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


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. 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.