Tuesday, October 31, 2006

New Archpriest for St. Peter's Basilica

~from Catholic World News

Archbishop Angelo Comastri, the vicar general of the Vatican city-state, has been named by Pope Benedict XVI to be archpriest of St. Peter's Basilica. He replaced Cardinal Francesco Marchisano, who has resigned at the age of 77.

Archbishop Comastri, a 63-year-old native of Tuscany, was ordained to the priesthood in 1967 and became Bishop of Massa Marittima-Piombino in 1990. In 1996 he was appointed Archbishop of Loretto, and in February 2005 he became vicar general of Vatican City and coadjutor to Cardinal Marchisano.

The Italian archbishop is known for his Marian devotion, and in March 2003 he was chosen by Pope John Paul II to preach the annual Lenten retreat for the Roman Curia, on the theme of Mary, Mother of Christ. In 2005 he was asked by Pope Benedict XVI to write the meditations for the Way of the Cross on Good Friday.

Fr. Z has some interesting information about Cardinal Marchisano and the 1962 Missale.

CDW On Purification Of Vessels

~via Jimmy Akin

The following is the text of the letter sent by Francis Cardinal Arinze to Bishop William Skylstad, president of the USCCB, concerning the liturgical change in America such that extraordinary ministers will no longer be permitted to purify the vessels used at Mass.

Prot. n. 468/05/L

Rome, 12 October 2006

Your Excellency,

I refer to your letters of 9 March 2005 and 7 March 2006, in which, in the name of the Conference of Bishops of which you are President, you requested a renewal of the indult for extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion to purify the sacred vessels after Mass, where there are not enough priests or deacons to purify a large number of chalices that might be used at Mass.

I have put the whole matter before the Holy Father in an audience which he granted me on 9 June 2006, and received instructions to reply as follows:

1. There is no doubt that "the sign of Communion is more complete when given under both kinds, since in that form the sign of the Eucharistic meal appears more clearly" (General Instruction of the Roman Missal, no. 240; Catechism of the Catholic Church, no. 390).

2. Sometimes, however, the high number of communicants may render it inadvisable for everyone to drink from the chalice (cf. Redemptionis Sacramentum, no. 102). intinction with reception on the tongue always and everywhere remains a legitimate option, by virtue of the general liturgical law of the Roman Rite.

3. Catechesis of the people is important regarding the teaching of the Council of Trent that Christ is fully present under each of the species. Communion under the species of the bread alone, as a consequence, makes it possible to receive all the fruit of Eucharistic grace (cf. Denzinger-SchĂ´nmetzer, no. 1729; General Instruction of the Roman Missal, nos. 11, 282). "For pastoral reasons", therefore, "this manner of receiving Communion has been legitimately established as the most common form in the Latin rite" (Catechism of the Catholic Church, no. 390).

4. Paragraph 279 of the General Instruction of the Roman Missal directs that the sacred vessels are to be purified by the priest, the deacon or an instituted acolyte. The status of this text as legislation has recently been clarified by the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts. It does not seem feasible, therefore, for the Congregation to grant the requested indult from this directive in the general law of the Latin Church.

5. This letter is therefore a request to the members of the Bishops' Conference of the United Status of America to prepare the necessary explanations and catechetical materials for your clergy and people so that henceforth the General Instruction of the Roman Missal, no. 279, as found in the editio typicatia of the Roman Missal, will be observed throughout its territories.

With the expression of my esteem and fraternal greetings, I remain, Your Excellency,

Devotedly yours in Christ,

+Francis Cardinal Arinze
Prefect

Monsignor Mario Marini
Under-Secretary

Pope's November prayer intentions

The Pope's general prayer intention is: "That, everywhere in the world, an end be put to all forms of terrorism."

The Pope's missionary intention is: "That through the effort of believers, together with the living forces of society, the new and old chains which prevent the development of the African continent may be broken."

Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos remains head of Ecclesia Dei

~from Catholic World News

Cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos, who has resigned as prefect of the Congregation for Clergy, will remain president of the pontifical Ecclesia Dei commission, the Vatican has confirmed.

Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos, who at the age of 77 is two years beyond the ordinary canonical retirement age, will be replaced at the Congregation for Clergy by Brazilian Cardinal Claudio Hummes, the Vatican announced on October 31. But the Colombian cardinal will remain at the helm of the Ecclesia Dei commission, which is responsible for Vatican outreach to traditionalist Catholics.

