Friday, April 28, 2006

On Time

I don't mean for this to distract from Jenny's topics, but I found a pretty neat homily titled "Secular Time and God's Time" that I thought you might like.

Questions regarding confirmation prep...I'd love to hear what you know about this...

A student came to me today asking about the preparation her friend is going through for confirmation (her friend is not at the Academy). 1). The first question has to do with confirmation names...Her class was told that they will not choose a patron saint for whose name they will take at confirmation, but instead will just use their baptismal middle name. I have heard of this happening before, but needless to say the girl was disapointed. Is this right or wrong? or is this one of those broad subjects that some priests tend to "make their own"? Are rubrics available for the Sacrament of Confirmation that would include an explanation?

2). This girl says that the Priest does not lecture at all in their preparation classes, they just play games. Her mother is taking it into her own hands to properly prepare her daughter for the sacrament...Is their any sort of curriculum or guideline for what students should know in order to be considered well prepared to receive the sacrament? Where could I find info on it? Are Catechism (or CCD or whatever...) programs generally supposed to follow them?

Thanks guys!

Friday, April 21, 2006

This is kind of fun

In 1586, Pope Sixtus V, to complete the design of St. Peter’s Square, ordered architect Domenico Fontana to place in the center of the square a giant Egyptian obelisk which had been brought to Rome in 39 A.D. by Emperor Caligula. For centuries it has been in the emperor’s circus, in what today is Vatican City, and moving the obelisk from that point to the center of St. Peter’s Square would be a herculean task. On September 10, the day the 85-foot high, 350 ton obelisk was transported by 900 workers, 140 horses and 44 winches, Benedetto Bresca, a ship’s captain from the Italian Riviera area of San Remo-Bordighera, was in the square. The head engineer had told Pope Sixtus that total silence was needed to raise the obelisk, once it was in the square. Thus, the Pope announced to the huge crowd that had assembled to watch the manoeuvre that anyone who spoke during the delicate and risky operation would face the death penalty. As work was underway, the ropes used to raise the obelisk gave signs of fraying and weakening and the obelisk itself began to sway. However, Benedetto, as a sailor, knew what the problem was – and how to solve it and so, notwithstanding the pontiff’s ultimatum, he shouted “water on the cords, water on the cords.” The head engineer realized the sailor was right, the cords were watered, they became taut and strong and the obelisk was raised, without further danger to anyone. Instead of punishing the audacious sailor, Pope Sixtus rewarded him by giving Benedetto and his descendants the privilege of providing the Vatican with the famous Ligurian palms used for Holy Week ceremonies in the Vatican. And so it has been for over four centuries, with only a few brief interruptions. Known as parmureli, the leaves from date palm trees in San Remo and Bordighera are woven and braided into intricate sculptures, some only inches high, others several meters high. For Palm Sunday 2006, the cities provided the Vatican with 240 parmureli, including one parmurelo for Pope Benedict that was over six feet high and 80 five-foot high palms for cardinals and bishops. Many years ago, when the parmureli arrived by sea, the ship that carried them placed one of the palm leaf sculptures on the mast that usually displayed a flag. The palm “flag” thus gave that vessel from San Remo-Bordighera precedence into the port over all other vessels.


Wednesday, April 19, 2006

A Story of Service

"To bring Christ to others depends on how we do what we do for the poor. We could do it one way, or we could do it some other way. I will never forget the time when a certain mad visited our home for the poor who are dying. He arrived just as the Sisters were bringing in some of the dying off the streets. They had picked a man out of the gutter, and he was covered with worms. Without knowing she was being watched, a Sister came to care for the dying man. The visitor kept watching the Sister work. He saw how tenderly she washed the man and smiled at him. She did not miss a detail in her attentive care for that dying man. I was also at the Home for the Dying that day.
The visitor, after carefully watching the Sister, turned to me and said, "I came here today, not believing in God, with my heart full of hate, but now I am leaving here believing in God. I have seen the love of God in action. Through the hands of that Sister- through her gestures, through her tenderness- which were so full of love for that wretched mad, I have seen God's love descend upon him. Now I believe." I didn't know who this visitor was at the time, or that he was an atheist."
-Mother Teresa, taken from a talk she gave in London's Oratory, June 13,1977

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Downloads galore

Looking for stuff to listen to while on your computer? Looking for something to distract/edify you as you walk around campus or drive your automobile? Look no further:

Cardinal Arinze podcasts (mixed in with news articles)!:

Watch or listen to EWTN live or Pope Benedict's most recent General Audience:

A Vatican video archive:

Archbishop Charles Chaput homilies:

Archbishop Timothy Dolan homilies:

Organ music (St. Joseph in Detroit):

Choir and organ music from the Cathedral of St. Paul, Minnesota:

Roy Schoeman's multimedia:

Monday, April 17, 2006

Interesting Icon

For those of you who are interested in icons, I spotted this one on Mark Shea's blog.

