Tuesday, December 30, 2008

To Know Yourself

For Christmas I got a book called, "The Imitation of Christ" by Thomas Kempis. It's written in old English, so it's a hard read. But, from the few pages that I have read, I got this...

That we should search for God inside of ourselves, through the knowledge we gain. But not for Knowledge's sake. We should learn to know The Truth. We search and learn to be at one with God. In this, we open up a "door" (if you will) that allows God to enter into us. In our longing to know The Truth, we become closer to our Lord.

St. Hippolytus wrote:
"The saying "Know yourself" means therefore that we should recognize and acknowledge in ourselves that God who made us in his own image, for if we do this, we in turn will be recognized and acknowledged by our Maker."

Think of the phrase "Ignorance is bliss". It doesn't mean that one shouldn't learn out of fear of being held responsible. If you take your knowledge and use it humbly, and live your life in a holy manner, then you'll have nothing to fear. The phrase means that those with little knowledge are held to a lower level, but still equal in judgment. That's the key.

Catholic Priestly Vestments- Part IV


The maniple (mappula, manipulus, fanon) is a narrow strip of material similar to the stole (see below), worn over the left forearm or upper arm; formerly, the ends hung down freely, now, however, they are sewed together. The material was originally linen, but at present it is the same as that of the chasuble (see below). The rich ornamentation of the maniple usual in the Middle Ages, when it was longer, has now almost disappeared. Not more than three crosses are required, while one satisfies the rubric. It is worn by bishops, priests, deacons, and subdeacons, and, as a rule, only during the office of the mass. The origin of this vestment, the liturgical use of which can be proven from the eighth or ninth century, is not certain. It is commonly regarded as having been originally a handkerchief; recently an attempt has been made to connect it with the arm-bands worn by the assistants at the heathen sacrifices. The symbolism is strength, endurance.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Midnight Mass- Christmas '08

Welp- I have about half an hour until I have to go get vested for Mass (and wipe off the charcoal stains on my surplice =D). I already served at the 5 o'clock vigil Mass, and that ran very smoothly. Now I'm just anticipating the "biggy".

I was looking online- and found this prayer to the baby Jesus. Lets pray for the Sanctity of human life, from conception to natural death, along with an end to Abortion and Euthanasia.

"O Divine Redeemer Jesus Christ, prostrate before Thy crib, I believe Thou art the God of infinite Majesty, even though I do see Thee here as a helpless babe. I humbly adore and thank Thee for having so humbled Thyself for my salvation as to will to be born in a stable. I thank Thee for all Thou didst wish to suffer for me in Bethlehem, for Thy poverty and humility, for Thy nakedness, tears, cold and sufferings.

Would that I could show Thee that tenderness which Thy Virgin Mother had toward Thee, and love Thee as she did. Would that I could praise Thee with the joy of the angels, that I could kneel before Thee with the faith of St. Joseph, the simplicity of the shepherds. Uniting myself with these first adorers at the crib, I offer Thee the homage of my heart, and I beg that Thou wouldst be born spiritually in my soul. Make me reflect in some degree the virtues of Thy admirable nativity. Fill me with that spirit of renunciation, of poverty, of humility, which prompted Thee to assume the weakness of our nature, and to be born amid destitution and suffering. Grant that from this day forward, I may in all things seek Thy greater glory, and may enjoy that peace promised to men of good will."

Merry Christmas!

The Proclamation of the Birth of Christ


The twenty-fifth day of December.
In the five thousand one hundred and ninety-ninth year of the creation of the world from the time when God in the beginning created the heavens and the earth;
the two thousand nine hundred and fifty-seventh year after the flood;
the two thousand and fifteenth year from the birth of Abraham;
the one thousand five hundred and tenth year from Moses and the going forth of the people of Israel from Egypt;
the one thousand and thirty-second year from David's being anointed king;
in the sixty-fifth week according to the prophecy of Daniel;
in the one hundred and ninety-fourth Olympiad;
the seven hundred and fifty-second year from the foundation of the city of Rome;
the forty second year of the reign of Octavian Augustus;
the whole world being at peace,
in the sixth age of the world,
Jesus Christ the eternal God and Son of the eternal Father,desiring to sanctify the world by his most merciful coming,being conceived by the Holy Spirit,and nine months having passed since his conception,
was born in Bethlehem of Judea of the Virgin Mary,being made flesh.
The Nativity of our Lord Jesus Christ according to the flesh.

Catholic Priestly Vestments- Part III


The cincture (cingulum, cinctorium, balteus) is required by the form of the alb. Linen is preferred, although wool and silk are not excluded. In the Middle Ages the cincture was often a splendid decoration of the higher clergy, and was richly ornamented with gold, silver, and precious stones.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Disciples? No, Apostles?

Earlier, I was posed with the question, "What is the difference between a disciple and an apostle?". Here's the answer...

The Catholic Encyclopedia says, "It is at once evident that in a Christian sense, everyone who had received a mission from God, or Christ, to man could be called 'Apostle.' In fact, however, it was reserved to those of the disciples who received this title from Christ." So it seems that while the 12 Apostles were disciples, not all disciples are apostles.

The word "disciple" comes from the Latin discipulus, or pupil. "Apostle" comes from the Greek word apostolos, or delegate. So, basically, anyone with a message from God is an Apostle. Thus its meaning, delegate, or messenger. Whereas, the title of disciple is given to one who accepted Jesus as teacher and followed him, "The Twelve Disciples".

For example; Others were appointed as apostles at later times and other purposes, including Paul, the apostle to the Gentiles, and Barnabas. Not just the twelve disciples. I believe- don't hold me to this- that there are 72 biblical apostles (or, holy men who accepted God's word, and acted in faith for God).

Monday, December 22, 2008

Catholic Priest Vestments- Part II



The alb is identical with the light tunic of antiquity, more precisely with the white tunic with sleeves (tunics manicata) which came down to the feet (tunics talaris, poderis, Gk. podeyes, chiton). Even into the Carolingian period this was ordinarily worn by the clergy as a part of the ordinary dress. The exclusion of the tunic from daily use raised the alb to the dignity of a specific liturgical garment. Apart from its cut and color, its origin is recalled by the strips of purple or of cloth of gold which were sewed on (clavi, forum; hence the names albce monolores, dilores, trilores), with other ornamental pieces of colored stuffs (paraturce, parurce), in the form of a square or an oblong; as there were five of these, a connection was found with the five wounds of Christ (cf. the designations plagce, plaguhe). In addition, further ornamentation, even complete pictures, came to be applied. After the sixteenth century a strong reaction set in; laces and edgings came into use. Recently linen lace is required and linen is also prescribed for the garment itself. The alb is worn by the clerics ranking not lower than subdeacon. The symbolism is purity and innocence.

The Ten Comandments

So, my sisters and I just got done watching, yet again, "The Ten Commandments". Oh, yes, it was delightful! I have one question, which I could look up- but will ask you instead. In the movie they said that Pharaoh "decided" the tenth plague when he declared each 1st born dead- it came back to him and killed his son. Moses didn't decide this? I'm not losing sleep over this or anything- but I thought that was interesting. There are bigger things to worry about than who declared the tenth plague! Like- the salvation of our souls!


All I have to say is.... God Bless Charlton Heston!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Just so ya'll know...

I'm going to be doing a series on the vestments that priests wear. Every once in a while, I will post a new post pertaining to a certain article of clothing that priests wear, along with its purpose, and origin. Thanks-

Catholic Priest Vestments- Part I


The amice (amictus, humerale, more rarely superhumerae) is an oblong linen cloth (at least 32 inches long and 24 wide), which is first placed upon the head and then brought down and drawn about the neck where it is fastened with cords. Originally it served as a head-covering for the priest; at present only a few orders wear it over the head on the way to and from the altar. The existence of the smite can be proved only since the end of the eighth century, and it is probably referable to some ancient priestly ceremonies. Its reference to the ephod of the Old Testament is purely arbitrary, as is the symbolical interpretation of liturgical writers; the attempt to explain it as a neck-cloth to protect the garment which rests upon it from perspiration is unsatisfactory. As long as the smite was worn upon the head or even projected above the other garments, embroidery or other ornamentation might be shown on it; but it gradually became hidden beneath the other vestments, so that at present only a cross is required; this is kissed by the priest when he assumes the vestment.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

From the Roman Canon

"Supplices te rogamus, omnipotens Deus: iube haec perferri per manus sancti Angeli tui in sublime altare tuum, in conspectu divinae maiestatis tuae; ut quotquot ex hac altaris participatione sacrosanctum Filii tui Corpus et Sanguinem sumpserimus, omni benedictione caelesti et gratia repleamur, Per Christum Dominum nostrum. Amen."
_______________________________________________________
"We most humbly beseech Thee, Almighty God: to command that these offerings be borne by the hands of Thy holy Angel to Thine altar on high in the sight of Thy Divine Majesty, that as many of us at this altar shall partake of and receive the most holy Body and Blood of Thy Son may be filled with every heavenly blessing and grave, Through Christ our Lord. Amen. "

1st Tridentine Mass

This past Sunday I attended my first Tridentine Mass! It was INCREDIBLE! The only part I have to complain about is that the priest and clergy mumbled all of their Latin (and I'm not talking about the secret prayers) and the music was horrendous! It was also just a low Mass. But still, I already knew a bunch about the rite, but this gave me a first hand experience.