Father Ciro Benedettini, the deputy director of the Vatican press office, assured reporters that Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos will continue to head the Ecclesia Dei commission for the immediate future. The presidency of that commission is not linked to the leadership of the Congregation for Clergy, and in light of the intense discussions currently taking place about efforts to revive the traditional Latin Mass, Pope Benedict has ample reason to want continuity in the post. Pope John Paul II named Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos to head the Ecclesia Dei commission in April 2000, and gave him the sensitive assignment of negotiating with the traditionalist Society of St. Pius X (SSPX), seeking to end the split that began in 1988 when the late Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre was excommunicated for ordaining bishops to the SSPX leadership without Vatican approval.

Formed in the wake of the Lefebvrite schism and excommunications, the primary duty of the Eccelsia Dei commission is to heal the wounds inflicted by that schism, by working to bring separated traditionalist Catholics back into the Church. It is also charged with collaboration local bishops to satisfy the desires for the traditional Latin Mass in keeping with the 1962 rite. Finally, it oversees and regulates those clerical groups and associations associated with the Tridentine rite, such as the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter, the Canons Regular of the New Jerusalem, and other traditionalist groups.

While talks with the SSPX itself have not yet borne fruit, in January 2002 the Vatican reached an agreement that allowed for the reconciliation of another breakaway traditionalist group in Campos, Brazil. And in September of this year a new agreement led to the establishment in France of the Institute of the Good Shepherd, composed of traditionalist priests and seminarians who have left the SSPX. The latter move has roused loud protests within the French hierarchy, which fears the Vatican is going too far to accommodate the traditionalist clerics.

Widespread reports that Pope Benedict XVI will soon release a motu proprio allowing wider use of the traditional Latin Mass have heightened the controversy in France, and placed the focus of attention squarely on the Ecclesia Dei commission. Because of his involvement in talks with traditionalists over the past 5 years, Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos looms as an important player in any effort to achieve reconciliation with the SSPX and any new gesture toward traditionalists. The Colombian prelate-- who has said that SSPX members should be welcomed back "with open arms" when they seek reconciliation-- made an important individual move in May 2003, when he celebrated Mass in the basilica of St. Mary Major using the Tridentine rite, thus becoming the first Vatican prelate to celebrate the traditional Mass in a Roman basilica in decades.

British scientists grow human liver in a laboratory

~from The Evening Standard

British scientists have grown the world's first artificial liver from stem cells in a breakthrough that will one day provide entire organs for transplant.

The technique that created the 'mini-liver', currently the size of a one pence piece, will be developed to create a full-size functioning liver.

Described as a 'Eureka moment' by the Newcastle University researchers, the tissue was created from blood taken from babies' umbilical cords just a few minutes after birth.

As it stands, the mini organ can be used to test new drugs, preventing disasters such as the recent 'Elephant Man' drug trial. Using lab-grown liver tissue would also reduce the number of animal experiments.

Within five years, pieces of artificial tissue could be used to repair livers damaged by injury, disease, alcohol abuse and paracetamol overdose.

And then, in just 15 years' time, entire liver transplants could take place using organs grown in a lab.

The development provides fresh hope for the hundreds of Britons in dire need of a new liver each year.

There are currently 336 patients waiting for a liver transplant - the type of operation performed on George Best. However, in 2004, 72 people died waiting for a suitable donor.

The liver tissue is created from stem cells - blank cells capable of developing into different types of tissue - found in blood from the umbilical cord.

Working in collaboration with experts from the US, the Newcastle scientists succeeded in separating out the stem cells from blood removed from the umbilical cord minutes after birth.

They are then placed in a 'bioreactor' - a piece of electrical equipment developed by NASA to mimic the effects of weightlessness. Inside this, the freedom from the force of gravity allows them to multiply more quickly than usual.

Then, various hormones and chemicals are added to coax the stem cells into turning into liver tissue.

So far, tiny pieces of tissue, less than an inch in diameter have been created.

However, in time, it should be possible to create larger and larger pieces of tissue, eventually creating sections capable of being transplanted into sick patients.

The Newcastle scientists believe that within two years the tissue could be used to test new drugs.

Currently, new drugs are tested in the test tube, before being tried out first on animals and then on humans.

