Monday, December 28, 2009

21!

I have reached that great American milestone and marked it by attending Mass on the Feast of the Holy Innocents (and a Benedict's Bock beer at Granite City Brewery). I used to hate the fact that my birthday coincided with the memorial of Herod's slaughter of Jesus' generation but I've come to cherish it; they are the patron saints of choir boys and great intercessors for the current holocaust. Hopefully they will help me keep and cultivate a childlike innocence as I head further out into the world, to be in it but not of it.

I would also like to share what will be consuming future entries of this journal and increase readership I expect!

On 5 February 2010 I will be leaving to study abroad at the Angelicum in Rome, Italy through the Catholic Studies Rome Program at the University of Saint Thomas. While there, I will study bioethics, poetry, art and architecture, Latin, and conversational Italian as well as soak up all of Italian culture, living each day as a Roman, and absorbing all kinds of Catholicism in the Eternal City. Pray for me. I will pray for you throughout the various pilgrimage sites. Stay tuned for various updates and pictures coming from around Italy and Europe through June 2010.

Friday, December 25, 2009

His Holiness, Benedict XVI; Christmas 2009

Midnight Mass
Solemnity of the Nativity of Our Lord
24 December 2009
Saint Peter's Basilica
Homily of His Holiness Benedict XVI

Urbi et Orbi Message of His Holiness Benedict XVI
25 December 2009
Saint Peter's Square

The Proclamation of the Birth of Christ


Today, the twenty–fifth day of December,
unknown ages from the time when God created the heavens and the earth
and then formed man and woman in his own image.

Several thousand years after the flood,
when God made the rainbow shine forth
as a sign of the covenant.

Twenty–one centuries from the time of Abraham and Sarah;
thirteen centuries after Moses led the people of Israel
out of Egypt.

Eleven hundred years from the time of Ruth and the Judges;
one thousand years from the anointing of David as 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,
Jesus Christ, 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.

Today is the nativity of our Lord Jesus Christ according to the flesh.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Building New Churches

On Saturday 21 November 2009, the Fraternity of Saint Michael of the Catholic Studies Men's House at the University of Saint Thomas made a pilgrimage to North Saint Paul, MN to visit the parish of our interim chaplain, Father Dan Griffith. The Church of Saint Peter consecrated their new sanctuary in 2008. Father Griffith said the 9am Saturday morning Mass and then showed the men of the Fraternity all the art, architecture, planning, and nuances that went into building the church.

The parish dedicated their capital campaign to the Blessed Virgin on the Solemnity of Mary the Mother of God, 1 January 2006. The new sanctuary incorporated the old structure. Half of the old sanctuary has been turned into a daily Mass chapel featuring the altar, statues, etc from the old church. The back half of the old church is now the narthex of the new. Many strong symbols of the Pilgrim Church stand out in the architecture. New art was commissioned: a statue of Saint Peter for the narthex, excellent reproductions of Caravaggio paintings, icons of Christ the King, Mary Mater Ecclesiae, and Saints Peter and Paul. Throughout the neo-romanesque sanctuary are incorporations of recycled materials, mostly from the Boston Archdiocese. The immersion baptismal font in the narthex was created from a communion rail, for example. Perhaps the greatest evidence of the Divine Hand and Maternal guidance were in the surprises along the way. The only baldichin avaliable in the country fit the dimensions of the apse perfectly. One of a king stained glass windows featuring the life of Saint Peter, in storage for about 15 years, precisely fit the dimensions of the window openings, all unplanned.

The organ is a mix of pipe and digital. A comprimise due to costs, space was left avaliable to slowly add the pieces to create a full pipe organ in the future. Several windows have yet to be inserted. More icons and art will adorn the sanctuary in the coming decades. The new sanctuary stands for the thriving Church of God alive and well in the 21st century.

The new church marks a more authentic interpretation of the Second Vatican Council. It stands for an organic development of the Church's art and architecture in the third millenium. The church brings the faithful to the center and reason for its construction: Jesus Christ. There is no doubt of the Salvation History and Paschal Mystery boldly proclaimed by its believers.

