Time to wake up Catholics. Good article over at the National Catholic Register about the growing persecutions of the those who follow Christ.
Over at Father Z’s blog (which should be read daily) he has a post about Pope Leo XIII fighting laws that promote deviance from Divine and natural law. As we all know the current government in Washington has taken aim at Catholic social teachings, by mandating that Catholic institutions have to betray Church teachings on contraception, sterilization, and abortion. I urge all to go read the post over at the good fathers website.
I also saw in the comments, an official petition on the White Houses website. I also urge all to sign it and let the administration know that Catholics will fight for our rights.
PS Pray for our Bishops who are fighting this administration for encroaching on the First Amendment. They need the laity to back them up.
Back on December, 8 2011, which is the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, a Holy Day of Obligation, I was rushed for time and went to a parish near where I work. I had only gone to this parish for the random confession every now and then so I wasn’t sure what kind of liturgy to expect. I was delighted though after entering the parish that it was full of people on a Tuesday night.
The second thing I noticed while coming into the parish was how diverse it was. Which is always a good reminder for how universal our Church really is. The Catholic Church is not a church just for white people, black people, or you name what race. It is a Church for sinners of all races. It’s always a nice thought when thinking there is a billion other people besides myself who are Catholic and a Mass is being celebrated in every country in the world.
So what does this have to do with Latin? Well during the Mass the priest would flip-flop between English and Spanish. I don’t speak Spanish and I really only know a few words here and there. I found it distracting, but I understand why the parish chose to do this. However this flip-flopping is not unifying. Which lead me to wonder, why are our Masses no longer in Latin?
Latin is unifying and is the official language of the Church. When the Church produces documents, they are in Latin. The order of the Mass we use is formulated with Latin as the language to be used. The Pope believes learning our daily prayers in Latin will enrich our souls. Latin is beautiful and it is mystical, it requires thought. If the Mass is in Latin people have to pay closer attention and learn the Mass. In my opinion the vernacular translations can lead to a sense of complacency by the laity and can lead to improvisations by the clergy, which has only been challenged with the new English translations of the Mass, which ironically is closer to Latin.
Cardinal Newman when praying would always read line for line from a prayer-book or the Roman Missal because he believed when reading prayers you think about the words. I agree with that testament because I have rushed through prayers by memory, trying to get them done faster, but when I read from a prayer-book I pause and I reflect on the words that I am praying. I am not saying that all memorization is bad, but reciting from memory can lead to rushing where the words are just coming out with no meaning.
My stance on this issue isn’t very popular with certain wings of the Church. Over the last few decades since Vatican II, Catholic morality and teachings are being attacked in the public square while Catholic identity is at an all time low. To me Catholic identity starts with the liturgy and if having the Mass in the vernacular hasn’t kept people in the pews, maybe that needs to be reevaluated. Latin is part of our identity, and to run from it as many in the Church have since Vatican II, both clergy and laity, it’s no wonder why our identity is so weak.
This has to be one of my favorite prayers and it truly is a shame that it is not said following Mass anymore. Pope Leo XIII formulated this prayer at the end of the 19th century and made it obligatory to say at the end of Mass, which lasted until the Second Vatican Council. This prayer is a daily reminder of sin and reminds us of the presence of Satan, which we should always be on the watch for.
Latin is the language of the Church and we should all strive to learn the Church’s prayers in her native language. There is a sense of mystery to the Latin language and can add a layer to prayer life. The Holy Father has challenged all faithful to pick up the practice of learning prayers in Latin again.
English 1962 Roman Missal
|Sancte Michael Archangele, defende nos in proelio, contra nequitiam et insidias diaboli esto praesidium. Imperet illi Deus, supplices deprecamur: tuque, Princeps militiae coelestis, Satanam aliosque spiritus malignos, qui ad perditionem animarum pervagantur in mundo, divina virtute, in infernum detrude.
|Holy Michael Archangel, defend us in the day of battle; be oursafeguard against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray: and do thou, Prince of the heavenly host, by the power of God thrust down to hell Satan and all wicked spirits, who wander the world for the ruins of souls.
