Saturday, January 31, 2009


There's this...

And then there's this...

Need I say more?

Archbishop Vigneron's Installation Mass

The other day was Archbishop Vigneron's installation Mass into the Detroit archdiocese (as most of you know). My parish priest, Fr. Stanley, was able to attend the Mass, and was shown on EWTN, I believe, 10 times! Pretty cool! Anyway- A funny inside story he told me was that at the Vespers service they held there the day before the Mass, all the priests began processing, while singing the "Pange Lingua". Well, take a look at these photographs and see what's wrong with the handouts that were given to the priests.

And then they all turned the page to this...

See the problem?

Yup, that's right! The printers left out a whole page in between! So all, oh geez, I don't know, 40 some priests that were singing to this were all belting it out, then went to turn the page and were mumbling the rest because they forgot the words to it, and it wasn't in the handout! I think that is great! The "pange lingua" is seminary 101, every priest knows it. But after years of being a priest and not necessarily using it that often they forget. Ahh... Good times. =)

I won't comment on the Mass itself. (Hey! We got him in there didn't we?!)

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Of the Love of Silence

In my spiritual growth I have grown in my love of silence, and deep meditation. I used to not be able to understand how anyone could sit there for more than 10 minutes when praying or meditating. Yet now, I could sit there for as long as I am able to. I am starting to get to the point where I subconsciously think, "Oh! It's 7, time for vespers". Praying and thinking about God and all of His mysteries is something I try to think about more and more in my spare time. If I have a moment of silence, I try to be either meditating or praying. I am trying not to surround myself with other people like I did in the past. By this I don't mean I avoid people, or that I push them away. I just go about my life, trying to live it in self evaluation- and if people come in, that's fine, and if they don't, that's fine too. I used to be more reliant on people. But now I am becoming more reliant on myself, and am more dependent on myself. Sadly, we are the only ones that we can really trust besides God. God will always be there, and always is there, even when we go astray.

Back to silence; I have met this idea more and more this week. I don't know if there's a word to describe it, but it's when almost every instance I come to in my day I hear this same occurring theme, whether it be divine offices, or a book I'm reading, or even an encounter/actions in
school. They all point to the fact that we should take more time to self evaluate, and search for God in our hearts--of which the best way is to meditate in silence, and to stay away from secular ideas and mentalities.

In mind of all of this, "it is easier to be silent than not to exceed in word". It is easier to remain at home than to leave our front door and put our guard down. So if we are to grow and seek in what is spiritual, we must "go with Jesus apart from the multitudes".

"Never promise thyself security in life, howsoever good a monk or devout a solitary thou seemest." (Thomas Kempis)


I wish we had some parish vespers, or something to go to tonight. I feel like praying before the tabernacle. But that's not up to me. Oh well, I guess my bedroom will have to do. =)

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Ave Verum Corpus

Ave verum corpus natum
de Maria Virgine,
vere passum, immolatum
in cruce pro homine,
cuius latus perforatum
unda fluxit et sanguine,
esto nobis praegustatum
in mortis examine.


Every time I see the pieta I can't help but think of the Ave Verum Corpus. This prayer is probably one of my favorite. It has so much to it. Ya know? "Hail the TRUE body! Born of the Virgin Mary, who truly suffered- was immolated, on the cross for man. (He takes our sins and puts them on himself to bear. That is important! He doesn't just "poof!" take our sins away. No, He takes them and puts them on Himself. He is "immolated". Crushed and sacrificed, and out of that crushing and grinding comes life! How deep is that!? (love Latin- hate English translations)) Who's pierced side flowed blood and water, let it be a foretaste for us [in heaven], in the trial of death". How beautiful!

The Conversion of St. Paul

Paul’s entire life can be explained in terms of one experience—his meeting with Jesus on the road to Damascus. After he was devoting his life to harassing the church: “...entering house after house and dragging out men and women, he handed them over for imprisonment” (Acts 8:3b). Now he himself was “entered,” into one goal—being a servant of Christ, an instrument to help others experience our Lord.