It's a Greek Orthodox icon about abortion; I don't think I've seen anything like it.

Saturday, April 15, 2006


As we draw to the culmination of the Church's liturgical year, I thought I'd post the exultet (the hymn sung at the Easter Vigil that's quite amazing and sweet). It's great for meditation.

Have a blessed Easter!

Rejoice, heavenly powers! Sing choirs of angels!Exult, all creation around God's throne!Jesus Christ, our King is risen!Sound the trumpet of salvation!
Rejoice, O earth, in shining splendor, radiant in the brightness of your King!Christ has conquered! Glory fills you!Darkness vanishes for ever!
Rejoice, O Mother Church! Exult in glory!The risen Savior shines upon you!Let this place resound with joy,echoing the mighty song of all God's people!
My dearest friends, standing with me in this holy light,join me in asking God for mercy,that he may give his unworthy minister grace to sing his Easter praises.
The Lord be with you.
And also with you.
Lift up your hearts.
We lift them up to the Lord.
Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
It is right to give him thanks and praise. It is truly right that with full hearts and minds and voiceswe should praise the unseen God, the all-powerful Father,and his only Son, our Lord Jesus Christ.
For Christ has ransomed us with his blood, and paid for us the price of Adam's sin to our eternal Father!
This is our passover feast,When Christ, the true Lamb, is slain,whose blood consecrates the homes of all believers.
This is the night,when first you saved our fathers:you freed the people of Israel from their slav'ry,and led them dry-shod through the sea.
This is the night,when the pillar of fire destroyed the darkness of sin.
This is night,when Christians ev'rywhere,washed clean of sin and freed from all defilement,are restored to grace and grow together in holiness.
This is the night,when Jesus broke the chains of deathand rose triumphant from the grave.
What good would life have been to us,had Christ not come as our Redeemer?
Father, how wonderful your care for us!How boundless your merciful love!To ransom a slave you gave away your Son.
O happy fault, O necessary sin of Adam,which gained for us so great a Redeemer!
Most blessed of all nights,chosen by God to see Christ rising from the dead!
Of this night scripture says: "The night will be as clear as day:it will become my light, my joy."
The power of this holy night dispels all evil,washes guilt away, restores lost innocence,brings mourners joy;it casts out hatred, brings us peace,and humbles earthly pride.
Night truly blessed,when heaven is wedded to earthand we are reconciled to God!
Therefore, heavenly Father, in the joy of this night,receive our evening sacrifice of praise, your Church's solemn offering.
Accept this Easter candle,a flame divided but undimmed,a pillar of fire that glows to the honor of God.
Let it mingle with the lights of heavenand continue bravely burningto dispel the darkness of this night!
May the Morning Star which never setsfind this flame still burning:Christ, that Morning Star,who came back from the dead,and shed his peaceful light on all mankind,your Son, who lives and reigns for ever and ever. Amen.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Adoremus te Christe et benedicimus tibi...Quia per Sanctam Crucem Redemisti Mundum

People foolishly thought: God is dead!
But if God is dead, who will still give us life?
If God is dead, what is life itself?
Life is Love!

So the cross is not God’s death,
but the moment when the fragile shell
of the humanity taken up by God
is shattered
and a flood of love bursts forth
to renew all humanity.

From the cross was born the new life of Saul,
from the cross was born the conversion of Augustine,
from the cross was born the joyful poverty of Francis of Assisi,
from the cross was born the radiant goodness of Vincent de Paul;
from the cross was born the heroism of Maximilian Kolbe,
from the cross was born the amazing charity of Mother Teresa of Calcutta,
from the cross was born the courage of John Paul II,
from the cross was born the revolution of love:
so the cross is not the death of God,
but the birth of his Love in our world.

Blessed be the cross of Christ!

-The 12th Station: Jesus dies on the cross

-Composer of the meditations for the Stations of the Cross led by the Holy Father this year.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Easter Quote!