However, the procedure is not foolproof, as was made painfully clear by the Northwick Park drugs trial earlier this year in which six healthy young volunteers were left fighting for their lives.

Using lab-grown human tissue could iron out any difficulties before new drugs are given to humans.

Colin McGuckin is professor of regenerative medicine at Newcastle University. He said: "We take the stem cells from the umbilical cord blood and make small mini-livers.

"We then give them to pharmaceutical companies and they can use them to test new drugs on.

"It could prevent the situation that happened earlier this year when those six patients had a massive reaction to the drugs they were testing."

Using mini-livers could also cut down on the number of animal experiments.

Within five years, the artificial liver could be used to directly benefit people's health.

The researchers envisage sections of artificial liver being used to keep patients needing liver transplants alive - in much the same way as a dialysis machine is used to treat kidney failure.

This technique would take advantage of the liver's remarkable ability to quickly regenerate itself.

The patient would be hooked up to an artificial liver which would take over all the functions usually carried out by their own liver.

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God is faithful in his promises

~by Pope St. Clement

Consider, beloved, how the Lord keeps reminding us of the resurrection that is to come, of which he has made the Lord Jesus Christ the first fruits by raising him from the dead. Let us look, beloved, at the resurrection that occurs at its appointed time. Day and night show us a resurrection; the night lies in sleep, day rises again; the day departs, night takes its place.

Let us think about the harvest; how does the sowing take place, and in what manner? The sower goes out and casts each seed onto the ground. Dry and bare, they fall into the earth and decay. Then the greatness of the Lord’s providence raises them up again from decay, and out of one many are produced and yield fruit.

In this hope, then, let our hearts be bound fast to him who is faithful in his promises and just in his judgements. He forbade us to tell lies; still less will he himself tell a lie. Nothing is impossible for God except to tell a lie. Then let our faith in him be awakened; let us reflect that everything is close to him.

By the word of his power he established all things, and by his word he can reduce them to ruin. Who shall say to him: What have you done? Who shall stand up against the power of his might? He will accomplish everything when he wills and as he wills, and nothing that he has decreed shall pass away. All things stand in his presence, and nothing lies hidden from his counsel, if the heavens tell forth the glory of God, the firmament reveals the work of his hands, day speaks to day, and night shares knowledge with night; there are no words, no speeches, and their voices are not heard.

Since all things lie open to his eyes and ears, let us hold him in awe and rid ourselves of impure desires to do works of evil, so that we may be protected by his mercy from the judgement that is to come. Which of us can escape his mighty hand? What world will give asylum to one who deserts him? Where will I go, where will I hide from your face? If I go up to heaven, you are there; if I go to the limits of the earth, your right hand is there; if I lie down in the deep, your spirit is there. Where, then, can one go, where can one escape to, from the presence of him whose hands embrace the universe?

Let us then approach him in holiness of soul, raising up to him hands pure and undefiled, out of love for our good and merciful Father who made us a chosen portion for himself.

Monday, October 30, 2006

The changing language of God

Have a sip of scotch before you read this. Put on a hazmat suit. Hazardous material called "contempt" in abundance.

~by James Carroll in the Boston Globe
Countering the Reformation, the Catholic Church emphasized Latin more than ever, a rigidity that did not end until my time. The dismissive monsignors of my youth were wrong. The first vote taken by the bishops of the Second Vatican Council in 1962 concerned liturgical reform, centering on use of the vernacular at Mass. If the Council fathers had voted against worshipping in language ordinary believers could understand, the revolutionary impulse driving that Council would have been stopped dead in its tracks, but the tally was overwhelmingly in favor. The Latin Mass was finished. With that single vote, the Council set loose a current of change that is still running.

Once Catholics entered into the mystery of the Mass as literate participants instead of as dumb spectators, an unprecedented renewal took hold. The vitality and warmth of today's typical liturgy, involving intelligible encounters with sacred texts, has Catholic parishes surprisingly full, even in a time of widespread disillusionment with clerical leadership. The structure of order that was embodied in the old tradition, and its language, turned out to be dead letters in comparison to the meaning and nourishment that now regularly draw Catholics to the Eucharistic meal. What Tyndale did for English, English has done for American Catholicism. And so with other vernaculars, elsewhere.