For more information on the Church of Saint Peter visit http://www.churchofstpeternsp.org/

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Musicianship at Mass

Building a Musical Foundation on Rock

Over the summer I had the fortunate opportunity to work on an ongoing research project concerning sacred and liturgical music and the Roman Rite of the Mass under the mentorship of Father Michael Joncas, professor of Catholic Studies and Theology at the University of Saint Thomas. The summer afforded me the chance to look at Church documents and the Mass and music in a way I could not in the classroom yet had wanted to explore for a long time.

For the first phase of my research, I read numerous documents from Pope Pius X’s Tra le Sollecitudini through Sing to the Lord! Music in Divine Worship written by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops in 2007. I quickly realized sacred music and liturgy do not have the clear cut explanations I thought they might. In fact, I just became more and more confused as the research progressed. I began a second phase of the research which involved “participant observation”, that is, attending a Mass while observing reactions from the congregation, music style and performance, attention to rubrics, and other elements of the experience of Mass at any given parish.

These observations are not immune to my own personal reactions. In fact, my reactions are key. I was raised in a fairly “traditional” parish; many of the more “progressive” parishes stretched my sensibilities and made me ask serious questions about my own faith and prayer life, areas of critical importance when planning a career as a Church musician. Through all the subjective and varied opinions, I had to take a step back and search for the objective, some grounded truth on which I could be as one “who dug deeply and laid the foundation on rock [which] could not [be shaken]…because it had been well built” (Lk 6: 48). Music at Mass is not just a service to the Mass. It is meant to become the liturgy itself. Hymns are secondary. The true music at Mass are elements like a chanted Eucharistic Prayer, the Great Amen, or a sung Responsorial Psalm. If music is liturgy, then how is musical artistry appropriately used?

Benedict XVI, then Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, wrote Spirit of the Liturgy in 1999. As a theologian from the Second Vatican Council, as one deeply devoted to music and liturgy, and as one elected to the Apostolic See of Saint Peter, I figured he would be a good place to start. He writes in his chapter, “Music and the Liturgy” that “Artistic freedom increasingly asserts its rights, even in the liturgy. … It is clear that these opportunities for artistic creativity and the adoption of secular tunes brought danger with them. Music was no longer developing out of prayer, but, with the new demand for artistic autonomy, was now heading away from the liturgy; it was becoming an end in itself…[and] alienating the liturgy from its true nature” (145-146). It is prudent to note, he was talking about the “Great Tradition” of Catholic music, that of the Middle Ages!

In our transitions as a culture from one age to the next, we find trends in the any era but especially the modern one, to see “music as pure subjectivity, music as the expression of mere will” (155). The Catholic musician must ground himself in the doctrine and devotions of the Church, using it as the inexhaustible source for further artistry and expressions of faith. Benedict reminds musicians that “Humble submission to what goes before us releases authentic freedom” (156) in the life of service to the Church.

As a musician, it is easy to fall into the “musician’s ego”, to worry about each last detail and be so consumed by the music you forget about the Mass and Who you glorify in the work. As Catholics, musicians need special devotion away from making music. Daily Mass and reception of Holy Communion, Eucharistic Adoration, devotion to the Blessed Mother, and contemplative silence are just a few concrete ways to build a steady relationship with the Divine. Many of the problems in maintaining a sense of orthodoxy to the Church and making the Mass accessible to all is a loss of the foundational devotion that has fed the Church for centuries. My purpose here is not to condemn or lift up one musical style over another. All genres must be analyzed with an orthodox heart and conscience.

The music before the Second Vatican Council was not broken; it worked and fed thousands of saints on the way to holiness! The test of time proves what works and what does not. Contemporary musicians ought to draw on the success of the Catholic Church’s store of musical treasures and once the house has been built on rock, then move forward to develop the Church in the new millennium, in the call of Pope John Paul II, “The New Evangelization”!

Trust Mother Church in all things. She has never steered a saint wrong yet!

This article was written for The Signature, the student-run newsletter of the Department of Catholic Studies at the University of Saint Thomas, Saint Paul, Minnesota.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Top 10: Sunday 6 September 2009

Here are the top 10 reasons why today rocked (in no particular order):

1. I attended the Minnesota State Fair.
2. We were back to celebrating regular Masses on campus.
3. I had brunch in the cafeteria.
4. I ate Alligator on a Stick.
5. I ate Sweet Martha's Cookies until they came out of my ears.
6. Most of the fraternity and my entire house has moved in.
7. I felt really good when I got up this morning.
8. Mother Teresa is watching out for me.
9. I finished The Mysterious Benedict Society.
10. Frances introduced me to Alexi Mordoch.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

12 Years in Heaven

Mother Teresa of Calcutta, humble sister of the slums, went to her Heavenly Father twelve years ago today. In marking the feast day of this servant of Jesus, let us pray to the now Blessed Teresa of Calcutta that we may have the grace to see Christ in the poorest of the poor.

