Sunday, June 28, 2009
Georg Ratzinger was born in Bavaria to Joseph Ratzinger, Sr., a police officer. Early in his life he showed musical talent, playing the church organ already at the age of 11. In 1935 he entered the minor seminary in Traunstein and had professional musical instruction there. In 1941 he encountered for the first time the choir of the Regensburger Domspatzen, whose musical director he was to become later, when they performed in Salzburg on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of Mozart's death.
In the summer of 1942 Georg Ratzinger was drafted into the German army. In 1944 he was wounded in battle in Italy. At the end of World War II, he was a POW of the U.S. Army in the vicinity of Naples, but was released, and arrived home in July 1945.
In January 1946 he entered, together with his brother Joseph (later Pope Benedict XVI), the seminary of the archdiocese of Munich and Freising to study for the priesthood. At the same time he pursued his musical studies.
He was ordained priest, together with his brother, in 1951, by Michael Cardinal von Faulhaber and afterwards studied Church Music in Munich, while serving in different priestly functions for the diocese.
Georg completed his studies in 1957 and became chorus director in his home parish in Traunstein. In February 1964 he was made musical director, Domkapellmeister, at St. Peters Cathedral in Regensburg, thereby becoming the chorus master of the Cathedral Choir, the Regensburger Domspatzen.
In 1967 he was named papal chaplain and in 1976 papal honorary Prelate. In that year the choir also celebrated its 1,000th anniversary. In 1981 Georg Ratzinger was awarded the Bundesverdienstkreuz of the Federal Republic of Germany. In 1994, he was named a papal protonotary.
Ratzinger retired from his position as director of the choir in 1994 and is since January 25, 2009 a canon in Regensburg.
In 2005, during a visit to his brother in Rome, worrying symptoms of heart failure and arrhythmia led to a brief admission at the Agostino Gemelli University Polyclinic.
There is unsourced speculation that his brother will name him a Cardinal, in that he is past 80 years of age and thus ineligible to participate in a conclave. The most recent papal relative to be elevated to the cardinalate was Giuseppe Pecci, a brother of Pope Leo XIII.
(Mosebach is an accomplished novelist and writer. In "The Heresy of Formlessness" he gives a deep plea for the return of the preconciliar Tridentine Latin Mass (known now as the Extraordinary form of the Latin Rite), and gives a compelling argument against the big break in tradition shown in today's Novus Ordo Mass (known now as the Ordinary form of the Latin rite).
As I read this particular chapter, I began to see several important connections in the actions of veiling something, thus allowing it to be revealed to all. This goes on throughout Mass.
It starts with the priest (and lay people) veiling themselves with clothes that have symbolic character and purpose. As he puts on his different vestments he shows both repentance and reverence for entering the Holy Place, and taking part in the sacrificial actions of the Mass. The priest puts on the "armor of God," and covers himself in virtues such as fortitude, chastity, and humility.
Literally, the priest "puts on" Christ. Of course, this outward clothing also calls for an inside transformation of the same kind. But that doesn't make the outward act not necessary, because graces comes from above. From the outside. A process derived not as man's will, but God's.
The Bishop even covers up his hands (in the traditional Extraordinary form), only taking them off for the sacramental prayers and actions-keeping his hands covered except for sacred actions and materials (the Host and Sacred vessels).
In the case of the laity, we (should) dress ourselves in a respectable and dignified manner to come before the King of Kings. As for women, they cover their heads and shoulders as an act of veiling. For women of the Catholic Church, wearing veils when in church has always been a custom exemplifying their modesty and femininity. It's not that we "put down" or degrade" women by having them wear these veils. We are actually exalting them! We do this as we also do with other things throughout the Mass (which I will talk about later). We are praising them as holy and sacred vessels!
These chapel veils are working in two ways... To humble the women wearing it before the presence of God, and to dress/cover up properly for Mass so as to not distract others and to focus on what is going on. Next is to exalt women as respected and holy beings that bear the sacred fruit of life-as beings of God, and NOT as objects.
The chalice is covered with the Paten, on which that Host lies. It in turn is covered by the pall, and over everything is a large cloth, also called a "veil," of the same color as the other vestments. The veiled chalice then looks like a tent; it's a miniature "tabernacle." In the old rite, whenever the ciborium with the consecrated Hosts inside was moved around it was covered by the sub deacon's humeral veil.