Paul’s life became tireless, proclaiming and living out the message of Christ: "Christians die baptismally to sin and are buried with Christ; they are dead to all that is sinful and unredeemed in the world. They are made into a new creation, already sharing Christ’s victory and someday to rise from the dead like him. Through this risen Christ the Father pours out the Spirit on them, making them completely new. " (American Catholic)

So Paul’s great message to the world was: You are saved entirely by God, not by anything you can do. Saving faith is the gift of free, personal and loving commitment to Christ.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Focusing on God

Sometimes, I am just overwhelmed with love for God. In such a manner that my heart feels warm, warmer than any other emotion I've experienced before. It feels as though I will burst. He's my everything; the reason I do what I do, the reason I love, and the reason I endure. He's my life.

I then start to think about how far away from Him I really am. Yet, I can still receive His love. Even from that distance! What a miracle that is! I look at my life, and am embarrassed at the thought of meeting Him like this. But then I stop and think about how God doesn't want us focused on where we are now, but to learn and keep our eyes fixed on where He is calling us to be.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

My Heart in the Chuch

As each day goes on, I find myself becoming less and less "attached" to this secular world. I feel no connection or loyalty to my secular job. I don't know if it is just teenage hormones or what. But I keep finding myself trying to seclude myself, searching for something more. Yet, the only thing that fills the "something" is the Church. By this I mean the Mass, prayers, and the work we as lay men and women carry out in our own ministry. I know that our work on Earth builds us in the sense of interaction with others, to let Christ's light shine through us, and that it supplies aid to support a family (not necessarily high school--but you get the picture). It just seems as though my loyalties are moving more towards the church. Which has become COMPLETELY opposite of what this secular world is calling us to live by.

I just find it interesting how the more I grow as a Catholic teen I become more (what seems) secluded from the secular world. Which to some people, is "weird". But to me and other Catholics it is completely natural. I know what is true and what's not, while others are "unsure" or "undecided". They tell me I should be more open to other ideas. While this may be true in daily thoughts and actions, it is not true in my overall ethical and religious beliefs.

I find myself constantly viewing things "different", and thinking things in a different light than others, as if an outcast (except for my Catholic friends). Some even go to the extent of calling me a "bigot" for constantly viewing things in a different light. Yet I cannot convert nor change their minds. One of my dear friend's teacher once told them in seminary to put two post-it notes up in the bathroom window- one saying, "you are not the messiah", and the other saying, "most of the world is crazy". Which is really true if you think about it. We cannot convert all, and most of the world is crazy and won't allow that light to shine. We live outside of this world. We live in loyalty to a different world, a kingdom! God's Church. That's where I feel my heart is.

I don't really know where I am trying to go with all of this, but maybe you will understand what I am trying to say, and be able to understand. =)

Monday, January 19, 2009

The Sun's Out!

Canticle of Brother Sun and Sister Moon of St. Francis of Assisi:

Most High, all-powerful, all-good Lord,
All praise is Yours, all glory, all honour and all blessings.
To you alone, Most High, do they belong,
and no mortal lips are worthy to pronounce Your Name.
Praised be You my Lord with all Your creatures,
especially Sir Brother Sun,
Who is the day through whom You give us light.
And he is beautiful and radiant with great splendour,
Of You Most High, he bears the likeness.
Praised be You, my Lord, through Sister Moon and the stars,
In the heavens you have made them bright, precious and fair.
Praised be You, my Lord, through Brothers Wind and Air,
And fair and stormy, all weather's moods,
by which You cherish all that You have made.
Praised be You my Lord through Sister Water,
So useful, humble, precious and pure.
Praised be You my Lord through Brother Fire,
through whom You light the night
and he is beautiful and playful and robust and strong.
Praised be You my Lord through our Sister,
Mother Earth
who sustains and governs us,
producing varied fruits with coloured flowers and herbs.
Praise be You my Lord through those who grant pardon
for love of You and bear sickness and trial.
Blessed are those who endure in peace,
By You Most High, they will be crowned.
Praised be You, my Lord through Sister Death,
from whom no-one living can escape.
Woe to those who die in mortal sin!
Blessed are they She finds doing Your Will.
No second death can do them harm.
Praise and bless my Lord and give Him thanks,
And serve Him with great humility. Amen.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Receiving the Holy Eucharist

A couple of weeks ago, I downloaded all of Fr. Z's podcasts onto my ipod (which- btw, I did all of them wrong, and had to do all 77 over again... grrr..). Anyway, I put them all on there and have been listening to them now and then; and I must say, they are excellent!