Everything fit into place, and everything that didn't need to be in the Mass, (sign of peace) was put into it's proper place. It all ran smoothly, as opposed to the Novus Ordo Mass, that is bumpy. From a server's point of view; in the Novus Ordo Mass, we're bumping into each other while trying to get stuff done, it just isn't flowing. As opposed to the Tridentine Mass where it is obvious that the servers are a representation of the people, and there is time for the servers to do stuff, and use reverence. It flowed.

I also noticed that throughout the Mass the priest is constantly in check. He is always praying, for the congregation, that leaves no room for the priest to get off track, or not be focused on what he is doing. The only time the priest has "off" is his homily, but in that he is directly talking to the congregation. So there is no wiggle room for the clergy to space off or do "shtick". They are constantly fixed on the Mass, and what they are doing in the Mass.

All in all, the Mass seemed simple to a server's standpoint. In about 3 one hour practices I think I, and most servers could have it down. (hint) I just need to work on my Latin. =D

Friday, December 12, 2008

Our Lady of Guadalupe

On December 9, 1531, a native Mexican named Juan Diego rose before dawn to walk 15 miles to daily Mass in what is now Mexico City. Juan lived a simple life as a weaver, farmer, and laborer. That morning, as Juan passed Tepeyac Hill, he heard music and saw a glowing cloud encircled by a rainbow. A woman's voice called him to the top of the hill. There he saw a beautiful young woman dressed like an Aztec princess. She said she was the Virgin Mary and asked Juan to tell the bishop to build a church on that site. She said, "I eagerly desire that a church be built on this site, so that in it I can be present and give my love, compassion, help, and defense, for I am your most devoted mother... to hear your laments and to remedy all your miseries, pains, and sufferings."

The bishop was kind but skeptical. He asked Juan to bring proof of the Lady's identity. Before Juan could go back to the Lady, he found out his uncle was dying. Hurrying to get a priest, Juan missed his meeting with the Lady. The Lady, however, met him on his path and told him that his uncle had been cured.

She then told Juan to climb to the top of the hill where they first met. Juan was shocked to find flowers growing in the frozen soil. He gathered them in his cloak and took them at once to the bishop.

Juan told the bishop what had happened and opened his cloak. The flowers that fell to the ground were Castilian roses (which were not grown in Mexico). But the bishop's eyes were on the glowing image of the Lady imprinted inside Juan's cloak.

Soon after, a church was built on the site where our Lady appeared, and thousands converted to Christianity. Our Lady of Guadalupe was declared the patroness of the Americas. Juan Diego was canonized July 31, 2002.
Our Lady of Guadalupe, mystical rose, intercede for the Church, protect the Holy Father, help all who invoke you in their necessities. Since you are the ever Virgin Mary and Mother of the true God, obtain for us from your most holy Son the Grace of a firm faith and sure hope amid the bitterness of life, as well as an ardent love and the precious gift of final perseverance. Amen.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Mount Saint Mary's

I found out today that my hope-to-be college is now teaching seminarians how to celebrate the Tridentine Mass! That is HUGE! Here is the article...


"The extraordinary form of the Roman rite of holy Mass was celebrated on the grounds of Mount Saint Mary's Seminary by Monsignor Charles Pope, of the Archdiocese of Washington, on 8 December. This liturgy was the first of its kind offered at the Immaculate Conception chapel on the Emmitsburg, Maryland, campus in about half a century."


Monday, December 8, 2008

Podcazts-

Lately, I've been listening (and downloading, hehe- right dad!?) to some of Fr. Z's podcasts he has online. I thought some of you would enjoy listening to them. They're very well made, and I enjoy listening to them when Iget a chance. Here's the site... http://wdtprs.com/blog/podcazt/





(If you have any questions about how to download them- just ask... Trust me, I'm an expert on it! =D )

Friday, December 5, 2008

Interesting.

Interesting. I was reading an other's blog and come across the word "feria" and in Latin definition it means, "Free day". The term is used to denote days of the week other than Sunday and Saturday for no feast day is to be celebrated. Advent is a feria. In the Roman Catholic Church it is traditionally considered a season of penitence and fasting, to prepare for the holy day, and its liturgical color is purple. However, the Roman observance has always contained an element of joyful anticipation of Christmas, a feeling that prevails during this season in Western churches today. Originally Advent was seen as a time of preparation for the feast of Christ's nativity. But during the Middle Ages this meaning was extended to include preparation for Christ's second coming, as well as Christ's present coming through grace. In this you can see where the term "feria" comes into play.

Latin Mass

My dad and brother and I started attending Latin Mass again this morning. Fr. Stanley has it Monday and Friday mornings at 7 a.m. (before school starts). He started it up again for Advent, and today was the first one we attended this year, but it wasn't such a "Latin" Mass this morning. We set everything up for Mass, all set to go, but when we processed up to the foot of the altar, i realized the Latin Sacramentary wasn't there. So then father just went on with Mass in English. So much for Latin eh? I'll have it ready for Monday's Mass though! I miss it so dearly! It's just another way of God showing us that we don't have everything perfect. That's what makes the Mass sacred and human. That's why we strive to make it as perfect as it can be. But when we think we've thought of it all, he puts us back in our place. =D

Friends Post

This is an article written by a high school friend of mine.


I believe in God because I have faith in him. This [I believe in God because...] is a difficult statement to respond to, because of course, there is no concrete proof that God is all he’s cracked up to be. Why then, do I believe in Him? Why would I sculpt my life around someone that so many think is a lie, around something that so many think doesn’t exist?

I was brought up from birth as a member of the Catholic Church, and like everyone, I have found that many things change as life goes through its cycle. People die, move away, and betray. Things that you have been taught to you in elementary and middle school are revealed as lies, or at minimum, incomplete truths, once you reach high school, college, and finally emerge into the real world. In my life at least, very few things remain constant, stable, and reliable. The first is that my family will always love and support me. The second is the Church, and God himself. Sure, I don’t really “know” that He’s there, but why then is He the first one that I want to turn to when something goes wrong, or I need help? Why would a human being instinctively turn to a false, nonexistent being? They wouldn’t, and this is how I know, on a personal level, that God is real.

Of course, I don’t expect to tell that to others and have them say, “Oh, that makes sense.” But I do have an explanation that everyone should agree with. Science, a terrific and terrible field both, puts out into the world many profound statements. Terrific because, sure, many are tested, proven, and accepted by ALL scientists, such as the fact that acid and water react violently when added in the wrong order. Terrible, though, because some “bad seeds” hide behind the mask of being renowned as scientists, and throw out “theories”. Some theories are great- I’m a big fan of the atomic theory- but others not so much. For example, I tend to disregard scientists who throw out statements along the lines of “evolution is the only answer to the formation of life, there is no god!” Quite the contrary, actually- the very fact that life exists is proof of God! While I believe in some elements of the theory of evolution, someone had to put the “evolver” there. If humans (“evolvees”) all evolved from a single tiny bacterium through billions of random mutations, where did the original bacterium (evolver) come from? Someone had to put it there- it is impossible for something to evolve from nothing.

Although a great majority of people will disagree with what I say, and even call me crazy, I stand by my opinion that God exists (which is in actuality, not an opinion, but a truth). And let me know if that whole “getting something from truly nothing” thing ever works out for you.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

I just wanted to wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving! I'm going up to GR with my family for the weekend- so there won't be much posting going on (not like there's been a bunch going on anyways- lol). I can't wait to dig into a great big pile of home made mashed potatoes!! Yumm!


Have a Great Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Catholicism is Realism

Catholic faith, like any other life-forming commitment, is seen in the world. My claim is that Catholic faith helps us see the world as it is.

U think that "Catholicism is realism", I mean that Catholicism takes the world with the seriousness the world deserves – as the arena of God's saving action in Christ. People who imagine themselves "worldly" usually don't get one-half of the world's drama. People who watch "The Passion of the Christ" do.

That's why we have "sacraments", because the world has been made by God in a "sacramental' way. The things of this "real world" can be obtained through the really real world of God's love and grace. The stereotype is that Catholicism demeans the world. On the contrary: Catholicism says that the stuff of this world is the medium through which Christ is present to his people in baptism, the Eucharist, matrimony, and the other "sacraments" of the Church.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

When i'm not serving Mass

Me and one of my friends at our
performance of Seussical the musical.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

My Philosophy

Yesterday is History,
Tomorrow is Mystery,
But, Today is a Gift,
That's why it's called the Present.