After the Subdeacon brings the chalice to the altar, the priest hands him the paten; which he takes beneath his veil and carries out to the altar steps holding the paten in front of him, still veiled. Two different traditions are shown by this action: First to honor the plate that will eventually bear the body of our Lord. Secondly, it is used as a typically Roman custom showing the the relationship between Masses.
In the first century the Pope would send pieces of Hosts from his Mass to all of the churches in Rome. The subdeacon takes these pieces and does the same actions as talked about above. This shows the relationship between the Mass that has just been celebrated to the Mass celebrated by the pope. This also shows that there is always one sacrifice being offered! Cool huh!? I always wondered why a deacon stood covering something for such a long time at the foot of the altar. Now I (and you) know!!
There are not only physical and immediate forms of veiling shown in the Liturgy. Certain gestures and actions are deliberately kept away from the congregation's view. The priest serves as a living iconostasis.
In the Eastern Church they have walls that separate the "Holy of Holies" from the rest of the congregation. These walls are covered with icons. The difference between the Eastern Church and and Western Church is that in the Western Church we have tall choir stalls, altar rails, and even curtains that serve as our "iconostasis." One can see these curtains being used today. Most of the time they are hanging down from tall baldachinos. The sad thing is that the main "wall" that seperates the lay from the sacrificial actions, the altar rails, have shrunk in size over the years. They are now becoming non-existent in most churches throughout the world. This absence of a physical barrier allows anybody to walk up on the altar.
Another veil, or barrier, between the congregation and the sacrificial action is the celebrant himself. The back of his vestments are even covered in the same design as the tabernacle, and chalice veil. His vestments are those icons that the Eastern Church has on their walls. He serves as a living wall, he serves as that iconostasis.
The tabernacle is also veiled, usually with the corresponding liturgical colors. Most tabernacles have further curtains inside of it veiling Christ inside this sacred space.
The problem that some priests experience is that they see the tabernacle veiling as a waste of a beautiful tabernacle when it is covered up with a cloth. But they must remember who is inside of the tabernacle, and why we are veiling it in the first place. It is not there for our pleasure, but for the glorification of God!
After the tabernacle, altar space, and priest have been veiled, then comes the congregation's turn. After the readings, all un-baptized catholics should exit to the narthex. This way no un-baptized could take part in the sacrificial mystery. With the doors shut, the nave becomes veiled as a holy tabernacle, because we receive the Body of Christ, becoming Christ Himself veiled inside the church. We remain veiled until Mass is ended and we go out into the world to share in God's love. "Go in peace, to love and to serve our Lord."
Even though this has been a very long post (for which I ask your forgiveness :D) I think it is good for us all to make these connections. I hope that I've been accurate in what I wrote in this post. This is what I understand about this topic as of right now. I wonder if I will come back to my blog someday when I'm older and read my writings and find flaw in them. I hope that I won't.
Like most relics, the Holy Cross was wrapped up in cloths and spent its time in Rome's sacristy. On Good Friday it was brought into the church and unpacked in a solemn ritual so that it could be revealed to the faithful. Two deacons would stand on either side of it, as the faithful came up to kiss it, making sure that no one would be tempted to steal a splinter from it. Actually, different Bishops would be tempted (and are known to have been the main culprits) more than anyone to take a piece to bring back home to their territories.
Once the relic splinters were taken back to the Bishop's home territories throughout Europe, they were treated the same as the authentic cross was treated in Rome. The relics were wrapped up in cloth and brought out on Good Friday for veneration.
In the end, this ritual was adopted by communities that had no relic of the True Cross. Instead, the cross above the altar was taken down and wrapped up, to be venerated on Good Friday in the same way the Vera Crux.
The purpose of veiling and veneration was/is not to withdraw the cross from sight, but rather it was so that the cross would be treated like the True Cross; from being a devotional object, a sacred object, it would once again become the real instrument of torture (and salvation) on which Christ died.
Saturday, June 27, 2009
It is a very beautiful story, one that is both faith affirming and shows what the priesthood is really about.
"For me, this event is one of the great graces of my priesthood, and I’m sending this letter to invite you, who are part of my family of faith, to share it with me. To that end, let me say here a word about the meaning of the Pallium. This vestment is a symbol of my pastoral office and of my communion with the Holy Father and the other Archbishops of the Church, a bond that extends all the way back to St. Peter and St. Paul. So, I will come into St. Peter’s Basilica with all of you held in the prayer of my heart. As I kneel on the platform over St. Peter’s Tomb, I will be begging for two things from God: first that He strengthen me to be a good shepherd of His people; and second, that He help all of you and your families to grow in that same life and holiness that the Apostles handed on to us from Jesus. In return, I ask that on June 29 – especially at Mass, if you are able to get to church – you lift up in prayer me, together with all my brother priests, that we be filled with the love and courage and zeal that burn in the priestly Heart of Christ."