I stumbled upon a few that talked about the reasons against receiving the Eucharist in the hand (I believe they were podcasts 53 and 70-something, for any of you who wish to listen). Fr. started out by explaining how the Sacred Host or Sacred Vessels are not to touch anything that isn't consecrated. The reason for this is quite simple, if we believe what the church calls us to, then who are we as lay men and women to touch, and grasp Jesus Christ in our hands? Not to mention, how extremely dirty our hands are. Some are thinking, "well, our tongue isn't consecrated either, so it doesn't matter." But this has an explanation too! (I love being Catholic) In the old rite, at a child's' baptism, the priest would exorcise salt, and put it on the infant's tongue, thus consecrating the communicant's tongue.

Not only this, but also the fact that receiving in the hand is impractical. People don't take reverence in what they are receiving, when they see the physical actions of walking up the aisle, and putting their hands out like they are entitled to receive something. Some communicants even go an extent of putting out only one hand, or don't pay attention, and fumble around with the Host, almost (and in some cases) dropping it. There has also been an increase in the Host being stolen, to be sold, or desecrated, since receiving in the hands was allowed. I'm not blaming the desecration entirely on receiving in the hands, but it is a major contributor to that act. Instead of people being physically oriented (educated or not--- which is the faithful's responsibility, whether it be privately, or contacting your priest) to receive our Lord, and having the priest put Him where He needs to be, and not have the chance of something sacrilegious occurring, we put ourselves in a position for spiritual failure.

One point from a server's observation is that in using the paten, it is hard to catch or prevent dropping the Host, when people are fiddling around with their hands. Part of this is due to the faithful's orientation when receiving. If one were kneeling, and receiving on the tongue, then there would be NO question as to where the Host was going, and prevent the Host from being dropped as often. But I digress...

Another issue is lay men and women touching the Sacred Vessels, whether it be in the role of Eucharistic Ministers, or in removing the Vessels, uncleaned, from the altar. In the case of Eucharistic ministers, the result is more serious. The lay take it upon themselves to touch (with their unconsecrated hands) Jesus, and distribute it to the faithful, as if they were ordained. This is where one would see how priests lose focus in the meaning of their role. If any Joe-schmo can walk up on the altar and handle Jesus, then what is the purpose of a priest?-- This is one reason why I feel that deacons (permanent) are very important to the Mass. They can help distribute Communion in place of lay men and women. (And if you really think about it, it wouldn't take that long for a priest and deacon to distribute communion-- if so, isn't it worth it to take our time in distributing our Lord?) Not only is touching the Host an issue, but also touching the Sacred Vessels before cleaning. Every fragment of the Host is 100% God in all of His divinity. This not only gives a reason as to why receiving in the hands is discouraged--because, if you do, you will have thousands of tiny particles on your hands, going wherever your hands touch-- but also touching the sacred vessels, which contain our Lord. Who are we as lay men and women to touch the very consecrated objects which carry God? It just isn't our place.

This is MY opinion. It is what is most respectful to our Lord, Jesus Christ.


Prayer of St. Faustina before the Eucharist-

I adore You, Lord and Creator, hidden in the Most Blessed Sacrament. I adore You for all the works of Your hands, that reveal to me so much wisdom, goodness and mercy, O Lord. You have spread so much beauty over the earth and it tells me about Your beauty, even though these beautiful things are but a faint reflection of You, incomprehensible Beauty. And although You have hidden Yourself and concealed Your beauty, my eye, enlightened by faith, reaches You and my soul recognizes its Creator, its Highest Good, and my heart is completely immersed in prayer of adoration.

My Lord and Creator, Your goodness encourages me to converse with You. Your mercy abolishes the chasm which separates the Creator from the creature. To converse with You, O Lord, is the delight of my heart. In You I find everything that my heart could desire. Here You light illumines my mind, enabling it to know You more and more deeply. Here streams of graces flow down upon my heart. Here my soul draws eternal life. O my Lord and Creator, You alone, beyond all these gifts, give Your own self to me and unite Yourself intimately with Your miserable creature.O Christ, let my greatest delight be to see You loved and Your praise and glory proclaimed, especially the honor of Your mercy.

