Tag Archives: liturgy

Prayer, Doctrine, Life and Evangelization: are we coherent?

In weekly classes on the Catholic I’ve been stressing a few (of many) points:

  • lex orandi, lex credendi, lex vivendi (prayer, doctrine, life): all have to cohere
  • the Incarnation is a fact: in faith we encounter this fact, this Person, experience the exceptionality and the wonder
  • the contemporaneousness of Jesus Christ
  • the witness of the Catholic faith is true and it is true for all people


In November the president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace Peter Cardinal Turkson, 63, gave an interview to Zenit on his new work as the head of a Roman office after being a pastor of a diocese in Ghana. Cardinal Turkson is a trained biblical scholar.
My point of bringing this matter up is that those of us who make the claim to be faithful Catholics need to live the faith as though Jesus Christ truly mattered and that what we profess at Mass and in prayer is lived according to correct doctrine while sharing the Good News of Salvation coherently. Cardinal Turkson is not the first to say that we don’t always understand social justice, but we need to put a greater effort in doing so. How do we imitate the love of God for other?

Saint Blase and the Blessing of Throats

St Blaise blessing throats.jpgLord, hear the prayers of Your martyr Blase. Give us the joy of Your peace in this life and help us to gain the happiness that will never end.

The Church has few exact details of the life of Saint Blase (also Blaise, Biago, Sveti Vlaho) but we have the experience of his popularity through the centuries in the churches of the East and West. What we know is that Blase was a physician, the Bishop of Sebaste, Armenia and martyr. The Roman Martyrology tells us that he was beheaded in 316.

More info on Saint Blase is found here and here.

The Blessing of Candles on the feast of St Blase can be found here.

The Blessing of Bread, Wine, Water and Fruit for the feast.

blessing of throats.jpg

From the Golden Legend again: 

And when this good widow, which by S. Blase had recovered her swine, heard thereof, she slew it, and the head and the feet with a little bread and a candle, she brought to S. Blase, and he thanked God and ate thereof, and he said to her that every year she should offer in his church a
candle, and know thou that to thee and to all them that so shall do shall well happen to them, and so she did all her life, and she had much great prosperity.

Even after imprisonment, he refused to worship the prince’s gods, and for punishment
his flesh torn by wool combs. He was finally beheaded, martyred along with seven
women and two children.

Today, due to the cure of the boy’s throat when the boy was choking, Saint Blase is patron against diseases  or any other trouble of the throat.

The priest will bless two candles in honor of Saint Blase.

Don’t rush the praying of the Liturgy

Mass, St Mary's Norwalk.jpgHow does one form a deacon, priest and bishop to celebrate the ars celebrandi of the sacred Liturgy? Being side-by-side these sacred ministers I am often scandalized by the lack of composure and gravitas in the praying of the Mass and other liturgical rites. Several priests and bishops I know are such poor celebrants of the Mass that I would argue that Mass celebrated so poorly does in fact lead others away from the Church’s worship. And let’s not even speak of the many deacons who have no clue and poor presence in the sanctuary! Two cardinals I’ve seen celebrate the Mass in their cathedrals have the habit of running down the isle and up the stairs into the sanctuary with evident exterior indication of what is about to happen. Another needs a seat belt in the cathedra. Is it too much to ask for beautiful gesture, beautiful music, beautiful words, beautiful art and architecture in the sacred Liturgy? Beauty and prayer also warms interpersonal relations!

Father John Zuhlsdorf (Fr. Z) over at the blog What the does the Prayer Really Say?  has it right: save the Liturgy, save the world.

I think Archbishop Joseph Raya will have the last word on this topic today: “It
is absurd to hurry: this shows a lack of understanding and respect and may be
an occasion of scandal” (
Byzantine Daily Worship, Alleluia Press: 1969).
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Christ our Light

Head of the Redeemer GBellini.jpg

In the days
since Christmastide mysteries of faith many theological matters come to mind in
knowing Jesus. All of the spiritual masters tell us that it’s crucially
important for us to come to personally know Jesus Christ, our Lord, in his true
light. The image of Christ as a light is reinforced in the baptismal rites
where we talk about the sacrament bringing us into inexpressible light. It is
also recalled in the Creed. Our enlightenment into the mystery of Jesus’
divinity continually needs our reflection, especially when the gospels of the
Transfiguration and the Resurrection are proclaimed. As Jesus is transfigured
and resurrected, so us: are Children of the Light. We know that Jesus really
lives in the light of the Trinity. There, the ultimate grace given by God the
Father is having Jesus revealed to us in his true Light. The recognition
(awareness) of this grace can only be given to those who are willing to ask for
it: “ask and it will be given to you,” the Lord says. 

The Maronite Church
proclaims the joy Christmas and the belief in Christ as Light of the Cosmos at
the Sedro for the Sundays of Epiphany: 

You have clothed us with your baptism:  the robe of glory and the seal of the
holy Spirit. You have called us to be spiritual children through our second
in baptism.

May the Light of Christ, the Risen Lord, continue to be the Light
of our lives every day
;  May it
never leave any corners of darkness in us untouched; May the forgiveness and
healing his Light brings fully transform us; That we too, the children of the
Church, may truly become the Light of Christ for the world, as we pray before
the altar at the end of our Eucharistic Celebration.

Holy Name of Jesus

In the Name of Jesus let every knee bow, of those that
are in heaven, on earth, and under the earth: and let every tongue confess that
the Lord Jesus Christ is in the glory of God the Father. (Ps.8. 2). O Lord
our Lord: how admirable is Thy Name in the whole earth!

O God, Who didst constitute Thine only-begotten Son
the Savior of Mankind, and didst bid Him to be called Jesus: mercifully grant,
that we who venerate His holy Name on earth, may fully enjoy also the vision of
Him in heaven.

Holy Name of Jesus.jpg

“If you ask the Father anything in my name he will
give it you.” (John 16:23)
By no other Name are we saved!

About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement, and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]yahoo.com.
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