You can find his blog here at; http://aodonline.wordpress.com/
Welcome to the Blogosphere!!
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Doctor succeeds Fr. Brian Stanley, who will enter the Chaplaincy of the U.S. Army in September. Doctor was ordained on May 13, 2006 by Bishop Murray, and served as parochial vicar for St. Joseph Church in Battle Creek, St. John Church in Albion, St. Joseph Church in St. Joseph, and most recently, St. John and St. Bernard, both in Benton Harbor.
Fr. Doctor comes from Griffith, Ind., and is highly educated, earning a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from St. Joseph’s College in 1998. He holds a master of arts in historical theology from St. Louis University in 2000, a master of divinity and master of arts in spirituality from the Sacred Heart Seminary in Detroit in 2005.
- Welcome Father! We're glad to have you!!! God Bless you in your work!
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
Tomás Luis de Victoria
Sebastián de Vivanco
Guillaume de Machaut
I'm sure many of you guessed the most obvious answer, "Well, they're famous composers!" But another look takes us deeper than that... They were all Catholic Priests!!
Sunday, June 21, 2009
O Gentlest heart of Jesus, ever present in the Blessed Sacrament, ever consumed with burning love for the poor captive souls in Purgatory have mercy on the soul of Thy departed servant, Rose.
Be not severe in Thy judgment but let some drops of Thy Precious Blood fall upon the devouring flames, and do Thou O merciful Saviour send the angels to conduct her to a place of refreshment, light and peace. Amen.
Friday, June 19, 2009
O Jesus, our great High Priest, Hear my humble prayers on behalf of your priest, Father Doctor.
Give him a deep faith,
a bright and firm hope,
and a burning love,
which will ever increase in the course of his priestly life.
In his loneliness, comfort him.
In his sorrows, strengthen him.
In his frustrations, point out to him.
Point out that it is through suffering that the soul is purified, and show him that he is needed by the Church, he is needed by souls, he is needed for the work of redemption.
O loving Mother Mary, Mother of Priests,
take to your heart your son who is close to you because of his priestly ordination, and because of the power which he has received to carry on the work of Christ in a world which needs him so much.
Be his comfort,
be his joy,
be his strength,
Thursday, June 18, 2009
It began with ten altar servers (all in cassocks-- one thurifer, two candle bearers, one cross bearer, and six others) processing around the church while Father held the Monstrance up high with the Most Blessed Sacrament adorned inside. As we processed around all went to their knees in adoration.
Then, after we made the procession, we entered down the center aisle of the nave with twenty-two Knights of Columbus standing there at attention with swords drawn. The respect for the Most Holy Eucharist was incredible. As it should be always, but even more on Corpus Christi Sunday.
The Mass was beautiful. Everything went smoothly and the music was very very good. The Schola Cantorum used the Orbis Factor Mass setting and during the Offertory a quartet sang Edward Elgar's "Ave Verum Corpus." Most appropriate for Corpus Christi Sunday. (Should be on Thursday... but that's another post for another time)
Last weekend's Mass was Father's last Sunday Mass at St. Charles Borremeo Parish before he leaves on Friday. The fact that the quartet sang that particular "Ave Verum Corpus" had a double meaning. Mainly, to praise Jesus in His most precious body offered as a sacrifice, but also as a tribute to Father. It just happens to be Father's most favorite hymn, and that he hasn't heard it at a Mass since his ordination. Let's just say we got Father a little emotional after that. ;)
God works in wondrous ways. Having Father's last Parish Mass be on Corpus Christi which calls for the Ave Verum to be sung, that happens to be Father's favorite version. Everything that happens happens out of God's love for us.
The "Little Flowers Girls' Club" is a Catholic program for girls ages 5 and up based on learning Catholic virtues through the lives of Catholic saints, Scripture and the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Developed by a Catholic mom of eleven, Rachel Watkins, and based on Fr. Lasance's Catholic Girls' Guide, the Club strives to bring the Catholic faith alive and inspire the girls to become authentic Catholic women.