I was sent a text message last night from a college friend that contained wonderful news. He told me the parish that is instrumental in me becoming Catholic, is now being elevated to the status of minor basilica by his Holiness Pope Benedict XVI. I thought it would be fitting to give my testament of the church and why it is truly a wonderful parish.
I came into the Church on March 22, 2008. I did this at a very special
place, St. Michael’s parish in Pensacola, Florida. I feel very blessed that when I felt the call to become Catholic it was the beauty of this church that finally brought me in her doors. I worked in downtown Pensacola and I would pass the parish everyday and my eyes were drawn to the traditional architecture and beautiful roof, which is an aged copper teal. There are very few parishes in America that can match the outward beauty of this church which spreads outwards into the community.
When I finally had made the decision to enter the doors of St. Michael’s I was awestruck by the beauty in the church. The ceiling of the parish is dark stained wood with beautiful arches. There is breathtaking stain glass that really brings our Saints to life. The communion rail is still in tact, but sadly not in use. There are statues of St. Mary, St. Joseph, St. Michael, and St. Francis. St. Michael’s church is truly a house of God.
The parish has a deep history and shows that Catholicism isn’t just the current wave of spiritualism, but it is the timeless religion that Jesus Christ ushered in. I found this quote from the Diocese of Pensacola-Tallahassee website, click here to go there.
Basilica is a title of honor bestowed on a church of historical and spiritual importance by the Holy Father. Churches honored with the title Basilica belong to two classes, major and minor. There are four major basilicas in Rome (St. Peter’s, St. John Lateran, St. Mary Major, and St. Paul Outside the Walls) and 72 minor basilicas in the United States, in addition to more than 1500 other minor basilicas throughout the world.
The Basilica of St. Michael the Archangel was designated in part due to its long history. Tracing its roots to the Spanish exploration of northwest Florida in the 16th century, the parish was canonically established in 1781 and is the oldest continuously operating parish in the state of Florida. The current church building was dedicated in 1886.
Lastly I would like to thank Father McLaughlin, who has been the pastor of the parish since 2004 and is the priest who gave me my first sacraments. I will always be thankful for that and will hold those formation years under him with great regard.
Beautiful churches are not just for vanity, they bring an outward sign to our spiritual lives that will draw us in deeper into God’s mysteries and love. They also proclaim our Catholic identity which helps shape the world according to God’s will.
I will also being posting St. Michael’s prayer attributed to Pope Leo XIII as a new page at the top of the blog in Latin and English. This prayer used to be obligatory at the end of Mass, and should be part of all Catholics daily prayers.
Well I have already failed this year. One of my resolutions was to be a more consistent blogger and unfortunately I have already lost two weeks of this current year!
My wife and I are going strong though on our abstinence from meat on Fridays though! I see our bishops in the future joining with the good bishops of England and Wales so this could be a new resolution for those currently not practicing one of the Church’s great traditions of sacrifice.
God Bless, more to come soon.
So this post is a bit later than I would have liked it to have been, but it is still an important one. I was hoping to get it out before the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. We as Catholics are called to keep the Sabbath holy. And our holy days are usually reserved for Sundays, but occasionally throughout the year we have special feast days and solemnities that are honored and we are to keep those days holy as well. The meaning of this post is why holy days of obligation need to be honored and how as a Church we can promote them better.
Why are holy days special? Well they break the routine of our daily lives and they bring us to God and to his Sacraments. We set aside time to honor God. They are times of renewal for our spiritual lives. And they are uniquely Catholic and strengthen our identity. These special days are just as special as Sundays and carry with it the requirement to attend. So why are the pews not as packed as they are on Sundays?
Well simply put I don’t think parishes promote holy days as well as they could. Sure there may be a mention or two during Mass. But very few times do I hear, “if you choose not to attend Mass on Thursday because you do not want to, you will have committed a mortal sin”. Now it is one thing to forget about it during the hustle and bustle of normal life, but that should also be a reminder on the little focus we are making for God in our lives.