Saint Paul Seminary in Saint Paul, Minnesota has a relic of Mother Teresa in their chapel, a piece of her hair. How blessed I felt to be able to pray before it begging her intercession on this, her feast day.

It is right and good that we go out and seek the poor, the suffering, help the third world countries, seeking to fix poverty and sickness in it's worst form. We should never forget, however, one of Mother Teresa's most frequent messages and pieces of advice. Seek the poorest of the poor right where you are. Who is Christ waiting to be helped, loved, cared for, satiated?

Christ's thirst on the cross, a thirst for souls.

We are United in the Hearts of Jesus and Mary!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Marking Time

The past few weeks have been a whirlwind of marking time. Mom is starting a new job. Patrick is off to college as a Freshman. Today, I returned to the University of Saint Thomas for my junior year of college. Things are coming around to me for the second time: campus ministry retreat, familiar faces, greeting a new class of Freshman, catching up with friends I haven't seen all summer.

And time is marked as new experiences show themselves. I will no longer be taking theory. The campus landscape changes by the day. I am taking on new responsibilities and I do not look at things the same way I did one or two years ago. (Hopefully I am more Eucharistic centred.) One of the biggest changes is living in the Catholic Studies Men's House. I moved in today to a house owned by UST where I will live with four other men coupled with another house of four in the Fraternity of Saint Michael. Suddenly I am back at school but in a way I have never been before. Life seems to take form. God has his hand in everything and I am giving it all to Him. May I be able to take life moment by moment; may I always find God in everything.

We never know what direction our lives will take us. We never know when things may begin. We never know when things may end. In all things may God be glorified. As our faiths deepen, we can be more sure that we are right where God wants us even in our biggest struggles.

I'm told Sister Briege McKenna has said:

"Give it all to Jesus. He'll take care of everything!"

We are United in the Hearts of Jesus and Mary!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Recent Events and My Musings

It has been nearly two months since I last posted. So much has happened! News channels are brimming with stories, scandals, and debates. What a critical time we live in.

Healthcare Reform
The absolute worst way to reform healthcare is to pass the public option and begin socialized medicine. We can all agree, healthcare needs reform. The government should not, however, be given this power. Make reforms in the private sector. Make reforms in insurance companies. The 47 million uninsured number is blown up to a crisis number. If analysed, we can figure out better ways to get people quality healthcare. To hurt the quality of care for those who have good healthcare is as much of an outrage as those who have none. (Not to mention the disrespect for life throughout HR3200's 1,018 pages.)

Death of Senator Kennedy
I tip my hat to the lion of the Senate. Glenn Beck, FoxNews host, put it well and I agree: I don't like the man man's politics but he always stood up for what he believed in. Dick Morris, former advisor to President Clinton, also put it well: He is a compass to the left. You may not want to go left but at least you know which direction is which. He did a number of good things during his career but he did not stand for life. He claimed Roman Catholicism and at the same time claimed support of abortion. His funeral was a laugh in the face of Catholics to have it broadcast on all the cable networks from the Basilica of Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Boston, with Sean Cardinal O'Malley present, particularly the policized General Intercessions. Please read a statement from the president of Human Life International, Reverend Thomas J. Euteneuer.

CIA Enhanced Interrogation/Torture
The CIA is a nasty game to play and I am in awe of those who take on the job of protecting our country in this manner. Shooting from the hip: Waterboarding is not torture. Former Vice President Cheney is right. This investigation is going to weaken the CIA system and make those who work there scared of what accusation will come next. Let us be realistic and vigilant in the protection of our country.

Scotland and Lybia
A terrorist who killed a plane-full of people should not be released on "compassionate grounds". There is Christian compassion and then there is international security and relations. A killer returned home to a hero's welcome and now there are reports of the bomber's release being the result of a multi-million dollar oil deal. Outrage.

And so...
Your comments?

