“The Church's great liturgical tradition teaches us that fruitful participation in the liturgy requires that one be personally conformed to the mystery being celebrated… Otherwise, however carefully planned and executed our liturgies may be, they would risk falling into a certain ritualism. Hence the need to provide an education in eucharistic faith capable of enabling the faithful to live personally what they celebrate.” (Pope Benedict XVI, SACRAMENTUM CARITATIS, 64)

Monday, July 27, 2009

An Old Standby

Okay, so Andy and I are lazy mystagogues. Just add a "z" to the title, and you begin to figure out why we couldn't get jobs as writers (and that's before you actually read this stuff we post).

Since I'm lazy, but still want this blog to be active, and still want all three of our followers to remember that we haven't fallen off the face of the earth (I saw Andy last night, and he's doing fine), I will let St. Alphonsus Liguori guest blog. After all, when you can't think of anything to blog about (probably because there is too much going on to narrow down a coherent thought - granted, a coherent thought would be new for this blog, but it is still a goal) go to a timeless classic.

Have you hugged your mother today?


y dear Queen and Mother, Mary, I will address thee in the words of St. Germanus : "Thou art omnipotent in saving sin­ners ; thy prayers are all-powerful with God, because thou art the mother of true life."—Serm. iii. in Dorm. B. V. Then, O my mistress, if I have recourse to thee, all my sins cannot make me despair of salvation. Thou obtainest by thy prayers whatever thou wishest. If thou prayest for me I shall certainly be saved. I will then say to thee with St. Bernard : Pray for me, who am so miserable, O great Mother of God, for thy Son hears thee, and grants whatsoever thou askest (Depr. ad glor. V.). I am indeed a sinner; but I wish to amend my life, and I glory in being specially devoted to thee. I am, it is true, unworthy of thy protection; but I know that thou hast never abandoned any one who has placed his trust in thee. Thou art able and willing to save me, and I trust in thee. When I was in the state of perdition, and forget­ful of thee, thou didst think of me, and didst obtain for me the grace to enter into myself. How much more ought I to trust in thy mercy now that I am dedicated to thy service, and that I recommend myself with confidence to thy prayers! O Mary ! pray for me, and obtain for me the grace to be a saint. Obtain for me holy perseverance ; obtain for me a great love of thy Son, and of thee, O my amiable mother! I love thee, O my Queen! and hope to love thee always. Do thou also love me, and obtain for me the grace that I may be transformed from a sinner into a saint. - Saint Alphonsus Liguori, Preporation for Death, Consideration XXXII

Thanks for guest blogging Doc. Come back soon!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

She didn't just say that...

You've got to be kidding me. Either I'm completely out of touch or this person is. I scanned the headlines and found the most bizarre headline:

Without a Doubt:

Why Barack Obama represents American Catholics better than the pope does.

What? Oh, let me guess. As Americans, we're smarter than the rest of the Church. We know Jesus better than those old guys at the Vatican. We've advanced further and discovered things they have yet to tap into. We've inherited some sort of nuanced enlightenment by virtue of our geography.

Might this article contain something other than the tired-old sound bytes about reducing (not ending) abortions and helping the poor by creating secular government bureaucracies to distribute our love?

Nope. But this article is still a great read, because it goes beyond the sound byte and provides the depth (or shallowness?) of this person's lack of ascent. Finally, someone from the liberal church has the guts to explain herself completely and expose the arrogance, egotism, and complete disregard for the virtue of obedience.

The entire article is an outrage. I'll quote this one snippet:

"Before he became John Paul II, Karol Wojtyla had a telling all-or-nothing formulation: "If it should be decided that contraception is not an evil in itself then we should have to concede frankly that the Holy Spirit is on the side of the Protestant Churches."

That attitude has resulted in some heinous decisions."

Oh, I see. The entire magisterial teaching on the use of contraception can be reduced to our Church leaders not wanting to admit a mistake. This, from a person claiming earlier in the article that...

"... listening to the other has been a particular stumbling block for the Catholic hierarchy"

Hipocracy, thy name is Kathleen Kennedy Townsend. If you had bothered to actually read Humanae Vitae, and the teaching of His Late Holiness John Paul II, you would not detract from these beautiful and divinely inspired teachings by reducing them to the sin of pride, which unfortunately is something that you understand quite personally and to which you can obviously relate (judging alone from this article, this conclusion is unmistakable).

Let me explain. We are Catholic Americans. Yes, we have our own culture that we value. We do things differently and have our own attitude, and a unique identity. But the "Catholic" comes first. We are not American Catholics. Were we to be American Catholics, we would cease to be catholic. By it's very name, "Catholic" transcends lesser characteristics of our person. Were these lesser characteristics to be greater, we would cease being catholic. What made the Catholic Church catholic was when there became no distinction between Jew or Gentile, Hebrew, Samaritan, or Greek. We are a family of faith that works in the USA, England, Lebanon, India, China, Australia, and Ghana. All of us connected by one God, one faith, one baptism. The second we start believing in ourselves above the mystical body of Christ, we become heretics, separated brethren. We become Martin Luther, Henry VIII, or Bishop Marcel Lefevre. Our Lord said, "You be one, or you be not mine."

This person needs so many prayers. Please pray for her. And she's not alone. Our parishes have many just like her. It is a fundamental hang-up that I suffered from most of my life. It really is, in my opinion, and denial of the divine. We want to believe in our own infallibility, or at least our own ultimate authority in our lives. We look at the Church as a man-made, fallible institution, not is the mystical body and bride of Christ. And we can't look beyond our own prism, which is this case is one in which all matters can be reduced to politics. When I was there, many good Catholics prayed for me. I have so far to go, I know, but at least I'm not THERE any more, thanks to God's grace and prayerful Catholics.

He is infinite. He can bring the coldest hearts and the stiffest necks back home. The mindset of the liberal church is insurmountable through reason. But it's nothing for God. I will be turning my offense into prayer. If He is just waiting for us to ask, let Him wait no longer.