"If Easter means anything to modern man it means that eternal truth is eternal. You may nail it to the tree, wrap it up in grave clothes, and seal it in a tomb; but truth crushed to earth, shall rise again. Truth does not perish; it cannot be destroyed. It may be distorted; it has been silenced temporarily; it has been compelled to carry its cross to Calvary's brow or to drink the cup of poisoned hemlock in a Grecian jail, but with an inevitable certainty after every Black Friday dawns truth's Easter Morn." - Donald Harvey Tippet

Isn't that an amazing quote?!

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Cardinal Arinze: Pretty much amazing

It's quality time with the cardinal:

""A do-it-yourself mentality, an attitude of nobody-will-tell-me-what-to-do, or a defiant sting of if-you-do-not-like-my-Mass-you-can-go-to-another-parish, is not only against sound theology and ecclesiology, but also offends against common sense," the Cardinal said."

Summa Theologica Online!

I found this site that contains the entire Summa Theologica of St. Thomas Aquinas and thought you all might like the link:

Have fun!

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

In Other News...

The Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church is now available in Spanish on the Vatican's website...Luckily, I speak much more Spanish than Italian. While I would enjoy having the compenium in English I'll have to let El Catecismo de la Iglesia Católica: Compendio tide me over for now.

Holding Hands During the Our Father?

Sorry that I emailed this to some of you. This blog thing is new to me. Here you go if you are interested...

Holding Hands at Mass
Steve Ray's Blog
By Steve Ray on 4/11/2006 12:51 PM

My wife Janet and I always cringe at a new parish when it comes time for the Our Father. We quickly bow our heads and close our eyes; I clutch my hands close to my chest (and she does the same) and we start to pray -- hoping some aggressive hand-holder doesn't reach over and insist on tearing my hands apart so I can warmly hold theirs during the prayer.
Once, I even had a nun nudge me, see my hesitation and them smiling reach out and taunt me -- "Pleeeease?" I conceded out of love and duty and afterwards she smiled knowingly and say, "Thaaaank you!"
Karl Keating has a few things to say about hand-holding at Mass in his newest E-letter which I produce here for others who close their eyes and clutch their hands close to their chests.
The current issue of the "Adoremus Bulletin" says this in response to a query from a priest in the Bronx:
"No gesture for the people during the Lord's Prayer is mentioned in the official documents. The late liturgist Fr. Robert Hovda promoted holding hands during this prayer, a practice he said originated in Alcoholics Anonymous. Some 'charismatic' groups took up the practice."
My long-time sense had been that hand-holding at the Our Father was an intrusion from charismaticism, but I had not been aware of the possible connection with AA. If this is the real origin of the practice, it makes it doubly odd: first, because hand-holding intrudes a false air of chumminess into the Mass (and undercuts the immediately-following sign of peace), and second, because modifications to liturgical rites ought to arise organically and not be borrowed from secular self-help groups.
Periodically, on "Catholic Answers Live" I am asked about hand-holding during Mass and explain that it is contrary to the rubrics. Usually I get follow-up e-mails from people who say, "But it's my favorite part of the Mass" or "We hold hands as a family, and it makes us feel closer."
About the latter I think, "It's good to feel close as a family, but you can hold hands at home or at the mall. The Mass has a formal structure that should be respected. That means you forgo certain things that you might do on the outside."
About the former comment I think, "If this is the high point of the Mass for you, you need to take Remedial Mass 101. The Mass is not a social event. It is the re-presentation of the sacrifice of Calvary, and it is the loftiest form of prayer. It should be attended with appropriate solemnity."

Monday, April 10, 2006

Long Live the Pope!

"Palm Sunday, however, tells us that the authentic great "yes" is, in fact, the cross, that the cross is the authentic tree of life. We do not attain to life by seizing it, but by giving it. Love is the giving of ourselves and, for this reason, is the way of authentic life symbolized by the cross. Today the cross is handed over, which was the center of World Youth Day in Cologne, to a delegation to begin its journey to Sydney, where in the year 2008 the youth of the world want to meet again around Jesus to build with him the kingdom of peace. "

-Benedict XVI's Homily for Palm Sunday

This really seems like it'll be a theme of the Holy Father's pontificate. I'm looking forward to WYD 2008!

Church Father Documents

Hey check this out:

Documents of the Church Fathers. Click on the pdf version of each to download.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Welcome to the Corpus Christi blog, feel free to post about whatever.