One still hears of Catholic nostalgia for the Latin Mass. Classicists regret the loss of the Church's museum function. Esthetes decry the banalizing of liturgy in which all worshippers are fully able to participate. More pointedly, reactionaries have never stopped campaigning for the restoration of Latin, understanding its twin significance as symbol and pillar of the old order. Unsurprisingly, that campaign has been reinvigorated lately, with a blessing from Pope Benedict -- a futile shoring up of a rapidly collapsing clericalism. But Catholic Latin is a lost cause. For which one says, "Deo Gratias."

Diogenes answers:
Once a Paulist priest, James Carroll now makes his living bashing the Church, as the most vituperatively anti-Catholic columnist on the staff of the notoriously anti-Catholic Boston Globe. Today's rant against the Church involves the rumored return of the Latin Mass.
Carroll knows nothing about those rumors, except of course that the cries for the old Mass come from "reactionaries." He does treat his readers to a bit of history, noting that the leaders of the Reformation were keen on using the vernacular. By Carroll's logic, since the leaders of the Reformation disagreed with the Catholic Church, it follows that they were right.

Then came the changes of Vatican II, and...
Once Catholics entered into the mystery of the Mass as literate participants instead of as dumb spectators, an unprecedented renewal took hold.

St. Thomas Aquinas, St. Catherine of Siena, St. Therese of Lisieux: all "dumb spectators."

But wait. Speaking of "dumb," here's Carroll's very next sentence:
The vitality and warmth of today's typical liturgy, involving intelligible encounters with sacred texts, has Catholic parishes surprisingly full, even in a time of widespread disillusionment with clerical leadership.
Surprisingly full? Surprisingly full?!

Carroll is writing from Boston, where about 15% of the Catholic population attends Mass each week. Dozens of parishes are closing, because there aren't enough parishioners tossing nickels in the collection baskets to pay the fuel bills. Pick one of the surviving parishes at radom, pop into a Sunday Mass, and you'll see row upon row of empty pews.

I am "surprisingly full" of admiration for the journalistic integrity of James Carroll, and for the perspicacity of the editors who let this howler get into print.

Atheist who sued for removal of Mt. Soledad cross dies

~from Contra Costa Times

Philip Paulson, an atheist who waged a 17-year legal battle to have a giant cross removed from public land on Mount Soledad, has died. He was 59.

Paulson died Wednesday of liver cancer. He was diagnosed in July and was hospitalized on Oct. 20 after complaining of abdominal pain, remaining in critical condition until his death, said Lorelei Lindsey, his companion of 17 years.

Born in Clayton, Wis., Paulson was the grandson of a Lutheran minister but said he lost his faith during two bloody tours of duty in Vietnam.

The City Heights resident sued the city in 1989, claiming that the 29-foot cross on city property violated the constitutional separation of church and state.

Paulson won the original case but appeals continue, with the city arguing that the cross is a secular symbol because it is part of a war memorial.

In interviews with the San Diego Union-Tribune before his death, Paulson said he was fighting for "equal treatment under the law, and religious neutrality."

"My mother's a Christian. I was raised a devout Christian. I'm not anti-Christian," he said. "The reason I did it is because it's not fair to the other religions. America is not just the Christian religion."

"I fought in Vietnam and I thought I fought to maintain freedom and yet the cross savers in this city would have us believe all of the veterans' sacrifices are in vain, that the Constitution is something to be spit on," Paulson said.

His stand made him friends among civil libertarians but earned him the enmity of some believers.

He would joke about the death threats he received, said his attorney, James McElroy.

"This was a guy who walked point in Vietnam and had seen a lot of dead bodies," McElroy said. "He didn't scare."

McElroy has said a new plaintiff, Vietnam veteran and atheist Steve Trunk, would be added to the suit against the city in order to keep the case alive.

In August, President Bush signed federal legislation expropriating the cross and placing it in the hands of the Department of Defense as a national memorial. A new lawsuit is challenging that transfer.

Commission looks for balance in English liturgical translations

~from CNS (why does this make me nervous?)

Work on a new English translation of the Mass continues to seek a balance between a highly formal prayer language and preserving liturgical phrases that have become part of an English speaker's prayer tradition, said Australian Cardinal George Pell of Sydney.

Cardinal Pell chairs the Vox Clara Commission, an international group of bishops who advise the Vatican on English liturgical translations.

Vox Clara met Oct. 23-26 at the Vatican to study translations developed by the International Commission on English in the Liturgy.