Monday, November 10, 2008

100 Post!

Over the past few months I've learned a lot. But in a special way, the things I've learned from just writing this blog. Throughout my writings, I've used this as an outlet, or journal, for questions and ideas that I have. It has been wonderful. To just sit and write, feeling no pressure, and to think about what I am dealing with, or what comes to my mind with others. I've started this blog from the beginning not looking for "gratification" or comments on it. I do this for myself, and that's how things (including blogs) should be. I also don't worry about whether or not I am keeping up with my blog, or whether or not it's some "big thing" to say. I see a lot of blogs that get too wrapped up in their blog, and what a good job they are doing. I've found that's not the way to go about it. But rather- start with integrity, and doing it for yourself, and for the right reasons.

This blog has enhanced my faith. Being able to see my faith and theology grow before me is an awesome experience. I take time every now and then to re-read my posts, to see issues and events in my life that come across in my writings. (not to mention my spelling errors...)

Lately, I've been really thinking about how compassionate we must be to one another. One could probably tell from my latest posts. I use this as a affirmation to help say aloud what I am going through, and how I am living my life; or rather, should be living my life. Putting it down in words commits me to it.

So, I would just like to thank all of the readers that have popped in to read, and hope you've taken something out of my writings. It's been a blessing for me.


Thanks-

Woo! 100th post!!!!!

Books-

Would anyone out there who has some ideas as to some Catholic theology, or just good reading books, I should read, please comment and write them down! I'm thirsty for books to read! Any suggestions?



Thanks!

Two More Weeks!!

Ha!!!! Two more weeks until I get to use that beautiful Blue Liturgy of the Hours book! I'm getting sick of staring at this Green one! Yuck!!! =D

Winter

Well, the High School musical is almost over- that's where I've been if anyone has wondered- but I'll be getting back to posting some more on here. (Aren't you in luck!?!?!?)

I am ready for winter this year, other years I haven't been looking forward to the snow and such, but I'm begging to see beauty in things. Things that one may not always find it in. I've noticed that more in myself. I am working on being more patient and compassionate. I need to see Jesus in people, I know this is an on-going battle, but I've been focusing on these things for the past few weeks, and will be.

Anyways- back to my original thought. I am looking forward to advent, and Christmas. (Who isn't!!) I've been crazy busy, and when advent starts I'm going to be going back to Latin Mass at 7 a.m.! I've missed it so... I love starting my day out receiving our Lord!

All in all, things are good. Just a little crazy until next weekend. (please pray for me!!) I will begin posting more on here, life is getting a little back to normal! Thanks!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Fishers Of Men

An excellent video produced by the USCCB.

Enjoy-

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qqtOvt7d490

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Universal Prayer

I feel like I don't have time in the day to devote myself to prayer as much as I wish (I know I don't have time). I don't feel bad about this though. Because through my life and how I live each day, I am devoting myself to God, and The Church. But the fact is, God calls us to offer up our prayers when we can, when we're able to pray for the intentions of the Church. So that whenever we are able to, we offer our prayers for others. That's what Liturgy is--the work of The Church. One of our jobs is to pray for the people who can't. To pray for those people who are busy, or stressed, or tired. Or those who just aren't in the mindset to pray. The church is the body of Christ, and when one part of the body doesn't work, other parts of the body always keeping working and moving. This creates a cycle of constant prayer to happen. So no one should feel bad about not praying. Pray as often as you can, but don't become upset at yourself that you missed the rosary one day; for example. There are others praying for you.

Wonderful-

It's been busy around here lately. With classes, and musical rehearsal. But one of my high points of my night is reading "The Screwtape Letters" by C.S. Lewis. I can't put it down! It's the third time I've read it, and I'm still getting stuff out of it (it's one of THOSE books!). I usually stay up late into the night after my compline prayers to read it.



I just thought I'd share that with you. Check it out if you're feeling ambitious, or any C.S. Lewis writing. It's all good!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Thanks-

I just wanted to thank all the sites and people that I have borrowed information from. I try to cite sources, but I just wanted to stop and thank them or their contribution. (even if they do not know they made one =D)Thanks-

Sunday, October 12, 2008

A Thought

Is there restlessness or longing for a more meaningful life within me?


St. Augustine once said, "My soul is restless, and it will never be at rest until in finds rest in Thee." Like, my very own patron saint, I too, am going through a very restless time. I neither feel satisfaction with what I am doing in this current state of life as well with the order of things in the world. All the temporal and material things that had once attracted me, cannot satisfy this soul of mine. Many will call me mad- since I am going against the grain of the world- but I think that true meaning in life can only be found working in the vineyard of the Lord. (hmmm....Heard that reference before...)

Pope Benendict XVI

"Prayer itself, born in Catholic families, nurtured by programs of Christian formation, strengthened by the grace of the sacraments, is the first means by which we come to know the Lord’s will for our lives. To the extent that we teach young people to pray, and to pray well, we will be cooperating with God’s call. Programs, plans and projects have their place; but the discernment of a vocation is above all the fruit of an intimate dialogue between the Lord and his disciples. Young people, if they know how to pray, can be trusted to know what to do with God’s call."

Pope Benedict XVI

Immaculate Conception

It’s important to understand what the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception is and what it is not. Some people think the term refers to Christ’s conception in Mary’s womb without the intervention of a human father; but that is the Virgin Birth. Others think the Immaculate Conception means Mary was conceived "by the power of the Holy Spirit," in the way Jesus was, but that, too, is incorrect. The Immaculate Conception means that Mary, whose conception was brought about the normal way, was conceived without original sin or its stain—that’s what "immaculate" means: without stain. The essence of original sin consists in the deprivation of sanctifying grace, and its stain is a corrupt nature. Mary was preserved from these defects by God’s grace; from the first instant of her existence she was in the state of sanctifying grace and was free from the corrupt nature original sin brings.

"When discussing the Immaculate Conception, an immediant reference may be found in the angel’s greeting to Mary. The angel Gabriel said, "Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you" (Luke 1:28). The phrase "full of grace" is a translation of the Greek word kecharitomene. It therefore expresses a characteristic quality of Mary.

The traditional translation, "full of grace," is better than the one found in many recent versions of the New Testament, which give something along the lines of "highly favored daughter." Mary was indeed a highly favored daughter of God, but the Greek implies more than that (and it never mentions the word for "daughter"). The grace given to Mary is at once permanent and of a unique kind. Kecharitomene is a perfect passive participle of charitoo, meaning "to fill or endow with grace." Since this term is in the perfect tense, it indicates that Mary was graced in the past but with continuing effects in the present. So, the grace Mary enjoyed was not a result of the angel’s visit. In fact, Catholics hold, it extended over the whole of her life, from conception onward. She was in a state of sanctifying grace from the first moment of her existence. "

Source-Catholic Answers

Fundamentalists’ chief reason for objecting to the Immaculate Conception and Mary’s consequent sinlessness is that we are told that "all have sinned" (Rom. 3:23). Besides, they say, Mary said her "spirit rejoices in God my Savior" (Luke 1:47), and only a sinner needs a Savior.

Let’s take the second idea first. Mary, too, required a Savior. Like all other descendants of Adam, she was subject to the necessity of contracting original sin. But by a special intervention of God, undertaken at the instant she was conceived, she was preserved from the stain of original sin and its consequences. She was therefore redeemed by the grace of Christ, but in a special way—by anticipation.

An analogy I stumbled upon sums it up as: Suppose a man falls into a deep pit, and someone reaches down to pull him out. The man has been "saved" from the pit. Now imagine a woman walking along, and she too is about to topple into the pit, but at the very moment that she is to fall in, someone holds her back and prevents her. She too has been saved from the pit, but in an even better way: She was not simply taken out of the pit, she was prevented from getting stained by the mud in the first place. This is the illustration Christians have used for a thousand years to explain how Mary was saved by Christ. By receiving Christ’s grace at her conception, she had his grace applied to her before she was able to become mired in original sin and its stain.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church states that she was "redeemed in a more exalted fashion, by reason of the merits of her Son" (CCC 492). She has more reason to call God her Savior than we do, because he saved her in an even more glorious manner! But what about Romans 3:23, "all have sinned"? Have all people committed actual sins? Consider a child below the age of reason. By definition he can’t sin, since sinning requires the ability to reason and the ability to intend to sin.

We also know of another very prominent exception to the rule: Jesus (Heb. 4:15). So if Paul’s statement in Romans 3 includes an exception for the New Adam (Jesus), one may argue that an exception for the New Eve (Mary) can also be made.