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Karen Carpenter and Ella Fitzgerald

All talent comes from God. Certain individuals just overflow with it and one can't help but be amazed at creation. This video is two timeless singers of different eras singing timeless songs. Enjoy Ella and Karen!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Getting Around to It Eventually

I finally made it down to the Missionaries of Charity! It has been so long (much to my embarassment) since I've been down to volunteer. The summer camp I attempted to help with last week was no longer elusive. The weather cooled off dramatically, I knew where I was going, and cloudy skies hung overhead. All the kids were absolutely adorable and of course the MC Sisters just glowed with the joy of Jesus!

I couldn't stay the entire day, and excused myself after lunch to attend a meeting I had with a local parish priest. During my bike ride back I felt a lift in my soul. Too often I count "volunteering" and "doing service" as helping at Mass and those tasks I have to perform for my job. Anyone who works for the Catholic Church falls into this at some point. Regardless, helping out at Mass or working for the Church is no substitute for going that extra mile and getting out in direct service of someone's basic needs, taking care of a child, spending time with the elderly, serving Christ in the poorest of the poor. Living the Christian life involves this basic love. In order to be as sucessful as possible and lead the faithful more adequately at Mass in music, I must take that time to serve in this basic but often neglected area of spirituality.

I finally learned some interesting news about the new translation of the Mass working through all different levels of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. The bishops have met in San Antonio recently and NONE of the numerous translations for various kinds of Masses have been approved, a two-thirds majority being required before they are sent to the Vatican. I had no idea this kind of process was required or even going on. I figured it was a done deal. "The Mass in Thanksgiving for the Gift of Human Life", however, has been approved. Raymond Arroyo speaks more about it in an entry of his blog Seen and Unseen, on the EWTN website. He also talks about the continuing Notre Dame scandal.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Godless Marriages

I have recently gotten my PC-laptop back after a hard drive replacement. My home page is still set to MSNBC so after returning from a Sunday afternoon party, I found an article on marriage by Sandra Tsing Loh: Let's Call the Whole Thing off. Basically she sees no point to marriage anymore. I also watched the interview video from the Today Show. (That link will be scattered throughout the article.) If you are reading this, then you know me and my (and the Catholic Church's) views on marriage and family, unless you've randomly stumbled upon this site by some miracle. In that case, let me send you to a site that will give you some valuable information: Try this.

What I noticed from both the article and the video: I found no reference to God, a Supreme Being, or anything in marriage that is outside of the couple and their own emotions. The article and video never reached beyond erotic love. Marriage was apparently an institution for the convenience of agrarian societies and not a commitment to another person under the mastery of the Divine Lover.

The closing paragraph of this obnoxiously long article reads:

In any case, here’s my final piece of advice: avoid marriage — or you too may suffer the emotional pain, the humiliation, and the logistical difficulty, not to mention the expense, of breaking up a long-term union at midlife for something as demonstrably fleeting as love.

As Catholics, this is what we're up against in bringing the Gospel of Jesus to the world. The world's acceptance of love as "demonstrably fleeting", I believe is the beginning of the end. No love of neighbor, friend, parent, sibling, spouse...or God...could ever exist. What we rely on deep in our human nature, no one will believe can last forever.

Let us stay close to the Sacrament of Love, Our Lord Jesus Christ, our Lover, in the Holy Eucharist. Let us love one another as He has loved us.

Now to lighten your mood so you may bring joy to the world: Let's Call the Whole Thing Off

We are united in the Hearts (and Love!) of Jesus and Mary!

Monday, June 22, 2009

When Our Best Just Isn't Enough

I woke up this morning really excited...

I had made all the preparations last night. I was going to volunteer with the Missionaries of Charity for the first time in a long time! They are doing a summer camp this week and next at St. Vincent DePaul Catholic Church. I called, got an address, did a mapquest, was all set. So I thought.

I got off work at about 11, grabbed a quick lunch, and prepared for a 20 minute bike ride to Victoria Avenue in Saint Paul. It's the hottest day of the year so far and there is no such thing as a dry heat in Minnesota, but it's all for the Lord! I get down to where the map says I should go, get all excited, and find there is no church on the corner of Victoria and 7th. Hmm...