Describing many of the texts as "outstanding," Vox Clara members also said they gave the Vatican Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments an "extensive commentary on certain problems" found in the translations.

Cardinal Pell told Catholic News Service Oct. 27: "It is important to be clear that they are small problems. They are not major problems at all."

In general, he said, the bishops were concerned about "some interesting terminology that was different from the traditional -- unusual."

While declining to give specific examples, Cardinal Pell said the phrases in question replace phrases -- judged to be faithful to the Latin -- used in English since the Second Vatican Council.

"Provided the Latin is rendered faithfully, we are keen to keep terminology the people are familiar with," Cardinal Pell said.

He also described some of the phrases as "too grammatical" in the sense that they sound like they are the result of an advanced grammar lesson rather than a faithful translation into a living language.

Vox Clara's Oct. 27 press release praised the energy with which everyone is working to get a high-quality, faithful translation of the Mass into parishes as soon as possible.

It also said commission members conducted a final review of a congregation document meant to serve as a guide for English-language liturgical translations.

The congregation is expected to publish the guide, formally called "'Ratio Translationis' for the English Language," before Christmas.

Let us not be fugitives from the will of God

~by Pope St Clement

My dear friends, take care to do good and virtuous deeds in unity before him, and be citizens worthy of him; or his many good works towards us may become a judgement on us all. For, as he says somewhere, The spirit of the Lord is a lamp searching the inward parts.

Let us observe how near he is, and that nothing escapes him: not the thoughts we think, not the arguments we construct. It is right, therefore, that we should not be deserters from his will. Let us offend foolish and thoughtless men, men who puff themselves up and boast in the pride of their words, rather than offending God.

Let us reverence the Lord Jesus Christ, whose blood was given for us. Let us respect those who rule us; let us honour the aged; let us instruct the young in the fear of God.

Let us lead our wives to what is good: let them exhibit the lovely habit of purity, let them show forth the innocent will of meekness, let them make the gentleness of their tongue manifest by their silence, let them give their affection without favouritism but in holiness equally to all who fear God.

Let our children share in the instruction which is in Christ, let them learn the strength of humility before God, the power of pure love before God, how beautiful and great is his fear and how it gives salvation to all who live holily in it with a pure mind. For he is a searcher of thoughts and desires; his breath is in us, and he chooses when to take it away from us.

Now the faith which is in Christ confirms all these things, for he himself through his Holy Spirit calls us: Come, Children, hearken to me, I will teach you the fear of the Lord. Who is the man that desires life, that loves to see good days? Make your tongue cease from evil, make your lips speak no guile. Depart from evil, and do good. Seek peace, and pursue it.

The all-merciful and beneficent Father has compassion on those that fear him, and kindly and lovingly bestows his favours on those that draw near to him with a sincere intention. So let us not be in two minds, and let us have no doubts about his excellent and glorious gifts.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Faithful seek communion, Defiant Catholics create new home

Anyone else see an oxymoron in the headline?

~from NJ Star-Ledger

She grew up Roman Catholic, but like millions of others, Rebecca Ortelli came to disagree with church teachings on contraception, communion and priestly celibacy, among other things.

Many like-minded Catholics drift away from the church or join other denominations. But Ortelli, 57, wanted to maintain both her Catholic identity and her world view. And she didn't want to feel one was inconsistent with the other.

So 20 years ago she did what a small number of defiant Catholics are doing. She joined a church with many lifelong Catholics of similar views, a church that borrows heavily from Catholic rituals even though it's not part of a Catholic diocese.

"I don't think I should have to give up my Catholicism. That's part of who I am. It makes me who I choose to be," said Ortelli, whose church, in Nutley, is called The Inclusive Community. "I like some of the rituals that we have. They're important."

At The Inclusive Community, she and her husband, raised a Lutheran, receive communion each Sunday from former Catholic priests who are now married. The church will be one focus of a one-day conference called "Imagining New Ways of Being Catholic," starting today in Whippany.

The Inclusive Community meets in a small chapel of a Congregational church, has a $16,000 budget, and draws maybe 15 people most Sundays. In those ways, it is similar to most "underground" churches, said Kathleen Kautzer, a professor at Regis College in Weston, Mass., who will speak at the conference.