Paul’s comment seems to have one of two meanings. It might be that it refers not to absolutely everyone, but just to the mass of mankind (which means young children and other special cases, like Jesus and Mary, would be excluded without having to be singled out). If not that, then it would mean that everyone, without exception, is subject to original sin, which is true for a young child, for the unborn, even for Mary—but she, though due to be subject to it, was preserved by God from it and its stain.

The objection is also raised that if Mary were without sin, she would be equal to God. In the beginning, God created Adam, Eve, and the angels without sin, but none were equal to God. Most of the angels never sinned, and all souls in heaven are without sin. This does not detract from the glory of God, but manifests it by the work he has done in sanctifying his creation. Sinning does not make one human. On the contrary, it is when man is without sin that he is most fully what God intends him to be.

The doctrine of the Immaculate Conception was officially defined by Pope Pius IX in 1854. When Fundamentalists claim that the doctrine was "invented" at this time, they misunderstand both the history of dogmas and what prompts the Church to issue, from time to time, definitive pronouncements regarding faith or morals. They are under the impression that no doctrine is believed until the pope or an ecumenical council issues a formal statement about it.

Actually, doctrines are defined formally only when there is a controversy that needs to be cleared up or when the magisterium (the Church in its office as teacher; cf. Matt. 28:18–20; 1 Tim. 3:15, 4:11) thinks the faithful can be helped by particular emphasis being drawn to some already-existing belief. The definition of the Immaculate Conception was prompted by the latter motive; it did not come about because there were widespread doubts about the doctrine. In fact, the Vatican was deluged with requests from people desiring the doctrine to be officially proclaimed. Pope Pius IX, who was highly devoted to the Blessed Virgin, hoped the definition would inspire others in their devotion to her.



-I've recieved some questions regarding this topic, and I put this big post together about it. I hope this answers their questions and others. Now, don't think this is all my writting, some is, and some is others. I do not take credit for this. =D

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Prayer Request-

Please Pray for a Personal Intention.

Thank you-

Rosary Novena


October is the month of the holy rosary, so if you aren't in the habit of saying it at least once a week, a rosary novena is a good way to start. The feast of Our Lady of the Rosary is on October 7 (Next Tuesday!), and pious custom has made October the month to say the rosary. On Fridays, It's a good practice to offer your rosary for the dead. But if you're feeling very ambitious try praying the rosary once every day! (I'll giv eit a shot!)



Sunday, September 28, 2008

Welp-

The fact of the matter is, is that I need to push myself to post stuff on here. Not for the readers that visit my blog, but for myself. To be true to myself. When immersing myself in the teachings of the church, I feel as though I find home again. That discipline of reading articles and posting them and writing about what ever i am dealing with or is on my mind is what I need to push myself to do. Otherwise I am doing what I am doing, which is curling up and letting the world take control. Which is a bad thing! We all know that this world isn't going with us, and that this isn't the ultimate goal that we strive for and base our lives on. But in keeping up with my post, and praying the divine office; I keep on my feet, and am able to be completely who I am, and focus on what is more important, God.


Woo! I needed to kick myself in the butt!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

God help the Faithful-

Isn't it the perfect opportunity?


As soon as someone gets over a great ordeal, or finds hope in what seems like the darkest time of their lives, the devil steps in. He works himself in little by little, just pushing it over the edge. But you keep faith, and persevere through it. Then he hits you hard, and deep, not giving you anything to hold on to. Turning everything you have around.

When we as catholics, and as human beings grow in faith and love towards God, Satan sees that as his prime goal. To rip us away from The Truth and Gods love. That would be a bigger "prize" for Satan. The only choice is to focus your eyes on God and on the Church's teaching. That is a hard reality to follow. Especially in times when the only thing you want to do is curl up and leave and hide from your troubles. But that is another post for another time.


Today i ask of all of your prayers, and for you to ask others to pray; for the strength and courage to stand up against Satan and his army. To keep their eyes fixed upon God, and to keep faith in what is truly important and what will really ultimately matter. Thank you-

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Forgiveness-

Matthew 18:15-17, "Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it to the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as a heathen man and a publican."

There are many verses on the importance of forgiveness, but somewhere along the way people got it in their head that they should always instantly forgive, no matter what. But God did not put that heavy of a burden on us. He does not expect us to be superhuman. There are times when you have the right to feel wronged by someone. That does not mean that you hate them, want to harm them, and are going to "pay them back," but it also doesn't mean that you have to just forgive someone on the spot, especially to someone who does not care that they have wronged you or does not realize it. Although, you should try to forgive. One shouldn't have to suddenly forgive the person who has wronged them, but try over time to forgive them, and pray for them.

God's forgiveness is a wonderful thing. And God's Word shows us that we are to give people the opportunity to repent; "Today if ye will hear his voice, Harden not your heart" (Psa 95:7-10), so that we can forgive them and mend the relationship. We are not to hold a grudge, and we are not to have the attitude of, "I will just forgive and forget." You should forgive, or strive to forgive; but depending on the circumstance, that may take time, sometimes a long time. You also won't forget, you shouldn't forget. It doesn't work like that. That pain is real, and will always be with you. To just push that behind you shows that you didn't learn anything from it. That it hasn't taught you, or helped you to grow. Instead offer the pain up for the person who has harmed you.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Exaltation of the Holy Cross

"Adoramus te, christe, et benedicimus tibi, quia per crucem tuam redemisti mundum."
We adore thee, O Christ, and we bless thee, for by thy cross thou hast redeemed the world.



On the Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross (or Triumph of the Cross) we honor the Holy Cross by which Christ redeemed the world. The public veneration of the Cross of Christ originated in the fourth century, according to early accounts, beginning with the miraculous discovery of the cross on September 14, 326, by Saint Helen, mother of Constantine, while she was on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem -- the same day that two churches built at the site of Calvary by Constantine were dedicated.


The observance of the Feast of the Exaltation (probably from a Greek word meaning "bringing to light") of the Cross has been celebrated by Christians on September 14 ever since. In the Western Church, the feast came into prominence in the seventh century, apparently inspired by the recovery of a portion of the Cross, said to have been taken from Jerusalem the Persians, by the Roman emperor Heraclius in 629.


Christians "exalt" the Cross of Christ as the instrument of our salvation. Adoration of the Cross is, thus, adoration of Jesus Christ, the God Man, who suffered and died on this Roman instrument of torture for our redemption from sin and death. The cross represents the One Sacrifice by which Jesus, obedient even unto death, accomplished our salvation. The cross is a symbolic summary of the Passion, Crucifixion and Resurrection of Christ -- all in one image.
The Cross -- because of what it represents -- is the most potent and universal symbol of the Christian faith. It has inspired both liturgical and private devotions: for example, the Sign of the Cross, which is an invocation of the Holy Trinity; the "little" Sign of the Cross on head, lips and heart at the reading of the Gospel; praying the Stations (or Way) of the Cross; and the Veneration of the Cross by the faithful on Good Friday by kissing the feet of the image of Our Savior crucified.


Tuesday, September 2, 2008

It began...

I apologize in advance for the lack of posting I will be doing on here. High school just started today and I am already swamped with football games, musical rehearsals and so on. So when I get the chance I will post more on, but the outlook is pretty grim.

Although, I do ask one thing from you though, and that is your prayers. Pray for the Returning High school students to be in the right state of mind and body to learn and grow and to stay out of any disputes or drama that may enter into their lives (Because boy, there sure is A LOT of drama in high school as many of you well know.) and if these may encounter the student, please pray for them to have to strength to overcome whatever obstacle that they may Indore and keep their eyes focused on our Lord.

I strongly ask for these prayers.



Thank you so much!

In Christ-
Nate

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Towards Today's Readings

Perfect love means putting up with other peoples shortcomings,
feeling no surprise at their weakness, finding encouragement
even in the slightest evidence of good qualities in them.
-- St. Therese of Lisieux

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Holy God-


Holy God, Holy Mighty One, Holy Immortal One,
have mercy on us, and on the whole world.

Friday, August 22, 2008

How I hold the Mass-

It's no secret, that I believe in transubstantation, and that the Mass is a true, real, substantial, and mystical sacrifice, as taught by the council of Trent and the Second Vatican Council. This being the teaching of the church, that the Mass is an event which transcends both time and space, an expression of out belief in the communion of saints, Truly, you can learn the faith from the Mass. The Mass is so awesome. It should be treated as the awesome mystery, the gift that it is.



So I hold the Mass in highest esteem, but many do not. People lose the fact that the Mass is primarily vertical: we offer our sacrifice of praise to God, and the Eucharistic sacrifice. However, the community, somewhere along the way, became the focus. So, I see traditional worship, worship where God is truly the focus in more ways than one, as an expression of fidelity to the church.