O Christ, let me glorify Your goodness and mercy to the last moment of my life, with every drop of my blood and every beat of my heart. Would that I be transformed into a hymn of adoration of You. When I find myself on my deathbed, may the last beat of my heart be a loving hymn glorifying Your unfathomable mercy. Amen.

Your Thoughts

Lately I've been looking into some seminaries and such, just to wet my appetite. I know I'm only 15, and have 2 more years until I would even go to college/or seminary. I just wanted to ask all of you to see if you had any suggestions of traditional colleges, or seminaries. Also, if you had any opinions as to whether going to college before seminary is worth it, or what you would recommend. I really, don't know about any of this. So I'm easing my way into it. The only real research I've done is websites people have sent me. It's never too early to see what's out there. (I've been looking into the FSSP/ I've been leaning more towards that) Thanks for all of your help, and thoughts!

In Christ-

Our Obligation

"Ignorance is no excuse when we have neglected to learn what we are obliged to know."

-St. Ambrose

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Our Lady, Seat of Wisdom--Pray for me!!

I've decided to take on....

The Summa of the Summa (Shorter version of the Summa Theologica by Saint Thomas Aquinas).

When I told my dad he said, "Good luck with that!"

Pray for me!!

I'm Curious..

Hey, I know there are a lot of people who read this blog, but don't necessarily comment, and I've always wondered, how far "out there" my blog is reaching. If you don't mind, post a comment just saying where you're from, you don't have to reply with a city, but a general location, anonymously if you wish.


God Bless

Friday, January 16, 2009

Wouldn't this be cool!

International Seminary - North America

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Catholic Priestly Vestments- Part VI

The chasuble, the special priestly vestment for the mass, was at first a long sleeveless mantle provided with an opening in the center to admit the head. It was originally worn in ancient times by people of the lower orders, but it gradually found entrance into other circles and so reached the monks and the clergy. The historical development of the alb raised this article, about the beginning of the Middle Ages, to the rank of an exclusively liturgical garment for the priesthood, after it had been used for a time in other than clerical circles. This dedication to liturgical purposes necessitated some modifications; for instance, the mantle was shortened, and it was provided with drawing-strings and slits at the sides.

Mary our Mother

I was reading an article the other day which discussed those who do not accept Mary as our Mother, the bride of the Church. If Christ is the Son, and God the Father, that makes Mary the Mother. Just like in the natural generation, the supernatural has a Father: God and a Mother: Mary. All true children have God for their Father, and Mary for their mother; but those who hate, despise or ignore the Blessed Mother can't recognize God as their Father, even if they proclaim such things about God. This doesn't make Mary an equal to God, but establishes her place as Mediator and Mother of all (including GOD!)... makes your head spin, doesn't it?

"Hail, holy Queen, Mother of Mercy! Our life, our sweetness, and our hope! To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve, to thee do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this valley, of tears. Turn, then, most gracious advocate, thine eyes of mercy toward us; and after this our exile show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb Jesus; O clement, O loving, O sweet virgin Mary.

Pray for us, O holy Mother of God,
That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ."

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Requiescat In Pace

This article is reprinted from Fr. Z's blog "What Does The Prayer Really Say",

"We received the news of the death of Fr. Richard John Neuhaus, convert, priest of the Archdiocese of New York, author and editor of First Things. With wit and good humor, Father Neuhaus was a strong and intelligent voice of sound teaching and defense of the Catholic faith in the public square for many years.

The Christian presence and voice in the “public square” was a constant theme of his. He penned a book called The Naked Public Square and provided a marvelous anecdotal commentary in the monthly First Things called “The “Public Square”. He underscored that we must not allow the expression of religion to be marginalized from public discourse. People of faith have a right to express themselves in the great debate about the burning issues of our time. We have the right, as much as anyone, to shape the discourse.