It's unclear how many similar "underground" Catholic churches there are in the United States. Most are small, many unstable. They are not networked and often unpublicized, so no one knows if they are increasing or decreasing in number.

Kautzer estimated there are 200, speculating they probably attract far fewer than 1 percent of the 67 million American Catholics. That is a small number, considering polls show significant American opposition to church teachings on contraception, abortion, divorce, and priestly celibacy.

Still, in the aftermath of the clergy sex abuse scandal, these churches offer a different path than the one taken by most Catholic reformers, who have sought -- unsuccessfully, so far -- to change church rules and hierarchy.

Most members of these churches are "really liberal people who are divorced, gays, and feminists," Kautzer said, adding to the list a type of married couple most Catholics would find startling: former priests and former nuns.

"The reform movement is full of those couples," she said. "Their whole life was the church, and they left ... because they couldn't handle the conservative direction the church was going in. They said, 'This institution is not going to change in my lifetime, so what else can I do but to find a faith community where I feel comfortable?'"

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Bishop Morlino discusses Mass music

~from The Madison Catholic Herald by Bishop Robert Morlino

As I have said repeatedly, everything that we do or do not do at the Eucharistic liturgy teaches. Pope Benedict has called us recently to a reflection about the music that is sung during the liturgy, and in fact our national bishops' conference will be considering this matter further at our coming meeting in November.

Music during the Mass

The question arises, does some of the music routinely sung embody the incorrect overemphasis on the presence of Christ in the assembly, so that people are confused as to the importance of the sacramental intensity of His presence, especially under the signs of bread and wine.

Certain songs come to mind where the lyrics raise a real question for me. For example: "We are called, We are chosen, We are Christ for one another, We are a promise, We are sower, We are seed, We are question, We are creed." Singing that song repeatedly teaches people something, and I am afraid that it is something that I as Bishop do not want to teach them, but we certainly need to begin a dialogue about these matters. [emphasis mine]

Another example of this same problem would be the lyrics of the hymn Gather Us In [heh, heh, heh...rubs hands in glee], where a seemingly endless explanation is given to God about who We are, who are gathered in.

Pope Benedict has said that the music at Mass is not an extrinsic accompaniment to the liturgy, but is intrinsically part of our prayer of praise and adoration and thanksgiving to the Lord. The words of the songs we sing should be focused on giving praise and adoration to the Father, to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, rather than explaining to God things about ourselves or even praising ourselves.

When we gather for the Eucharist, we gather as sinners as the beautiful Eucharistic Preface teaches: "You have no need of our praise, yet our desire to thank You is itself Your gift. Our prayer of thanksgiving adds nothing to Your greatness, but makes us grow in your grace, through Jesus our Lord." That prayer of the Church contains the truth about the assembly. We are an assembly in whom Christ is indeed present, an assembly blessed with this wonderful gift even though we are sinners. The music we sing at Mass should teach nothing different than that.

Open discussion about music at Mass


I make these observations in order to open a discussion about the music we sing at Mass, in the context of my addressing my second focal point since coming to Madison (vocations has been the first focal point), of liturgy and catechesis. This is just the beginning of a discussion. I will in the near future be issuing additional guidelines for music at celebration of Confirmation only (which will take effect next Easter), and any further liturgical approaches that we take as a diocese will depend on the continuing wisdom which Pope Benedict offers us about liturgical music, on the wisdom we receive from our deliberations as a National Conference of Bishops, and upon the reflections I hear from our good priests and people in the days ahead.

But I write this present communication in the hope that pastors and brother priests, deacons, and various liturgical ministers in the parishes will begin to reflect on and discuss this particular important matter, so that the liturgical prayer of our people will be more integral with and more expressive of authentic spirituality and theology, and as a result our faithful people who pray that prayer will be even more holy than so many of you already are.

We must remember that as we pray before the "Holy, Holy, Holy," the angels and saints are present with us giving praise to the Trinity. The hymns we sing should be worthy of the participation of the angels and saints.

Oh, please, please, please, can we have this discussion in the Diocese of Raleigh soon?

Groundswell of support may revive use of Latin Mass

~from The Morning Call

Four decades of change in the Roman Catholic Church have made the Latin Mass, the beloved rite of centuries, a stranger in its own house. So when an under-50 Catholic beholds the venerable ceremony for the first time, it's with the surprised and wondering eyes of a tourist.