For the most recent holy day, Feast of the Immaculate Conception, I started looking online the night before for times to go on Thursday because I was working and I knew time would be tight. My home parish website did not have a listing for the holy day, I could find it in the bulletin though. Wasted opportunity by my home parish, the day should have been front and center! There is also a parish I drive by everyday that has a fancy electric sign out front. Low and behold, no mention of the holy day. Sure there is the typical life teen Mass announcement and the same scripture verse that is there week in and week out. Another wasted opportunity to promote the holy day of obligation.
Another thing wrong with holy days of obligation in the American Church, is that the Bishops (USCCB) have decided that moving feast days is a good thing. So in America the Epiphany of our Lord is celebrated on a Sunday between January 2nd and the 8th. The FEAST DAY IS JANUARY 6th! Moveable feast days dumb down the importance of making time for God. If a feast day is supposed to happen on a Monday, let it fall on a Monday! Don’t move it!
Oh and Ash Wednesday is not a holy day of obligation, but somehow everyone makes it to that one. Maybe its because there is an outward ritual that is practiced that day…which one could argue there are certain rituals that have been lost since Vatican II, that are also an outward sign of our faith.
Well I hope everyone is having a wonderful Advent and is looking forward to the coming of Christ at Christmas!
Is this such a hard word to understand? If you have looked the word up at Merriam-Webster’s website you would think the Church declared war on the laity.
Con·sub·stan·tial simply means, of the same substance or one in being. As in the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are of the same substance. Truly three divine persons and truly one divine being. Jesus was not created by God, He is and always will be God.
The Church fathers at the Council of Nicea used this wording to safeguard the Holy Trinity from heretics who denied the Trinity. And our current Church fathers are trying to safeguard the Mass as well make it more reverent.
Hope all are having a blessed Advent and are adjusting to the new translation!
Over at Father Z’s blog I saw this post which I think all should take to heart. The Mass is our most important prayer, and liturgical abuses by the clergy… and by the laity should be rooted out. I suggest reading Fr. Z’s post, D. Covington: Bp. Foys issues liturgical decrees – No joy for “hand holders”.
Every week at Mass I cringe. I cringe because I know something that is not part of Mass is going to interrupt my worship of God. A moment that is not necessary and that has never been supported. This moment would be hand holding during the Our Father.
I came into the Church at St. Michael’s in Pensacola, Florida. St. Michael’s is one of the oldest parishes in America and is a fairly traditional parish. While I was a member at St. Michael’s, people did not hold hands nor raise them in any distracting way. This all changed when I went to college, where most people were doing it. This led to confusion on my part and I began to wonder if I was participating in Mass correctly or not. So I began holding hands with my neighbor, and I cringe to say it…I even held my hands up at different times during certain prayers. I was lucky though and found out this is an abuse by the laity and is not a correct form of liturgical gestures. The following quote is taken from Father Z’s blog and is from His Excellency Roger J. Foys, Bishop of Covington.
c. Special note should also be made concerning the gesture for the Our Father. Only the priest is given the instruction to “extend” his hands. Neither the deacon nor the lay faithful are instructed to do this. No gesture is prescribed for the lay faithful in the Roman Missal; nor the General Instruction of the Roman Missal, therefore the extending or holding of hands by the faithful should not be performed.
Even though hand holding is not part of the Mass and I have never witnessed clergy encouraging the act, I have also never heard them discourage it. Which has led to some weird practices among the laity. On occasion I have seen the laity leave their pews and join with people across the aisle. The strangest hand holding moment I have seen would have to be the “snake chain”. This is where the laity in the pews, in front of and behind me, connected. The most intrusive moment for me was when a lady stuck her hand out and expected me to hold hers as well. When I did not reciprocate my hand she held my shoulder. I charitably did not shrug it off and I shook her hand during the sign of peace.
Our liturgy is the most important prayer in our Church and the source of our Catholic identity and is not a time for improvisations.