Two Marriages-

I was talking to a friend about the fact that the priesthood, and marriage are very much alike and practically the same thing--And how one can choose either to be married to a woman, or be married to the church. In the priesthood, the priest gets the opportunity to multiply Jesus in the Holy Eucharist; while in a regular marriage, the couple produces children to grow and love God in the Catholic Faith. It seems as though both are equal in importance. Then you can also relate a woman to the tabernacle. Think about that one for a minute.. The fruit it bears.. That's why Catholics respect women so much. Then I started saying to my friend that if the Church is like a spouse to priests, that's one heck of a wife the Pope has!!! I mean, that's why you have to be the Vicar of Christ to be involved in that marriage!

Inside a Catholic Church

I apologize about putting this on again, I had to delete the post earlier for various reasons, and felt as though I should put it back up. Sorry for any confusion....


Catholic vision assigns symbolic meaning to the various parts of the church building, as it does to pretty much everything else in the world. The roof symbolizes charity, which covers a multitude of sins; the floor symbolizes the foundation of faith and the humility of the poor; the columns represent the Apostles, Bishops, and Doctors; the vaulting represents the preachers who bear up the dead weight of man's infirmity heavenwards; and the beams represent the champions of ecclesiastical right who defend it with the sword. The nave symbolizes Noah's Ark and the Barque of St. Peter, outside of which noone is saved. The direction of the East represents the Heavenly Jerusalem, and the direction whence the Messiah will return in glory; West represents death and evil. (Catholic Encyclopedia)





Narthex (or "Vestibule"): A true narthex is either an outside, covered porch-like structure or an inside area separated from the nave (the "body" of the church) by a screen, but this word has come to mean "entry" or "foyer." Originally, penitents and Catechumens were confined to this area until their reconciliation with or initiation into the Church. A westwork (or "westwerk") is the front of a large cathedral that has a tall facade and, usually, towers and an upper chamber (imagine the front entry of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris with its towers and sculpture).
Nave: Referring to the "barque of Peter" and "Noah's Ark," the word "nave" is derived from the Latin word for ship, navis, and has come to mean the area where the parishioners sit or stand (pews are a very late addition to the nave area, and, even today, parishioners stand during the liturgy in many Eastern Catholic and Orthodox Churches). In Gothic architecture, the nave had an aisle (or two) on both sides.
Crossing: The place where the nave, chancel and transept intersect. This area is often domed.
Transept: The transverse arm of a cruciform church is called the transept. Because the liturgy is supposed to be celebrated ad orientem (facing East), the left side of the transept is called the North transept and the right side of the transept is called the South transept. This is so even if the actual orientation of the Church is other than with the Altar at the East side. Some churches have transepts at the West end of the church, too -- especially English Gothic churches.
Sanctuary and Choir (Chancel): The word "chancel" comes from the word cancelli, meaning "lattice work," once used to rail off the choir, where the religious would sit on long benches to sing the responses at Mass and chant the Divine Office, from the nave, where the people sit.
Medieval churches often had "rood screens" ("rood" means "cross") separating the Sanctuary and choir from the body of the nave. The rood screen had the rood -- the Crucifix -- often flanked by images of the Virgin and St. John and by oil lamps. This screen totally separated the sanctuary from the place the people sat so that the sanctuary was truly treated as the Holy of Holies. (In Eastern Catholic churches and in Orthodox churches, the sanctuary is separated from the congregation by a lovely iconostasis -- a screen or wall with at least two icons (some are covered with them). The iconostasis has three doors: the Door of the Proskomide (preparation for Liturgy) on the left; the Royal Door in the middle which leads directly to the altar; and the Deacon's Door at the right (from the parishioner's point of view).
The rise of Renaissance architecture saw the disappearance of the choir area, the bringing forward of the sanctuary, and the general disappearance of the rood screens. The sanctuary was, instead, separated from the nave (as they should be today if there is no rood screen or iconostasis) by altar rails at which communicants must kneel to receive the Eucharist.
Aside from being the place of the Altar, the sanctuary is the place where the Tabernacle, which holds the Blessed Sacrament, is kept and over which there should always be burning a tabernacle light. The other place where the Tabernacle might be kept is a separate, conspicuous, well-adorned side chapel in churches in which the Altar area is used for the solemn conduct of the Divine Office or for Pontifical ceremonies. When we see the Tabernacle, we genuflect. If the Blessed Sacrament is exposed, we kneel on both knees.
Apse: As the term is commonly used in church architecture, "apse" denotes the often domed, semicircular or polygonal termination where the altar is located.
Altar: The High Altar (the main altar) is the place where the Eucharistic Sacrifice is offered (in a single church, there should be more than one Altar). While ancient synagogue liturgy was oriented toward Jerusalem, Christian liturgy is supposed to be celebrated with the priest and the congregation facing East ("ad orientem"), the direction whence Jesus, as symbolized by the rising Sun, will come again; the High Altar , therefore, has traditionally been at the East side of the church. In older churches, you might still see gorgeous altar screens or "Altar pieces" behind the Altar. The more fanciful, ornate ones are called "reredos" and can be quite exquisite, full of sculpture and with different panels.
The High Altar should: be fixed, of natural stone (bishops conferences have some leeway here), and contain a relic of a Saint (martyrs are favored). The Altar is venerated because it is the place of sacrifice, and because it is the place of Sacrifice, the Tabernacle is usually kept on it. (there will be more on this whole altar talk later on)
Pulpit: The podium on the left side of the church as you face the Altar (the "Gospel side"), from where the Gospel is read (and which is reserved for clergy). Not all churches have both a lectern (see below) and a pulpit; some just have one single speaker's podium called an ambo. Note that the Gospel side of the church is also informally referred to as the "Mary side" of the church because it is there a statue of her is often placed.
Lectern: The stand on the right side of the church as you face the Altar (the "Epistle side") from where the Epistles are read (and which can be used by lay-people). Not all churches have both a lectern and a pulpit (see above); some just have one single speaker's podium called an ambo. Note that the Epistle side of the church is also informally referred to as the "St. Joseph side" of the church because it is there a statue of him is often placed.
You can remember which side of the Church is which by taking the vantage point of Christ on the Crucifix: His right is the Gospel/Mary side of the Church; His left is the Epistle/Joseph side of the Church. Mary and the Gospel are greater than Joseph and the Epistle so are at Jesus' right. This will be so unless there is a statue of, say, our Lord, in which case it will be placed to the right of Jesus' vantage point from the Crucifix while Mary is to the left.
Ambulatory: An ambulatory is basically a sort of walkway which can be either inside or outside of a structure. In Gothic architecture, ambulatories often had projecting chapels and were especially common around the apse. If an ambulatory is outdoors and is built such that one side is wall while the other has columns or arches, especially opening onto a courtyard, it is often called a cloister (the word "cloister" also refers to the area within a monastery to which some religious are confined).
Sacristy (or "Vestry"): The Sacristy is where sacred vestments, liturgical vessels, etc., are stored. When the sacristy is behind the chancel and has two entrances, the priests enter on the Gospel side and exit through the Epistle side door.
In the sacristy you will find the sacrarium -- a special sink with a pipe that bypasses the sewer, unlike an ordinary sink, but instead goes straight into the earth. This sink is made thus to preserve the dignity of sacred things which can no longer be used. For ex., the sacred vessels are rinsed there so that no particle of the consecrated Host or no drop of the Precious Blood will end up in the sewer. The first rinse used to clean Altar linens, old baptismal water, sacred oils, blessed ashes, etc., all these are disposed of in the sacrarium, returning those substances to the earth.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Attitude at Mass-

There's an attitude that is very disturbing to me, and it SHOULD be disturbing to us all.

The attitude in which people, sit there, waiting at the end of Mass, glancing over their shoulder and as soon as Mass has ended they dart from their pew, not even bothering to bow or even genuflect, not even seeming to realize that the King of Kings was present, not giving Him another thought.

Maybe it's unfair for me to assume they don't know He is present, but then again; we tend to pay attention to those things we think are important. Is it fair to suggest, that, given the lack of reverence, perhaps people don't realize that Christ is Truly Present in the tabernacle? I won't say it's a deliberate rude gesture towards Our Lord; but the behavior of all too many Sunday-Mass-attending Catholics simply suggests that if they have any faith at all, it is something they do not understand at all.

I say this because even a small understanding of what happens at Mass and WHOM is present is a life-changing realization, and the first thing we tend to do once we realize that Jesus is really there is to do things as a signal of what has gone on inside of us. As in genuflect, or bow, or make the sign of the cross. It may be small, and doing this might make us feel weird; for we might wonder what our friends or family will think of us if we suddenly realize that we've been ignoring Christ and experience even a small change in behavior that signals an even greater change in our hearts.

But, I have learned, it's not easy to be Catholic, even in a Catholic church! Those who actively pursue holiness are often regarded as being "odd" or even "a fanatic”.

