Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Why Mass is Cheapened by Socializing

The house of God should be a place of prayer, as Jesus said. When people are chatting then those who seek to pray cannot. In the presence of Our Lord there should be silence and awe, for we participate in a profound mystery. From Life Site:
The liturgy of the Church has for its primary aim to honor and glorify God, and in so doing, to sanctify our souls, leading us to an ever deeper intimacy with Jesus Christ. In accomplishing these aims, the liturgy furthers the brotherhood of man: it enables fellowship to exist, for there is common brotherhood only in the common adoration of the Father through His Son. The problem with the notion of “fraternity” is not that it is completely false, but that it has been sundered from the only context in which it makes any sense, the only source from which it can actually come.
Sometimes people of “liberal” or “progressive” persuasions accuse traditionally-minded Catholics of so overemphasizing the transcendent and divine aspects of worship that we neglect the immanent and human aspects—that God gave liturgy to us for our benefit (“the sabbath was made for man, not man for the sabbath”), and that it is a communal activity that expresses and builds up our social bond with one another.
Now, there is no question that liturgy is a public and communal action, and that it redounds to our benefit; God is already absolutely perfect and unchangeably good in every way and cannot be improved by anything we do for Him. It is good and fitting for us to pray to God as a people and to be conscious of our neighbors as fellow citizens of the household of God. (All the same, the public character of the liturgy consists not in any number of people being present, but because of the action of Christ the High Priest as Head of His Mystical Body that extends through time and space; this is why even a “private Mass” offered by a priest alone is still a public and corporate act.) This being said, we must make sure that our grasp of the meaning of community is sufficiently in tune with the real nature of the Church.

First and foremost, when we worship we are in the presence of God and of His angels and saints. Reverence, solemnity, and majesty belong to worship precisely because it is no mere human gathering, but a momentary opening up of our world to the life and grace of the heavenly Jerusalem. We are joined to all the saved who have worshiped in the past, with all who worship in the present (whether next to us in the pew or anywhere else in the world), and, in a way hidden in God’s foreknowledge and predilection, with all who will worship for ages to come. It is not just “our” worship, the action of this particular local community; it always has a cosmic, universal, transtemporal dimension to it. (Read more.)

 From Virgo Potens:
The central act of Catholic worship is what we’re doing right now. The Mass. Now you know that I'm like a broken record, I don't come up with a lot of original stuff so I’m constantly droning on and on about how the Mass isn't about you, it’s about God. You've heard that from me a million times. What the Mass is, is the self sacrifice of Jesus to His father on Calvary re-presented in ritual form. That ritual form is the perfect act of the virtue of religion, whereby we pay to God the worship that is His due and it is perfect because it is God Himself in the person of the Son, who pays worship to the Father. 
That is why whenever we come to Mass, even if we don't receive Communion, our participation in it is still the perfect act of worship. It is the most pleasing thing we can ever offer to God, because we are offering Him His very own Son. Jesus died on the cross and that sacrifice of propitiation was completed, which is why the priest who stands in the person of Christ at the altar receives the entire contents of the host and the chalice to symbolize the consummation and completion of the sacrifice. You know even if there were a million people at Mass, the priest has to consume the sacrifice, the victim even if not one other person receives. If I drop dead after the consecration, eventually get around to calling the funeral home, but before then another priest has to come in to complete the sacrifice. In that sacrifice the symbolism of its completion is by the consuming of the elements by the priest.
There is a priest who celebrates the Latin Mass somewhere else in the diocese and I won’t say who he is but he got the flu and he was sicker than a dog and he was like, “I have to say Mass. I can’t do this.” So right after the consecration he literally just faints because he was so sick and so of course everyone was all kind of flustered because Father is laying on the ground in front of the altar and he’s grabbing on to the altar saying, “I have to finish the sacrifice! I have to finish it.” So he was like fighting people off of him so that he could finish the Mass and then go home and go to bed for several weeks.  (Read more.)