Well, I figure I could go back to Victoria North and try there. That required me to go all the way down 7th street nearly to downtown and up the huge Grand Avenue hill. Up and down every inch of Victoria and I can't find the church. At this point, I had been out in the brutal midday sun for nearly an hour and a half. My high-latitude Irish skin just couldn't take it anymore so I decide to call it a day.

After downing cup after cup of water I go back to the internet to find where I went wrong.

It turns out the church is on Virginia not Victoria.

So close (in distance not just name) and yet so far.

And so I struggle on. At some point in these next two weeks, St. Vincent DePaul will no longer be elusive. In the mean time, some soul must have really been ready to get out of Purgatory. What else can you do but offer it up. At least someone will get something out of my sunburn.

We are United in the Hearts of Jesus and Mary!

Friday, June 19, 2009

The Year of the Priest

The Year of the Priest has begun with Solemn Vespers at St. Peter's Basilica in Rome! The event involved a relic of St. John Mary Vianney who will be declared the patron saint of all priests during this year.

May all the Faithful come together to pray for our priests and a strengthening of vocations to all religious life.

Today is also the Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus. It is a day to reflect on the love Jesus has poured out for us in the Salvific Act. This heart, pierced by the lance in today's Gospel bore the pain that had been destined for us. May be grow more closely to His Sacred Heart and become more like Him day by day.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Corpus Christi

This year's Feast of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ, yesterday, June 14, 2009, marks the fourth anniversary liturgically of my blog. While all entries aren't visible, I am reflective about the past four years...where I've come and how far I have left to go.

During Father Rutten's homily at 10am Mass on campus, I thought about how poignant it is to put this feast and the tradition of a Eucharistic Procession where it is in the Liturgical Year. Over the course of a year, we experience all of Salvation History. It begins in Advent not only preparing for the Feast of the Nativity, but exploring the very beginning of the Bible. All too quickly the year passes and brings us up through the Paschal Mystery and Pentecost. Yesterday, we celebrate the Church of today...bringing Christ out into the world by means of Eucharistic Procession, witnessing to Him as we were taught 2,000 years ago.

Throughout the summer we celebrate the leftover mysteries that didn't fit particularly well...but they are anything but leftover! Saints feasts, the Assumption, the Triumph of the Holy Cross, All Saints and Souls Days, etc.

I attended the Archdiocesan Procession from The Little Sisters of the Poor Holy Family Residence to the Cathedral of Saint Paul in Saint Paul, Minnesota. After thirteen years, the bugs had all been worked out and I was duly impressed with how smooth the whole event ran. Bishop-Elect Lee Piche presided over the procession, a poignant beginning to his episcopacy. (He is officially consecrated on June 29...more to come.)

All praise and glory be to Jesus Christ in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar!

-------------------------------------

The Year of the Priest begins Friday overlapping with the Year of Saint Paul for 11 days. What am I going to do with my blog banner? Time to get creative.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Lessons of Solitude and Silence

Summer has arrived in the minds of most people if not astrologically. This constitutes my first summer not being entirely at home. Along with continuing to move into the world, there are many changed going on around me.

My mind is a blur...my brother graduated high school...I have made two trips home in the past month and will possibly make another in the next few weeks...my whole life pattern has flipped for the summer from class, homework, and more homework to work and research...the landscape of my campus is changing with the demolition of two buildings and construction of new athletic and student centres...

I have been on my own more than usual. I have no roommate right now and I am slowly adjusting and learning to enjoy the solitude and silence. In fact, it seems exactly what I need. I get back to my dorm room...I don't have a TV...I don't have a radio or CD player that works...my laptop was sent in to get its harddrive replaced...what am I supposed to do with all this silence?

Pray. Contemplate. Be in God's Presence. Read a book. Go for a walk. Liesure. This is exactly what I have been dreaming about in class during the semester. It is finally here and I don't know what to do with myself. Society is too fast-paced; it's too filled with constant distraction.

SILENCE and SOLITUDE

And so I am learning to just sit and be. I'm learning to waste time with others. I'm learning to take advantage of the moment and live in it. I am learning to constantly put my heart in the Presence of the Sacred Heart. These summer lessons are the most important and best ones I will ever learn.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Holy Thursday

Bells ring for the last time; the Gloria is sung; the churches are elaborately decorated; Jesus is brought to a flourishing garden for a night of deep, sorrowful, agonizing prayer...