It is for this reason I question why people don't genuflect; is it that they don't believe or don't understand, or is it that they are afraid of being seen as a “fanatic”?

I suspect that the answer leans more towards the former, although I'm certain there are a great number of Catholics afraid to practice their faith out loud, the idea that surrounds them and tells them (and all of us!) that "faith is personal".

Yes, faith IS personal...and it is also social. For if the social aspect isn't expressed then faith dies from the act of showing and professing our Love to Our Lord. If we're afraid to even genuflect because of what other Catholics might call us or think about us, then how can we possibly take the next step and be willing to verbally proclaim Christ?

The culture of the lukewarm is in charge. The "lukewarm" are those who claim to be "good Catholics" because they attend Mass "most Sundays and some Holy Days if convenient", send their children to Catholic school, support the school and church sometimes and if it's fun (and convenient socially!), but pick and choose what they want to believe. Because of their high status as "church-going Catholics" they also get to sit in judgment and gossip over those Catholics who spend more time working hard to BE Catholic as opposed to talking about or thinking about what good Catholics they are.

In reality, most Lukewarm Catholics aren't so vile; and so they go about their lives, not even considering that they should be genuflecting when they arrive at Mass and when they leave...for they don't even realize Jesus is Present. They don't go to Confession because they think Vatican II "did away" with the sacrament.

We also ALL have the responsibility to educate ourselves (Biggy!); we all have questions. The bad news is that the Church is over 2,000 years old, with theology that goes back to the beginning of time. The GOOD news is that all of the questions we have, in reality, have been asked before. The most common questions are those too many people are afraid to ask...yet if they did, they would be changed forever.

There's a lot of fear out there among the Lukewarms. It's ALL ABOUT fear for them; about what their friends and family will think, about having to change, about those questions they have about the answers they think they should know...but have never been taught.

Catechesis needs to happen, but we have a couple of lost generations out there, adults running around knowing that they should go to church, wanting to raise their children Catholic, but having NO IDEA what it really MEANS to be Catholic! The result is a sort of spiritual standstill as these adults struggle to live a life of faith in a culture that says faith (and life! Did you see a dig there?) has no value.

It's an outright battle for the souls of Catholics and those on the frontlines are taking a beating most people can't even imagine. How do we inspire conversion in those we love, those who can't seem to break out of the relativism that holds them bound? Some get ticked off and leave the Church if they are provided with authentic teaching. Some get ticked off and, through argument and discussion, eventually convert. Others simply disconnect and practice their faith with all the passion and understanding of a headless zombie.

I don't know what the answers are; I'm constantly stressing out my brain trying to figure out how to reach people through the barriers they've put up. Yet, I'll keep trying; over and over again.

I can't help but think of the early martyrs, and all the martyrs throughout the history of the Church, even those of today. They were and are Catholics like all of us, but whose practice of the faith led and leads to death in horrible ways. They were men and women who stepped forward even as their bishops were torn apart by lions, and there, in the face of that reality, in that very presence, they were not afraid to declare themselves to be Christians and follow the bloody footprints into the arena.

Do I think I'd be strong enough to be one of those martyrs? I don't know. I hope so. Because I think a larger persecution is coming and those of us who believe all that the Church teaches and try to embrace it, and seek to preach it and live it...I think we're going to suffer. And I believe that that needs to happen.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Litany In reparation to our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament.

Christ, have mercy on us.Lord, have mercy on us. Christ, hear us.

Christ, graciously hear us.

God the Father of Heaven,Have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world,Have mercy on us.
God the Holy Spirit,Have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, One God,Have mercy on us.

Sacred Host, offered for the salvation of sinners,Have mercy on us.
Sacred Host, annihilated on the altar for us and by us,Have mercy on us.
Sacred Host, despised by lukewarm Christians,Have mercy on us.
Sacred Host, mark of contradiction,Have mercy on us.
Sacred Host, delivered over to Jews and heretics,Have mercy on us.
Sacred Host, insulted by blasphemers,Have mercy on us.
Sacred Host, Bread of angels, given to animals,Have mercy on us.
Sacred Host, flung into the mud and trampled underfoot,Have mercy on us.
Sacred Host, dishonored by unfaithful priests,Have mercy on us.
Sacred Host, forgotten and abandoned in Thy churches,Have mercy on us.

Be merciful unto us,Pardon us, O Lord.Be merciful unto us,Hear us, O Lord.

For the outrageous contempt of this most wonderful Sacrament,We offer Thee our reparation.
For Thine extreme humiliation in Thine admirable Sacrament,We offer Thee our reparation.
For all unworthy Communions,We offer Thee our reparation.
For the irreverences of wicked Christians,We offer Thee our reparation.
For the profanation of Thy sanctuaries,We offer Thee our reparation.
For the holy ciboriums dishonored and carried away by force,We offer Thee our reparation.
For the continual blasphemies of impious men,We offer Thee our reparation.
For the obduracy and treachery of heretics,We offer Thee our reparation.
For the unworthy conversations carried on in Thy holy temples,We offer Thee our reparation.
For the profaners of Thy churcheswhich they have desecrated by their sacrileges,We offer Thee our reparation.

That it may please Thee to increase in all Christiansthe reverence due to this adorable Mystery,we beseech Thee, hear us.
That it may please Thee to manifest the Sacramentof Thy Love to heretics,we beseech Thee, hear us.
That it may please Thee to grant usthe grace to atone for their hatredby our burning love for Thee,we beseech Thee, hear us.
That it may please Theethat the insults of those who outrage Theemay rather be directed against ourselves,we beseech Thee, hear us.
That it may please Thee graciouslyto receive this our humble reparation,we beseech Thee, hear us.
That it may please Thee to make our adoration acceptable to Thee,we beseech Thee, hear us.

Pure Host, hear our prayer.Holy Host,hear our prayer.Immaculate Host,hear our prayer.Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,Spare us, O Lord.Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,Graciously hear us, O Lord.Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,Have mercy on us.Lord, have mercy on us.Christ, have mercy on us.

Altar Stones

Responding to your question about altar stones-


Before the Second Vatican Council, Mass could only lawfully be celebrated on a properly consecrated altar. This consecration was carried out by a bishop, and involved specially blessed "Gregorian Water," anointings and ceremonies. The relics of at least two saints, at least one of which had to be a martyr, were inserted in a cavity in the altar which was then sealed, a practice that was meant to recall the use of martyrs' tombs as places of Eucharistic celebration during the persecutions of the Church in the first through third centuries. Also in the cavity were sealed documents relating to the altar's consecration. The tabletop of the altar, the "mensa," had to be of a single piece of natural stone (almost always marble). Its supports had to be attached to the mensa. If contact was later broken even only momentarily (for instance, if the top was lifted off for some reason), the altar lost its consecration. Every altar had to have a "title" or "titulus" in Latin. This could be The Holy Trinity or one of its Persons; a title or mystery of Christ's life (Christ the Good Shepherd; the Holy Cross); Mary in one of her titles (Mother of Christ; Our Lady of Good Counsel); or a canonized saint. The main altar of a church had to have the same title as the church itself (for instance, there are many "side altars" in St. Patrick's Cathedral in Manhattan, but the "high altar" in the center is dedicated to St. Patrick). This reflected the idea that the altar was the key element, and the church was built to house it, as opposed to the church being built and simply supplied with an altar as part of its furniture.


Obviously, these regulations would have made it impossible to celebrate Mass anywhere but inside of a Roman Catholic Church. To provide for other circumstances—for chaplains of everything from military to Boy Scout units, for priests while traveling alone, for missionaries, or for large outdoor celebrations of Mass on pilgrimages, just to name a few situations—"portable altars," popularly called "altar stones," were used. These are usually blocks of marble either square or rectangular, often about 6 inches by 9 inches or so and an inch deep, and are consecrated the same way as altars described above. A priest with a field kit could simply place this stone on any available surface (the tailgate of a Jeep, for instance, or the stump of a log at a campground) to celebrate Mass, or it could be inserted in a flat frame built into the surface of a wooden altar. Many Roman Catholic schools, for instance, had a full-sized, decoratively carved wooden altar (which, being wood, could not be consecrated) in their gym or auditorium that could be taken out and set up for temporary quarters for Mass, with an altar stone placed in the "mensa" space.


The privilege of using a portable altar was not automatically conferred on any priest. Cardinals and bishops normally had such rights under canon law, but other priests had to be given specific permission—this was, however, easily and widely obtained.


Today, a consecrated altar is no longer necessary for the lawful celebration of Mass, so priests offering Mass in the field or schools or elsewhere may simply use any table. Parish churches and chapels often have wooden altars today, which may be blessed (as opposed to consecrated). Parish churches and cathedrals should have a consecrated altar, however, still made of stone, though the ceremonies for the consecration are somewhat simplified.