Nine virtues are included in each of three different Wreaths or years of study. A fourth year, studying the fruits of the Spirit is also available. The format of the Clubs is flexible, with groups meeting monthly, bi-monthly or weekly. Badges for the virtues are earned by studying the saint associated with the virtue, memorizing relevant scripture verses and studying the Catechism. The program is flexible enough to use with a variety of age groups.
Little Flowers Girls' Club has also been successfully implemented in the family. Sashes, vests, skirts, bandannas, t-shirts and other items are extras that add to the experience, but are not necessary to running a successful Club. The Leader's Guide for each Wreath offers suggestions for running meetings, planning crafts and activities, talks on virtues and other relevant information. The Member's Guide includes the activities, saints' biographies, pictures of the saints, and prayers for each girl.
I interviewed my sister about different aspects of being in the "Little Flowers Girls' Club."
This is what she said she liked the best about being in the club:
"Because I get to study different saints, sometimes we get to do crafts, and I have to memorize verses--I like to memorize sometimes, and sometimes I don't want to at all. Small ones (verses)are easy to memorize, but the longer ones are hard to memorize. But I do it anyway."
How the Little Flower Girls has helped her grow in faith:
"It's a club where younger girls study female saints, virtues, and earn patches when we learn all of this. It makes me better to study all of this because I know more about it, about the saints. After I learn this stuff I pray to the saints more, and it helps me to be a better person by knowing these good virtues. It helps me to be a better person."
Prayer to St. Therese of the Child Jesus--
(Said at the beginning of every meeting)
St. Therese, you who are called the little Flower, pray that I may always live as a good child of God. May I always do the little things of life extra well for the love of God. St. Therese, you loved flowers and you wanted to give to Jesus the flowers of many, many souls. Now that you are in heaven, let fall upon earth a shower of roses by your prayers. Bring many more souls to Jesus. Pray to the mother of God for us that she will smile on her children here on earth. Amen.
Thursday, June 11, 2009
The origin of this devotion had been slowly beginning throughout the middle ages until a series of visions, calling for the devotion, took place. The most significant source for the devotion to the Sacred Heart in the form it is known today was formed by Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque, who claimed to have received visions of Jesus Christ. There is nothing to indicate that she had known the devotion prior to the revelations.
During the octave of Corpus Christi, 1675, probably on June 16, the vision known as the "great apparition" reportedly took place, where Jesus said, "Behold the Heart that has so loved men ... instead of gratitude I receive from the greater part (of mankind) only ingratitude ...", and asked Margaret Mary for a feast of reparation of the Friday after the octave of Corpus Christi.
In the Roman Catholic tradition, the Sacred Heart has been closely associated with Acts of Reparation to Jesus Christ. Acts of Reparations are prayers or devotions with the intent to repair the "sins of others." Such as, the repair of the sin of blasphemy, the sufferings of Jesus Christ or as Acts of Reparation to the Virgin Mary. These prayers do not usually involve a petition for a living or deceased person, but aim more to repair sins done in the past.
The Feast of the Sacred Heart has been a Solemnity in the Roman Catholic liturgical calendar since 1856, and is celebrated 19 days after Pentecost. As Pentecost is always celebrated on Sunday, the Feast of the Sacred Heart always falls on a Friday. In 2009, it will be celebrated on June 19.
What I didn't know though, is that starting yesterday, was the beginning of the Sacred Heart Novena until the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart on Friday. (I found this out from reading a post on Diane Korzeniewski's blog at Te Deum Laudamus.)
For Easter I got, "Novena Book of Prayers." So I'm going to start the novena tonight. A day late, but I have the Universal Church and all of her prayers to cover me. =D
Next Friday, the 19th, is Father's last day here at St. Charles Borromeo Parish. I think he is celebrating Mass at 9 o'clock before he leaves. Update: Father is having Mass on Friday the 19th at 9:00. At the Mass, our Flower Girls will be recieving their "Rosary Patches" that they've earned.
Sunday, June 7, 2009
Father Stanley has had a profound impact on the spiritual growth and development of the parish community; always emphasizing the need for the Sacraments, especially Confession, and the respect for the Holy Eucharist through a liturgical dignity and orthodoxy that has become part of the fabric of this parish. He has, most importantly, challenged us as Catholic Christians to take up our cross and follow Christ, no matter what the repercussions. Father has had his share of dissenters- those who would rather not hear the Truth of the Church's teachings, and I know this has been a source of pain for him. But, through it all he has remained loyal to the Eucharist and the magisterium of the Holy Mother Church. This is, indeed, his greatest legacy to our parish.