''Introibo ad altare Dei,'' says the priest, his back facing the congregation, uttering Latin more familiar nowadays from fiction — the opening of James Joyce's ''Ulysses,'' where Buck Mulligan flippantly uses the phrase on his way to shave — than from exposure on Sunday. It means ''I will go in unto the altar of God,'' and it opens an hour of reverent, murmured worship defined as much by its silences as its words.

The Mass, formally called the Tridentine Mass because it was codified under Pope Pius V at the 16th century Council of Trent, was supplanted by the Mass of Pope Paul VI — the largely vernacular Novus Ordo, or new order — in the 1970s.

That was a decade of jarringly rapid change in the church as the reforms of the Second Vatican Council — which called for the church to open itself to the modern world — were implemented. The loss of the Tridentine rite, which could only be celebrated afterward by special permission, devastated many Catholics, some of whom departed for the unchanged liturgies of Orthodox churches or retreated into resistance or outright schism as they strove to sustain the old ways of worship.

But in these early years of the church's third millennium, the Latin Mass isn't dead. It is making a bona fide comeback, with attendance at diocese-approved celebrations growing — in part because of interest among young people — and Pope Benedict XVI reportedly preparing to further loosen strictures on the rite so that priests can offer it without having to seek permission from the local bishop. The Coalition for Ecclesia Dei, a Tridentine Mass advocacy group, estimates the number of Masses offered weekly across the country has grown from fewer than 40 in 1988 to nearly 240 today.

''There's a catholicity to it that was somewhat submarined after Vatican II,'' says the Rev. William Seifert, who has begun offering the old rite at St. Stephen of Hungary in Allentown — the sole forum in the Catholic Diocese of Allentown — and welcomed more than 100 worshippers to the first Mass three weeks ago.

Most were carry-over worshippers from St. Roch's in West Bangor, where Monsignor Charles Moss offered the Mass until his death earlier this year. They came from as far as Jim Thorpe, many clutching leatherbound copies of the pre-Vatican II 1962 Missal to guide them through the liturgy.

The women and girls wore lace chapel veils. The men and boys wore suits. They arrived early and lingered late. That alone made the gathering distinct from some new Masses, where families dressed for the day's soccer game race for the exits at the first opportunity.

Many of the bowed heads were gray, but other worshippers were of generations born since Vatican II, who have little or no memory of the days when the old rite was the only rite. For them, sentiment plays no role in how they worship. They simply find a fuller, more satisfying expression of faith in the old ways.

That appears to be the case wherever Tridentine celebrations are offered. Dozens of stories in secular and Catholic media in recent years have noted the large numbers of younger people attached to the rite.

''I guess I'm drawn to the quiet, the reverence, the fullness of the prayers,'' says Susie Lloyd of Whitehall, 40, a flesh-and-blood portrait of old-line Catholicism as she knelt with her husband and six daughters — a seventh child is on the way — in a pew at St. Stephen's. ''There's a sense of stability, an emphasis on God and the sacrifice.''

Matt Cavoto of Bethlehem, a 25-year-old Moravian College graduate who attends with his wife and infant son, says he was first drawn to the Tridentine rite when he lived in Norristown. Cavoto, a musician and composer who is forming a small choir for the St. Stephen's Mass, was enraptured by the haunting medieval chant of the liturgy.

''I wouldn't call my interest in the old Mass a preference, per se,'' he says. ''You have different rites in the church and each emphasizes different aspects of spirituality. It's the same faith either way. When someone becomes attached to a particular rite, it's not a matter of preference, it's simply the manner in which one lives one's faith.''

Old versus new

The debate over new Mass versus old — raging hot as ever these days in theological journals and on countless Web logs — extends far beyond language and atmosphere into the very nature of Catholicism. Is worship primarily an individual meeting between God and believer, or more of a communal gathering? Are the Eucharistic bread and wine — which Catholics believe to be the body and blood of Christ — to be received on the knees, with a sense of awe and trembling, or shared like the elements of a meal?

These aren't either-or propositions, Lloyd says. The Mass is a sacrifice and a meal, a private rendezvous and a public gathering.

But the new and old rites emphasize different elements, and the distinctions are evident even to a casual observer. At a Tridentine service, the priest faces the altar, not the people, and seems to be engaged in private discourse much of the time. His orientation and gestures make the sacrificial aspect of the liturgy far more explicit than in the Novus Ordo, which emphasizes the social elements of worship by using lay people for Scripture readings and including more responsorial prayers.