The Church begins the Triduum with Holy Thursday.

During the day, many dioceses celebrate the Chrism Mass, where the oils for anointing are mixed and blessed and all priests renew their priesthood.

Then is celebrated the Evening Mass of the Lord's Supper: the commemoration of the Last Supper and the institution of the Eucharist followed by a solemn time of adoration in the Garden of Gethsemane at the Altar of Repose.

The Church begins the celebration of the Paschal Mystery...

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Holy Week

The Church has entered the Holiest Week of the Year!!

May the graces of God pour out upon the whole world so that we all may be United in His SACRED HEART!!

God willing, I will have special posts for the Triduum...stay tuned.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Spiritual Practices

I've been told from a very reliable spiritual source never to change a spiritual practice in times of desolation. Always keep striving through the spiritual practices. As you may or may not know, I began writing here as a spiritual exercise to organize my thoughts, practice writing, etc., not really caring who saw it, just writing entirely for my own benefit. Recently I have taken a break as school started again and the semester began in full force…maybe to not pick it up again?

Well that all changed with a conversation over dinner at Scooter's when I find there are people who have discovered my writing and check frequently! And so here I am, motivated to write again…a kick in the pants from Our Beloved Lord Jesus Christ.

In keeping with the theme of spiritual practices, I have a story from my Catholic Studies class last Tuesday. My professor, Dr. Jonathan Reyes, shared a story of his family that fit in with our study of Genesis and the Creation. We were discussing the significance of six days of work and a seventh day of rest. Dr. Reyes and his wife felt a calling a few years ago to truly organize their family around observing Sunday in a special way. This included a dinner Saturday night once the vigil began and quality family time. After while of this practice, Reyes was putting his daughter to bed when she said, "Daddy? I think I figured out what Heaven is like. Heaven is like Sunday only it's every day."

When we make our time God's time and let Him control everything, He works wonders in our lives. As the semester, work, or whatever responsibilities we have pile up and our lives become hectic, let us remember to find Christ in all things and realize His powerful work in every second that is His.

We are United in the Hearts of Jesus and Mary!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Feast of Saint Thomas Aquinas

Today is a special day here at the University of Saint Thomas. We're celebrating the feast of our patron saint, Thomas Aquinas.

For information him, go to EWTN's biography page filled with an article and other media resources on this spiritual giant of our Faith.



SAINT THOMAS AQUINAS









Prayer of Saint Thomas Aquinas

THANKSGIVING AFTER MASS


Lord, Father all-powerful and ever-living God, I thank You, for
even though I am a sinner, your unprofitable servant, not
because of my worth but in the kindness of your mercy,
You have fed me with the Precious Body & Blood of Your Son,
our Lord Jesus Christ.
I pray that this Holy Communion may not bring me
condemnation and punishment but forgiveness and salvation.
May it be a helmet of faith and a shield of good will.
May it purify me from evil ways and put an end to my evil passions.
May it bring me charity and patience, humility and obedience,
and growth in the power to do good.
May it be my strong defense against all my enemies, visible and invisible, and the perfect calming of all my evil impulses,
bodily and spiritual.
May it unite me more closely to you, the One true God, and lead me
safely through death to everlasting happiness with You.
And I pray that You will lead me, a sinner, to the banquet where you,
with Your Son and holy Spirit, are true and perfect light, total fulfillment, everlasting joy, gladness without end, and perfect
happiness to your saints. grant this through Christ our Lord,
AMEN.

Source: http://www.ewtn.com/

Monday, January 26, 2009

The Sure Foundation

I began to look though YouTube for a video or photo montage to post today. I had trouble finding a good one. There is one thing I had to trouble realizing: Satan is rampant throughout the media. He is using all the technology and influence on people to lead us away from Jesus Christ and His Church.

People who have no foundations in the Church and who are extremists and sensationalists take whatever they can and twist it. Another video makes the Church in Pope into thieving money mongers. According to one video, Pope Benedict XVI is the last in a line of 111 pontiffs before Rome, the Vatican, and perhaps the world, are destroyed. Another points to Francis Cardinal Arinze's election as the next pontiff and the world ending very violently by 2013.

