles will be exceptional, and rough weather–high winds and rain– over 36-48 hours. In category four areas more than 362 thousand people expect some inconvenience. Let’s not tempt fate. In charity, let’s pray to the Divine Master, “A Prayer at the
Threat from Malevolent Winds and Sea Storms.”
O Master, Lord our God, Who by Thy
Consubstantial and Un-originate Word, and Thy Life-Giving Spirit Who is equal in
honor, hast brought all things out of nothingness into being; Who hast
established the sand as bounds to the sea, and weighed the mountains and the
valleys in a balance; Who hast measured the skies and holdest the water in the
palm of Thy hand; Who hast given to this visible world of the senses its laws
and rules, its harmony and order; Who hast appointed changes to the weather and
variations in the orbit of the sun; Who, through the mingling of the elements,
holdest all things together by Thine inexpressible power, and keepest them free
from harm and intact: Do Thou Thyself, O All-Good King, extending to us Thine
innate and customary love and goodness, visit the work of Thy hands. Do not
deprive us of Thy mercies and Thy compassion, and do not destroy Thine
inheritance, for Thou hast ineffably created us in Thine own image.
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- Sunday, 14 October 2012 19:30
Today’s gospel is the familiar narrative of the Rich Young Man: “go and sell follow me.” It is clear in Saint Mark’s rendering of the story that the young man is good. He does good things, he does what any respectable person would want to do; the young man asks the right questions; he follows what the tradition lays before him. So, the man actually is admirable according to the measure of this world. But the measure with which a person of faith judges is very different because it is a given, and not achieved. There is one that the young man’s not able to grasp: the greatness offered to him by God. He lacks the capacity to accept that it is not about the human will in attaining lasting happiness. As we know, it’s only the Infinite that suffices in answering the needs of the human heart. As the psalm indicates, filled with Love, we sing for joy. The eschatological hope we live in is one mercy’s face is more beautiful than any of the temporal riches we can conceive of. Jesus offers the young man the possibility of greatness and not mere goodness; the Lord shows him the path to eternal life, not just the best way to get through the city; God hands him holiness and not the safety of existence.
Our Lord offered the young man, and therefore us, the way to unity and deeper communion with him here, and in eternity — but the ultimate destiny for each of us is heaven. The young man’s response is understandable but not acceptable. Greatness, holiness, is a superior divine gift than being good. What do you want? What do you seek? How do you live?