(I hope this answers your questions)

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Madrid!

The XXIV WYD is in Spain in 2011!

Altars

A Catholic altar is primarily used for the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, where we believe a priest consecrates bread and wine into the substance of the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ. Catholic altars are traditionally made of stone, often marble, or wood. Before Vatican II, regardless of its material, a Catholic altar had to have an altar stone containing the relics of a Catholic martyr, thus making an altar a true altar. This altar stone is usually a flat square tablet, several inches by several inches with five crosses cut into it in an "X" pattern along its top surface; this stone is inset in the front top surface of the altar where the priest would reverence it during Holy Mass with several ceremonial kisses. The altar stone is usually difficult to spot as most altars are covered with linens during ceremonies and covers when not in use. If an altar stone is removed, the altar is desecrated and must be reconsecrated. Tabernacles, the little box-like compartments once found on most altars, were usually made of the same substance and style of the altar, though, according to Canon law, they had to be anchored to the altar so as not able to be moved. In the modern Church, tabernacles are rarely installed or have been allowed to remain on the altar and altar stones are all but discontinued save in traditional or pious channels.

In a nutshell, any flat surface can serve as an altar. A Greek corporal - a portable "altar stone" with relics sewn into it - can then be used by the priest. Mass can then be said on anything from a card table in a hotel to an ammunition crate in a war zone, as has been done by missionaries and military chaplains. In a case of emergency, Mass can be said without an altar stone almost anywhere, as the case of Cardinal Mindszenty who said Mass on his own chest while in prison. (sweet!)

Friday, July 11, 2008

Server's Purpose in the Mass

I think that the server's purpose in the Mass is to make sure the Mass itself, technically, will go as perfectly and smoothly as possible-- so that the priest will be able to perform his spiritual, priestly duties to the best of his abilities. This means having things there for the priest, ready to go, and having things tidy and organized. The server's purpose is also to make the priest look good (to put it bluntly). But mainly to make sure nothing gets in the way of the priest and his works, that being distractions (that's a biggy; cell phones, dripping candle wax, if his vestments are causing a problem, and so many that I won't waste your time in naming them all), and making sure everything is set to go as smoothly as possible. Not to mention being completely reverent as possible along with all of this.


With all of this being said, as a server, you have no time to meditate or think about what's happening right before you. I understand that this is part of being a server. You sacrifice yourself for the Mass. But that's why servers will obtain higher indulgences than lay people while attending Mass. Which means that server positions should not be thrown around to whomever.


All together, servers add a tremendous dignity and eliminate many errors and distractions from our divine worship. This is an essential part of the reverent offering of the sacrifice of the Holy Eucharist.

Thoughts From a Teen

I feel so comfortable at church. I could just sit in a pew and think for hours. I try to go to everything that is offered from the liturgies of the church, and yet, I still want more. I know that my presence there is enough, but I feel obliged to serve at the Mass-- not sit in the pew, or even sing in the Schola. I feel as though serving at the foot of the altar is MY place in the Mass (I say "MY" place, because not everyone is called to serve at the altar at Mass, but to serve in many different ways given to them by God). That is one reason why the priesthood is such a definite probability for me. I feel at home in the church (as should everyone I realize) and little things keep putting me in positions and having things happen that seem to be building me in a very certain way, connected to our Mass. Maybe priesthood, maybe a father of a priest...

Like I said in my other post, I've started the Liturgies of the Hours and that has helped feed my hunger somewhat. I feel that I am constantly fighting (from the media, school, and other people) the tendency to put God and Mass just for the hour on the weekends, because it should be the entire focus of everything I do, and it is.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Pope Benedict considering changes to celebration of the Mass?

A rumor at this point, but a notable one, claims that Pope Benedict has instructed the Congregation for Divine Worship to study the possibility of making changes to the manner in which the Mass is celebrated, including but not limited to:


-Using Latin in the Eucharistic Prayer (specifically the words of institution)
-Moving the Sign of Peace to the Offertory
-Wider use of Latin in the celebration of other Sacraments




Oh Baby!!!

Friday, July 4, 2008

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Today's Catholic-

It is not easy being a catholic. Especially in the present day. With the lack of respect, and dignity, and the overwhelming grasp of ignorance that has taken over many people. Yet, the church still grows and survives. For nearly 2,000 years. But, if you LOVE God, wouldn't your life be devoted to him? Our protestant brothers and sisters take their idea of an easy road. They "recognize God as their Lord and Savior" and then they're set for life, don't need to prove it or work for it because "God knows I love Him". But as catholics we believe that we have an entire life of penance to God. That we keep trying and showing our honor and respect and love towards God.





Lately I've been thinking about how when ignorance will come into my life (not only religiously, but also in that outside of Catholicism, if there is such a place) and i feel forced to convert or to teach until that conflict meets my standard and my knowledge of THE Truth. Yet, none of these battles have worked or will work to the point that I'd like them to. Then, after discussing this matter with my mom (in less specific terms) i realized that to show an example of Christ or to live a holy and catholic life, you do not necessarily need to be fighting the battles, or be a martyr of the church. But to live a holy and catholic life, and in that alone, you are setting a loving and nurturing example of love for others, and putting yourself in that mindset.





For any teens, or adults interested in more, i strongly encourage you to read "Letters to a Young Catholic" by George Weigle. It's main concept is catholic mentality, and catholic life and challenges.


I encourage you all to add on to this, and discuss this with one another- and me.

Organ Arrangements

As most of you know, my dad is our parish music director and the director of the Schola Cantorum. Yesterday, Father, and my dad decided to change around our organ arrangement. Before it was jetting out into the front of the church where "everyone could see the performer" and now, with it up in the choir section on the side, it gives a much more respectful feeling to the church at whole. You know what is the most important thing when you walk into the sanctuary.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Holiness

I'm always worried about holiness, and growing in holiness, and constantly frustrated by my weakness. Some days it seems I can't even go five minutes, or even 10 seconds, without offending God. And then I kid myself for being worried about being holy, because of course I realize I can't sanctify myself...that's God's job.

Most Reverend Raymond L. Burke, D.D., J.C.D.

Raymond Leo Burke was born in Richland Center, Wisconsin, on June 30, 1948, the youngest of the six children of Thomas F. and Marie B. Burke. His elementary education was undertaken at St. Mary School in Richland Center (1954-1959) and at St. Joseph School in Stratford, Wisconsin (1959-1962).

He attended high school at Holy Cross Seminary in La Crosse, Wisconsin, from 1962 to 1966, and also completed college courses there (1966 -1968) before attending the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., where he studied as a Basselin Scholar (1968 -1971). He undertook his studies for ordination at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome (1971-1975) and was ordained to the priesthood by Pope Paul VI on June 29, 1975, at the Basilica of St. Peter.

Father Burke's first assignment was as associate rector of the Cathedral of St. Joseph the Workman in La Crosse. In 1977 he took up the additional duty of teaching religion at Aquinas High School in La Crosse. In 1980 Father Burke returned to Rome to study Canon Law at the Pontifical Gregorian University. In April 1984, after completing his studies, he was named Moderator of the Curia and Vice Chancellor of the Diocese of La Crosse.

In 1989 Father Burke returned to Rome when Pope John Paul II named him Defender of the Bond of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura, the first American to hold this position on the Church's highest court. After five years in this post, the Holy Father appointed him Bishop of the Diocese of La Crosse on December 10, 1994.

Bishop Burke was ordained to the episcopacy by Pope John Paul II on January 6, 1995, at the Basilica of St. Peter, and was installed in the Diocese of La Crosse on February 22, 1995, the Feast of the Chair of St. Peter.

On December 2, 2003, Bishop Burke was named Archbishop of St. Louis, succeeding Justin Cardinal Rigali, who was appointed Archbishop of Philadelphia in July 2003. Archbishop Burke was installed in St. Louis on January 26, 2004, the fifth anniversary of Pope John Paul II's historic pastoral visit to the archdiocese.

On June 29th, 2004, twenty-nine years after his ordination to the priesthood by Pope Paul VI, he received the pallium as Archbishop of St. Louis, from Pope John Paul II.

(Source-The Marian Catechists)
_______________________________________________________

Pope Benedict XVI named Archbishop Raymond Burke of St. Louis as the new prefect of the Apostolic Signature, the Church's supreme court.



He succeeds Cardinal Agostino Vallini, 68, who was appointed today as the Pope's vicar for the Diocese of Rome upon the retirement of Cardinal Camillo Ruini.

Happy Anniversary!


On the 12th year of your ordination-Fr. Stanley!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Altar girls?

This is an interesting post i found on "What does the Prayer really say?". Check it out and leave your thoughts, and comments.