Cardinal Arinze had something different to say. Praise God I found a video that explains truth. Let us rest in the Church built on a Rock. Let us rest on the sure foundation of faith and devotion to the Eucharist.

video

Sunday, January 25, 2009

The Conversion of Saint Paul



On the Feast of the Conversion of Saint Paul, let us rededicate ourselves for the second half of the Pauline Year declared by Pope Benedict XVI.

The Papal Basilica: Saint Paul Outside-The-Walls


Prayer for the Year of Saint Paul

Glorious Saint Paul,
Most zealous apostle,
Martyr for the love of Christ,
Give us a deep faith,
A steadfast hope,
A burning love for our Lord,
So that we can proclaim with you,
“It is no longer I who live,
But Christ who lives in me.”

Help us to become apostles,
Serving the Church with a pure heart,
Witnesses to her truth and beauty
Amidst the darkness of our days.
With you we praise God our Father:
“To him be the glory, in the Church
And in Christ,
Now and forever.”

Amen.

Source: http://www.ewtn.com/

Thursday, January 22, 2009

IN MEMORIAM


IN MEMORY OF THE OVER FIFTY MILLION CHILDREN WHO HAVE DIED SINCE JANUARY 22, 1973.

ETERNAL REST, GRANT UNTO THEM, O LORD,
AND LET PERPETUAL LIGHT SHINE UPON THEM.
MAY THEIR SOULS AND THE SOULS OF ALL THE FAITHFUL DEPARTED,
THROUGH THE MERCY OF GOD, REST IN PEACE. AMEN.

Let us pray for an end to the holocaust!

Immaculate Heart of Mary, Cause of Our Joy and Queen of Peace, PRAY FOR US!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A New President

As the Presidential Administrations transfer power, may we pray for President Barack Obama that he may serve our nation well over the next four years.

God our Father,
All earthly powers must serve you.
Help our president Barack Obama
To fulfill his responsibilities worthily and well.
By honouring and striving to
Please you at all times,
May he secure peace and freedom
For all people entrusted to him.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ,
Who lives and reigns with you
And the Holy Spirit,
One God, for ever and ever. Amen.



Thank you, George W. Bush, for your eight years of service to our nation. We are forever grateful.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Dirty Little Secret

I was watching cable news the other day and came across a special report called “War on Women”. It immediately caught my eye and I stopped channel surfing. I was immediately plunged into an interview between three women discussing women’s issues. They were talking about how unfortunate it was that in the course of history, women have only recently gained the vote. There were statistics about domestic abuse. They made a case for society’s forgetfulness about women.

One dirty little secret was missing. There is one secret injuring millions of women and killing millions of children every year…thousands by the day. Where is the respect for LIFE in this country? Why don't we realize that abortion and disrespect for life negatively affect all of us not just the fetus?

We say we care for our women but we don’t. That is truly the war on women. We ignore post abortion trauma. We use "the pill" to cover up the symptoms of far too many medical problems instead of getting down to the root of the cause. And so I make a challenge. Women: Don’t stand for it. Demand to know the facts. Demand to be treated in a dignified manner. Demand your femininity as was ordained for you by God. You deserve to be treated as human beings and not as objects. Men: Stand up as woman’s protector. Show her the dignity you see in her. Make sure she knows you do not want any harm to come to her. If we don’t stand up and proclaim this dirty little secret, who will?

For over three and a half decades, a culture of death has loomed in the shadows. In the coming months legislation and the efforts of those who support the culture of death as a “choice” will try to advance these shadows. I call upon you to pray. Listen to the call of the Holy Spirit and help fight these evils as you are able. Several programs will begin at UST and nationwide to promote a culture of life and social justice. Please join in helping defend all life from conception until natural death.

"Dirty Little Secret", written by Kellen O'Grady, was originally published in the University of Saint Thomas's weekly Campus Ministry Bulletin, "The Good News".

Sunday, January 11, 2009

One Last Chance

For the last time this year…

I wish you all a very Merry Christmas!

As we celebrate the Baptism of the Lord, let us recall how much God loved us and how his example of humility is our call each day of our lives.

Friday, January 9, 2009

A Shameful Day for Illinois

On the morning of the ninth of January, the House of the General Assembly in Illinois impeached Governor Rod Blagojevich on several charges including the supposed "selling" of President-Elect Barack Obama's senate seat.