In these WDTPRS columns I have picked up the theme of the “public square” especially in light of what I believe His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI has been trying to accomplish in his pontificate. Pope Benedict has been trying to revitalize our Catholic identity precisely so that we can contribute something vital, and often missing, from “the public square”, where policies, laws and mores are forged under the heat and hammering of debate. Catholics must have a voice in government, the arts, the academy, the press, every human endeavor. But for our voice and actions to have a good effect, according to our vocations to shape the world around us, we must know who we are as Catholics, know what we believe, and be able to express the same cogently and with conviction. If we don’t know who we are, then we won’t have anything to offer. Liturgy is a key element what I call the Pope’s “Marshall Plan”, to revive our identity and energize our Church, both within and also for the sake of our role in the public square. As we pray as Catholics, so shall we believe and behave. If we have fuzzy prayers, nebulous and ever-shifting worship, we will be vague and ineffective as Catholic Christians with nothing firm to stand on in our own lives and nothing worth of attention from others.

When Pope Benedict through his document Summorum Pontificum released the older form of Mass and the sacraments from exile, he put into the hands of parish priests a powerful tool for the redirection of our public worship and the revitalization of our Catholic identity. What was sacred for our ancestors in the Faith, is sacred for us today. What shaped our forebears and nourished the lives of saints, shaped cultures, guided the arts and thought about life’s deepest questions for over a millennium is part of who we are as Catholics. What served as a bulwark against religious and secularist error, what provided the rich and the poor together, the young and old, high born and lowly alike the possibility of a daily encounter with transforming mystery will be a mighty source of strength and grace now, as we struggle to be faithful to Christ’s commands in a ever more relativist dominated world.

I mourn the loss of Fr. Neuhaus. His example and words in the public square will be missed. In his life he helped to shape awareness of what is at stake. In your charity, say a prayer for him."

Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord. And let perpetual light shine upon him. May he rest in peace. May his soul, and all the souls of the faithful departed through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.

Welcome Home!

Bishop Vigneron
The new Archbishop of Detroit!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Feast of the Epiphany

Epiphany had its origins in the Eastern Church- who celebrated Christmas on January 6th, the begining of the octave. Prior to 1970, the Roman Catholic Church recognized Epiphany as an eight-day feast, beginning on January 6 and continuing through the Octave of Epiphany, or January 13. This Feast - also known as the . "Three Kings Day" - recalls Christ revealing Himself as Divine in three different ways: to the Magi, at His Baptism, and with His miracle at the wedding feast at Cana.

"The heavens He has renewed, for that fools worshipped all the luminaries: He has renewed the earth, for that in Adam it was wasted. That which He fashioned has become new by His spittle: and the All-Sufficing has restored bodies with souls."
-St. Ephraem

Monday, January 5, 2009


High School started up after winter break today... ugh...

Pray for me!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

The True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin

"The True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin is one of the greatest and most celebrated books ever written about Our Lady. Praised by popes, mystics, and theologians, this profound and powerful book presents Mary as the essential and infallible key to the heart of Jesus."

I just discovered this book by, well, actually, a reader suggested this to me on a previous post. So I told my mom, and she got it for me for Christmas. I just started reading it today, and I can't put the thing down! It's incredible! What I'm at right now, is the idea of why most popes become so attached to our blessed mother (not only, or all popes). That she is the closest and most immediate human intercessor to our Lord. (besides Jesus- but he's God) St. Augustine said "The world is not worthy to receive the Son of God directly from the hands of The Father, so He gave Him to Mary, so that the world might receive Him through Her." Most popes are drawn to Mary because they are The Vicar(s) of Christ, and in being so, they have to (end up) follow through Mary's footsteps and actions of faith in being the closest mediator to God. Never thought about that before. Now I get why popes feel such a connection to our mother. Along with other reasons.

Anyways- The book is written by St. Louis-Marie De Montfort. Who is a French priest and Catholic saint, born in Montfort-sur-Meu. He was ordained to the priesthood in Paris, and died at Saint-Laurent-sur-Sèvre on 28 April 1716. He was known as an author in his time, whose books are widely read, even to the present day.

Here's a statue of St. Montfort

I strongly recomend this book to all! Go get it!!