(I Thessolonians 5:23-24)
God, is the One who is above time. God, who lives above all time, consists in the Holy Trinity; the Cause, the Maker, and the Perfecter. That is, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. But they are not that separate from each other, neither are they so combined together to be restricted to one person.
Jesus often refers to God as His Father. Jesus is also God's only begotten Son. So, in this relationship between Son and Father we are brought in as God's children, Jesus' brothers and sisters. This love, and relationship between the Father to His Son, and then to us, is what the Holy Spirit is; God's mystical breath that consumes each of us completely.
Glory be to the Father, Who by His almighty power and love created me,making me in the image and likeness of God.
Glory be to the Son, Who by His Precious Blood delivered me from hell, and opened for me the gates of heaven.
Glory be to the Holy Spirit, Who has sanctified me in the sacrament of Baptism, and continues to sanctify me by the graces I receive daily from His bounty.
Glory be to the Three adorable Persons of the Holy Trinity, now and forever. Amen.
Friday, June 5, 2009
Wednesday, June 3, 2009
In the past it seems as though we have followed an extreme Augustinian movement. I mean that we have cared and nurtured our emotions rather than our intellect. This, I believe, caused many problems to thus erupt, the main being the misunderstanding of Vatican II. One can still see the affect our emotions play in our logic and morality that we use everyday.
I'm not saying emotions are a bad thing. On the contrary, I think emotions are a wonderful thing. They are what drive us to love God. I am saying that when we need to build these emotions, on Truths. Moral Truths.
If we as Catholics, and as Christians, use our intellect, with all emotions aside, we start to understand what the Church has to teach and why. Knowing this creates a stronger faith inside of the individual.
I believe we need both emotions and intellect. But, I believe we need to always rely and base our emotions off of our intellect and reasoning. For emotions with no (good) reasoning behind them are pointless and uncalled for.
The tide is shifting. Soon, I believe, we will be forced to fall back to our intellect and to then either stand up for our faith, and the Truth. Or, we run away, and fall. Sadly enough I think this is where most of the people who "leave" the Catholic Church get off at. They do not have the faith in God, nor the strength. But would rather flee and run from the trial (even though, I believe trial will reach you in one form of another-- you can't out run it)
Notice I quoted ..."Leave" the Catholic Church. The reason I wrote it this way is because I believe one does not "leave" the Church, just the same as one does not enter the Church. We are all Catholics. Whether we accept it (know it) or not. We are all Catholics born into this world, and coming out of it. The Church consumes us. The Church takes us on. We do not take on the Church.
The Church has always gone through trials and hard times. Thus it still expands after 2000 years. With this growth in reform and tension in culture will come conflict. This conflict, I believe, will result in a great suffering and trials that we will have to endure.
Even though the church does not seek to be counter-cultural, but when the church is countered by society and culture of our day, it has no choice. The Church IS, and will never change. The church doesn't wish to create conflict between different standpoints. Really, the Church has, in the past forty years, been too tolerant and accepting of others' views.
But, in another sense, if the culture of our church - its practices, traditions, and moral thoughts- is the culture that is the One True Truth, then it is not a matter of the church being counter cultural anymore. Some would call this an extreme way of thinking, but it is that same extremism that says that Jesus Christ is Lord of all. Christ IS the Church, so thus, our extreme claim for Christ becomes our extreme claim for His Church.
Today there is much that is counter to the Catholic way of being. Every day I encounter something that pushes me (us all) closer and closer to that line; whether it be ignorant teachers or other classmates. The moral Truth is not very popular right now, nor was it ever. But, ironically, it is us who try to follow our moral Truths that are questioned and seen as the "outcast" or "pessimist" to the rest of society's views.
Great trials have begun to come, and will continue to come in bigger forms. I think we as Catholics, as people, and as a country, need this. It is time for us to grow up and stand up for what we believe. We all need to strengthen our faith and catecheses - or else we have nothing but the fire. But I am not afraid. God will deliver. God will bestow upon us however much we can handle.
From the depth of my nothingness, I prostrate myself before Thee, O Most Sacred, Divine and Adorable Heart of Jesus, to pay Thee all the homage of love, praise and adoration in my power. Amen.
-- St. Margaret Mary Alacoque
Sacred Heart of Jesus....have mercy on us.
Sacred Heart of Jesus....have mercy on us.