Governor Blagojevich spoke in a press conference the following afternoon and did not touch on anything of consequence. As I watched FOX News the anchor, Shepherd Smith, kept breaking in with his own commentary because the Governor kept making comments about his own accomplishments. He even paraded people up front that he has supposedly helped. Following his litany of good deeds, he finally claimed he had done nothing wrong, committed no crime. The best part was the poetry reading when he recited a Tennyson poem. He answered no questions from the press and quickly exited.

As an Illinois voter I am appalled. I have been expecting further corruption for most of his time in office as has been tradition in Illinois and Chicago for decades. The Republican party in Illinois has been on its deathbed for awhile now. When will the state turn itself around?

Abraham Lincoln is flipping in his tomb.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Persistence

Back at school, J-Term is unlike any other time during the school year. I only have one class to worry about for three hours four days a week. I'm working in Campus Ministry and finding time to just relax…read a book, watch a movie…or write.

I'm still trying to clear out all the clutter from my life. My problem usually consists of getting too busy and unfocused. Then the responsibilities pile up and I cannot focus on the most important time of my day, prayer. It is the center of everything! Why doesn't that idea stick with me? As Mother Theresa said, Everything starts with a prayer.

I visited the Missionaries of Charity in Minneapolis on Tuesday for the first time since last May. Sister Justus was very happy to see me. After working with the children in the after-school program, she invited me to stay for their Holy Hour of Adoration. It was one of the most beautiful experiences I have had in a long time. It was the simple idea of praying quietly before Our Lord's Sacred Presence. How beautiful!! Satiate His Thirst! His for me and mine for Him!

In the stillness of winter, as we prepare to settle into Ordinary Time, may we stay focused on the miracle of Christmas and strive to satiate His thirst. May we persist through our emotions and feelings and be able to hear Christ in the silence.

We are United in the Hearts of Jesus and Mary!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Proclamation of the Date of Easter on Epiphany

20 + C + M + B + 09

Dear brothers and sisters, the glory of the Lord has shone upon us,
and shall ever be manifest among us, until the day of his return.
through the rhythms of times and seasons
let us celebrate the mysteries of salvation.

Let us recall the year's culmination, the Easter Triduum of the Lord:
his last supper, his crucifixion, his burial, and his rising, celebrated
between the evening of the 9th of April
and the evening of the 12th of April.

Each Easter - as on each Sunday -
the Holy Church makes present the great and saving deed
by which Christ has for ever conquered sin and death.

From Easter are reckoned all the days which we keep holy.
Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent, will occur on the 25th of February.
The Ascension of the Lord will be commemorated on the 21st [or 24th] of May.
Pentecost, the joyful conclusion of the season of Easter, will be celebrated on the 31st of May.
And this year the First Sunday of Advent will be on the 29th of November.

Likewise the pilgrim Church proclaims the passover of Christ
in the feasts of the holy Mother of God, in the feasts of the Apostles and Saints,
and in the commemoration of the faithful departed.

To Jesus Christ, who was, who is, and who is to come, Lord of time and history,
be endless praise, for ever and ever.
Amen.

The Proclamation of the Date of Easter on Epiphany dates from a time when calendars were not readily available. It was necessary to make known the date of Easter in advance, since many celebrations of the liturgical year depend on its date. The number of Sundays that follow Epiphany, the date of Ash Wednesday, and the number of Sundays that follow Pentecost are all computed in relation to Easter.

Although the calendars now give the date of Easter and the other feasts in the liturgical year many years in advance, the Epiphany proclamation still has value. It is a reminder of the centrality of the resurrection of the Lord in the liturgical year and the importance of the great mysteries of faith which are celebrated each year.

Source: MAGNIFICAT; January 2009 - Vol. 10, No. 12

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Ring in 2009!

The digits have once again clicked over! A new year is upon us. 2008 was fraught with many challenges as well as joys. 2009 will have the same. A new administration will begin in our country. The 2012 campaign will begin. (Just kidding?) The Pauline Year continues through June.

Let each of us have the ability to follow God's will in the coming year. May He bless it with prosperity and happiness. As we read in our first reading at Mass today for the Holy Day for the Solemnity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of God:

The Lord bless you and keep you!
The Lord let his face shine upon you, and be gracious to you!
The Lord look upon you kindly and give you peace!

A very Happy New Year to you and your family.

We are United in the Hearts of Jesus and Mary!