Here's the link-

http://wdtprs.com/blog/2008/06/kerfuffle-wisconsin-parish-nixes-altar-girls-predictable-outrage-ensues-before-sanity-prevails/

Friday, June 27, 2008

Pope Prefers Receiving Communion on the tongue-

In an interview published in the Wednesday edition of L'Osservatore Romano, Pope Benedict’s new Master of Pontifical Liturgical Celebrations, Monsignor Guido Marini, says he believes that people receiving Communion kneeling and on the tongue will become common practice at the Vatican....

"it is necessary not to forget the fact that the distribution of Communion on the hand remains, up to now, from the juridical standpoint, an exception (indult) to the universal law, conceded by the Holy See to those bishops' conferences who requested it,” the liturgical master of ceremonies reminded....

"It could also be noted that the (Pope's) preference for such form of distribution which, without taking anything away from the other one, better highlights the truth of the real presence in the Eucharist, helps the devotion of the faithful, and introduces more easily to the sense of mystery. Aspects which, in our times, pastorally speaking, it is urgent to highlight and recover." (CNA)

Awwww Man!

A friend took my dad to a Tridentine Mass in Detroit, I'm sure you've heard of it; Assumption Grotto. I am EXTREMELY jealous! But soon my chance will come.

Here's the link-

http://www.assumptiongrotto.com/

Benedicto!

I love Benedicto!
You love Benedicto!
We love Benedicto!
Let's dance for Benedicto!
This is the chant that my parents had the PRIVILEGE of listening too, on the hour and a half car ride home today. Now, how many kids will chant their love for the Pope (and partly in Spanish!)

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Need for Reverence in the Eucharist-

I wanted to take a moment and draw attention to the sad fact that many Catholics have a weak faith, particularly in the Blessed Sacrament. The lack of reverence toward the Holy Eucharist, the failure of many to genuflect before the tabernacle, and the casual reception of Holy Communion, all indicate a great need for catechesis and renewal among the Christian Faithful. Priests are responsible for this catechesis and spiritual renewal, and should do more to remedy this sad situation.


I know i've said it a million times before- but it's worth saying again

Rules...

The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is everything in our lives, and I want it to be celebrated in a manner that shows that it's not about my being here, and about what I like. But in a way which glorifies God to the best of our abilities. The Christ "welcome to all" never said "Do whatever feels right!!!!" No, he gave us rules. Best of all, he gave us the church, who now gives us rules which I am happy to follow in obedience. Not only the church's teachings, but also her liturgy, which forms my conscience and my being. That's important- I don't form my being and my conscience, the CHURCH and her TEACHINGS do. Yet people still decide and think that they can pick and choose at the rules laid down by Christ and do not fully commit themselves to the church.

Thoughts for Today's Gospel-

The passion of Jesus is a sea of sorrows, but it is also an ocean of love. Ask the Lord to teach you to fish in this ocean. Dive into its depths. No matter how deep you go, you will never reach the bottom.


-- St. Paul of the Cross

New President of the Pontifical Council for the Family


Ennio Cardinal Antonelli, Archbishop of Florence, has been appointed by Pope Benedict XVI to be the new President of the Pontifical Council for the Family.
-For the announcement by the Press Office of the Holy See, please click here: http://212.77.1.245/news_services/bulletin/news/22251.php?index=22251&lang=en

Friday, June 6, 2008

Coincidence?

Ok, so today I was out mowing someones lawn (as i do about every weekend) but as I was mowing I was praying (as I always do when I mow) and the 92 degree heat was beating down on me. After a while i had to go dump the mower bag into a lawn bag, but as I did so a huge cloud came out of nowhere and covered the sun, and the wind picked up. It stayed like this until i was half-way home and then the sun came back out with its heat. Now I'm not saying that some "miracle" happened to me. Or that I am showing some lesson on how "if you pray, things such as this will happen" (Here comes the other hand clause); but that's not to say things like this won't happen. God can pretty much do what ever He wants. I just thought it was very interesting on how God could work in little ways, even as in-significant as the one I stated above. Which also raises the question; How many of those are we missing because of how oblivious we are, and how much little credit we give to God for things such as this?

Monday, June 2, 2008

WYD Schedule

The Holy See has released the Pope's World Youth Day schedule. It is as follows:

The Holy Father will leave Rome on Saturday morning, July 12, for the long flight to Australia, landing at Darwin air base and proceeding to Sydney's Richmond airport.

After his arrival in Sydney the Pope will take several days of vacation. The Vatican not disclosed the site where the Pontiff will be staying, saying only that it will be a private residence.

On July 17 the Pope will make his first public appearance, at a welcoming ceremony in Sydney's Government House, where he will meet with the governor general and prime minister. Then he will travel by boat into Sydney harbor, to be greeted by the young people attending World Youth Day.

On July 18 the Pope will preside at an ecumenical service in Sydney's cathedral, then meet with leaders of other religious groups there. He will share lunch with a small group of World Youth Day participants, then open the Stations of the Cross at St. Mary's cathedral. In the evening he will meet with another group of young people at the Sacred Heart church of Notre Dame University.

On July 19 the Pontiff will celebrate Mass at the cathedral, have lunch with the Australian bishops, then travel to the Randwick racetrack, the site of the World Youth Day festivities, for an evening prayer vigil.

On July 20 the Pope will celebrate Mass at Randwick, the closing liturgy of the 23rd World Youth Day. That evening he will speak to organizers of the event.

On Monday, July 21, after Mass in private, the Holy Father will say his farewell to World Youth Day organizers and participants, then travel to Sydney's airport to begin the long flight home. He is due in Rome late that night.


Source: CWN

Chapel Veils-

I was talking about chapel veils with my dad earlier this week and wanted to share with you some thoughts that i think need to be reminded to those who see the chapel veil as "putting a woman to a lower standard".

The chapel veil is not to raise men higher above women, or to show the un-worthiness of the women in the Catholic Mass. It is actually completely the opposite. The chapel veil is a form of respect and honor towards women. It shows that we as humans honor women and show our respect towards them by covering their heads and bodies. We don't treat women (excuse me) as a piece of meat, we treat them as a sacred vessel, which is used to create life.

I also see a great respect shown from the women to God. You have to believe that women and men both have their roles in life (which is hard to see in today's society). But also to show a great deal of respect to the thing that is going on in the Mass which is far more above you or me.

--There is a great deal more, and this can branch off to other discussions several ways. Please feel free to discuss, and correct or add anything you wish.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Hmmm?

Jesus said "Unless you eat my body, and drink my blood, you shall not have life within you". NOT "Unless you eat wafers, and drink grape juice you won't have life in you". How much more clear could Jesus get?

Prayer for this week-

O God, Who in this wonderful sacrament hast left us a memorial of Thy passion, grant us, we beseech Thee, so to reverence the sacred mysteries of Thy Body and Blood, that we may ever perceive within us the fruit of Thy redemption.

Corpus Christi Collect-

Pope plans limits to number of Mass concelebrants?

Pope Benedict XVI plans to curtail the practice of organizing large-scale Eucharistic celebrations with hundreds of priests concelebrating the Mass, according to a report in Italy's Panorama magazine.
Panorama reports that the Holy Father has directed the Congregation for Divine Worship to study the question and prepare appropriate instructions. His objective, the Italian journal says, is to eliminate the concelebration of Mass by hundreds of priests at a time, with many of them standing at a distance from the altar.
The Vatican has not commented on the Panorama report.
If the story is accurate, the new liturgical guidelines could bring significant changes in liturgical celebrations at which the Pope himself presides, such as Masses attended by tens of thousands of people at World Youth Day or during papal trips abroad.

tip to American Papist-

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Ahhhhhh

I needed an uplifting photo, and thought I might as well share it with you.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

New Books!

Oh Goody!


I just received these three books in the mail, and I am going to begin reading them. I wanted to bring them to your attention, and suggest you to take a look at them. I actually just began the Pope's 2nd encyclical and it is more than excellent. So i extremely recommend these books.


-Spe Salvi-





-The Apostles-



-Questions and Answers-

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Saint Charles Borromeo

This is what Saint Charles really looked like:


As compared to the typically seen version:





I see no similarities between these two pictures: =D



--Saint Charles Borromeo was the Archbishop of Milan, Cardinal-Priest of the Title of St. Prassede, Papal Secretary of State under Pius IV. He was born in the Castle of Arona, a town on the southern shore of the Lago Maggiore in northern Italy, on October 2, 1538; and died at Milan, on the 3rd of November, 1584. His emblem is the word humilitas crowned, which is a portion of the Borromeo shield. He is usually represented in art in his cardinal's robes, barefoot, carrying the cross as archbishop; a rope round his neck, one hand raised in blessing, thus recalling his work during the plague. His feast is on 4 November.


If you want to know more, Catholic Encyclopedia has a whole bunch of information that I don't have posted on here. You can go to their link: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/03619a.htm