Friday, January 10, 2020

The Shrine of the Magi

From The Reliquarian:
The relics of the three kings remained in Milan until the twelfth century when the city of Milan rebelled against the Holy Roman Emperor, Frederick I, also known as Frederick Barbarossa. In need of assistance against the Milanese, the emperor appealed to Rainald von Dassel, Archbishop of Cologne, who recaptured Milan and delivered the city to the emperor. In gratitude, and “at the Archbishop’s great entreaty,” the emperor transferred the relics to the Archbishop in 1164. The Archbishop, “with great solemnity and in procession,” carried the bodies of the three kings from Milan to Cologne, where they were placed in the church of Saint Peter. “And all the people of the country roundabout, with all the reverence they might, received these relics, and there in the city of Cologne they are kept and beholden of all manner of nations unto this day.” The Historia concludes, “Thus endeth the legend of these three blessed kings—Melchior, Balthazar, and Jasper.”14 (Read more.)

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Honoring the Mother of God

Caravaggio (1571-1610) - Rest on the Flight into Egypt (Detail)
Here is a meditation on Our Lady by a Catholic writer who wishes to be known as Mi Amigo.
All Christians, Protestants and Catholics, as the Christian family seems to be divided, or defined, these days, have one thing in common: all believe in the divinity of Jesus Christ. In the matter of honoring his mother, Mary, with devotion and imitation, however, the commonality dissolves. Why?

All believe that In the beginning was the Word, that the Word is God, that woman and man are creatures made in the image and likeness of the Word, and that the Word incarnated on earth as a man in the fullness of God, as Jesus, born of a virgin known as Mary, to save us by the forgiveness of sins.
Mothers, imagine your child is the incarnation of the Word. An angel appears to you, and tells you that you are favored by God, for He sees that you are full of grace, so that He will overshadow you by His Spirit and bless you with His Presence so that you will bear....wait....Himself?….yes, Him.
Mothers, imagine that your child is born, and you are visited by kings, wise men, who bow down to your child and present Him with gifts representing royalty, prophecy and priesthood.

Mothers, imagine that your child is presented to the High Priest in the temple, and he looks you directly in the eyes with love and compassion, with thankfulness that you have blessed him with the opportunity to hold your child in his arms, and he tells you that your child will be a stumbling block to your nation, even while a Savior of the world, and that you, yourself, will be pierced in the soul.

Mothers, who are you? Who is Mary? You are the bearers, teachers, protectors, nurturers of the bodies of humanity bearing His breath of life, of us bearing his image and likeness, and we are eternally grateful in love to you for you. Mary was also the bearer, the teacher, the protector, the nurturer of a child: He who made you and us, your children, He from whom, in whom, and through whom we were made and now exist, and have the promise of eternal life.

Mothers, your children listen to you, follow you, and obey you (at least ideally, or for the most part hopefully!). Jesus did the same in respect of his mother. How much more proper was it that Mary listened to, followed, chased after even, and obeyed her Lord? Mother, here is your son, and son, here is your mother.

Mothers, imagine knowing, not only because the angel of God told you before your child was born, but because you saw with your own eyes, and touched with your own hands and soul, every day of your child's life, from infancy to young adulthood, the blind given sight, the lame walking, the feeding of thousands with only a few loaves, the dead brought back to life, the condemned forgiven....imagine knowing that your child, yes the child to which you gave birth, is God come to save us.

Mothers, imagine witnessing, before your own eyes, your child condemned by false witness, He who was Truth, whipped, bruised and battered, and then nailed to a cross, hanging in front of you on the trunk of a tree, praying for his persecutors, thirsting, fulfilling His purpose.

Mothers, can you imagine that this child is yours?

Why? Again, I ask, why? It seems to me that only the one of us who stands in Mary’s shoes has any standing to respond with any considerable answer. Anybody? Why?

As brothers and sisters, at least, certainly, we can recognize Mary our common mother, because, if for no other reason, Jesus is our brother.

We honor Mary with singular devotion because no ark has ever borne the Covenant like she did.
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