Friday, January 2, 2009

Catholic Priestly Vestments- Part V

The stole (orarium) is a long narrow strip of fabric, which, hanging from the neck, falls down right and left over the breast. During the celebration of mass, the bands are crossed in front, the bishop alone wears them hanging parallel; the deacon, who may wear the stole at greater functions, may only bear it on the left shoulder. The material is usually the same as that of the chasuble. The ornament tion was generally confined to embroidered Latin crosses; in the episcopal stoles, however, it was often very elaborate. The little bells which are sometimes found on the lower edge are based on Ex. xxviii. 33 sqq. The name stola, which was introduced only at a later period and does not apply to the article, obscures its origin, since this name designated an article of female apparel. The parallel orariumsudarium shows clearly that the stole comes from the handkerchief which was worn around the -neck or the arm in ancient time. The symbolism is patience.

An earlier post

I wrote an entry about our family's visit to a parish in Grand Rapids, and my reaction to what went on there. I received a comment from a VERY upset older gentleman, who has been a parishioner his entire life. I have deleted my post, as it seems to have caused scandal for him, and that is never my intent. If his feelings have been hurt, I apologize.

However, regardless of one's lifelong affiliation with a parish, or their sentimental attachment to their "parish community", there is no excuse for the words of the consecration of the Sacred Host to be ad-libbed. I am speaking specifically of the "Hoc est enim corpus meum" : THIS IS MY BODY , and the consecration of the Precious Blood, likewise. I am not a canon lawyer, I am a 15 year old kid. But I know when the consecration is not happening because the priest is making up the words of consecration. This renders the Mass invalid.

IF the priest was reading one of the Eucharistic Prayers approved by canon law, word for word, then we were wrong and the Mass was valid. IF the priest read some of the words of institution and added or deleted others, it is possible that this rendered it illicit (which is written to be a grave sin...) but does not invalidate the essential form.

I hope that we all misheard the words spoken by the priest during the consecration. If not, there is a serious problem at that parish. Either way, I wasn't going to take a chance of partaking in a potentially invalid Holy Communion.

I wrote the article to point out how a "horizontal" approach to liturgy can lead to grave theological errors and possibly even violations of canon law. It is CHRIST we should be focusing on, not our "community", not our "parish family".

I have removed my previous post, not because I think anything in it was wrong, but because it has caused pain to someone. I believe that more good can be done by pointing out the issues mentioned in a general way, and I will not use names of parishes in the future if criticizing them.

I don't spend my time ripping on other parishes. But, this is the problem with what has happened to Catholicism today. You should be able to go ANY Catholic church ANYWHERE and have it be the same. (Or at least know that it will be licit and valid). This "designer" mentality about the church has removed the focus from God to ourselves.

I am glad to know that others are reading this blog than my little circle of high school friends. I would recommend to all that read this that they also check out some very good other blogs, including Father Z's

God Bless!

L.O.L.C. -It's meaning

I haven't talked much about the title of my blog. Here's the meaning.

Lex Orandi Lex Credendi is a Latin phrase that says "the Church prays as the Church believes". Whether it is the Liturgy of the Eucharist, or a celebration of the Liturgy of the Hours...the prayerful actions of the priest and the faithful always reflects the foundational roots of what the Church believes.

That's something I hadn't thought about. Not only is it what we say in prayer in Mass, or when we sing sacred music, that is our belief. But how the priest and the faithful orient themselves. The rituals that we go through; kneeling, bowing, what we do, and don't do at Mass. This shows what we believe, by making a physical representation of our love and honor we have for God. That's where the Novus Ordo has a potential to go wrong. If we take away all of the rituals that orient ourselves proper to God in the Mass, then we fully don't understand what it is that we as Catholics believe. How can we when some stand or sit during the Eucharistic prayer? Or allow anyone to go up to the altar and take the ciborium, and distribute Christ with our un-consecrated hands? No wonder priests are confused about their purpose in the Mass.

St. Charles Borromeo- Christmas '08

Solemnity of Mary

Collect of the solemnity of mary:
God our Father may we always profit by the prayersof the Virgin Mother Mary,for you bring us life and salvationthrough Jesus Christ her Sonwho lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit,One God, forever and ever. Amen.
I've been busy.. Happy New Year! =)