The Rev. John T. Zuhlsdorf, a priest and author who lives in Rome and maintains a Catholic apologetics Web site, says the old rite constitutes ''vertical'' worship, raising the congregation's attention to God on high, whereas the new Mass is ''horizontal,'' emphasizing God's presence in the community of believers.

While most of the old rite is in Latin, calling it the Latin Mass is misleading, because the new Mass is sometimes said in that language. It is also misleading to call the Tridentine the ''Mass of all time,'' as some traditionalists do, because other liturgical forms flourished before its development.

Indeed, the Mass of Paul VI was ostensibly an attempt to reclaim elements of the earliest Christian liturgies — the sign of peace, for example, a handshake or other greeting among congregants which was a prominent part of early worship. It is used in the elaborate Tridentine High Mass, but not in the simpler Low Mass.

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Picture of the Day


A motorcyclist of the Italian Police Motorcyclists Association waits for Pope Benedict XVI's blessing during the Angelus prayer in St. Peter's square at the Vatican Sunday, Oct. 29, 2006. In background St. Peter's Basilica. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

Pray for the Pope

Angelus: every Christian has “innate missionary vocation” through Baptism



~via Asia News

Baptism, which in the ancient Church was also significantly called “enlightenment”, gives each Christian “an innate missionary vocation”. On the last Sunday of the missionary month of October, Benedict XVI talked once again about mission, taking his queue from the Gospel episode of Bartimaeus, the blind man who, having asked for and obtained healing “because of his faith”, becomes a disciple.

In St Peter’s Square, on a sunny day reminiscent of summer, the Latin text of the Angelus prayer was shown on maxi screens for the first time, to enable the faithful present to pray the words together with the Pope. Among the crowd of 50,000 pilgrims, there was a large yellow and blue arch with the word “Loreto”, put up by youth delegates from all the regions of Italy. They are currently meeting in Rome to implement a three-yearly project of the Italian church entitled “AgorĂ  of youth”. Greeting them after the Marian prayer, Benedict XVI publicly announced his intention of going next year to the city that hosts a famous Marian shrine. “Dear friends,” he told them. “I bless your journey and I await you in large numbers for the meeting of young Italians scheduled for 1 and 2 September 2007 in Loreto.” He added: “Near that beloved Marian shrine, we will live a moment of grace together, in the joy of faith and perspective of mission, not least in preparation for the World Youth Day in Sydney in 2008.”

An unusual group present in the square today was composed of hundreds of motorcyclists of the Motorcyclists Association of the police force, who thundered down Via Conciliazione.

Before the Angelus, leaning out of the window of his study in the Vatican’s Apostolic Palace, the pope spoke about the Gospel reading, stressing that the “decisive moment was the personal, direct encounter between the Lord and that suffering man. They face each other: God with his desire to heal and the man with his desire to be healed. Two freedoms, two converging desires: ‘What do you want me to do for you?’ asks the Lord. ‘Let me see again,’ responds the blind man. ‘Go; your faith has made you well.’ With these words, a miracle takes place; the joy of God, the joy of man. And Bartimaeus, who has come to the light, ‘followed him on the way’, according the Gospel. Thus he becomes his disciple and goes with the Teacher to Jerusalem, to participate with Him in the great mystery of salvation."

The pope continued: “This account, with the essentiality of its passages, evokes the route of the Catechumen towards the sacrament of Baptism, which in the ancient Church was also called ‘Enlightenment’. Faith is a journey of enlightenment: it departs from the humility of recognizing that we are in need of salvation and reaches personal encounter with Christ, who invites all to follow him along the road of love. It is on this model that the itineraries of Christian initiation are based, as they prepare for the sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation (or Cresima) and the Eucharist. In places of ancient evangelization, where the baptism of children is widespread, opportunities of catechesis and spirituality are offered to youth and adults, to enable them to follow a path of rediscovery of their faith in a mature and conscious way, to consequently assume a coherent commitment of bearing witness. How important the work of pastors and catechists in this field is! The rediscovery of values of one’s Baptism is at the basis of the missionary commitment of each Christian, because we see in the Gospel that those who allow themselves to be fascinated by Christ cannot but testify to the joy of following his footsteps. In this month of October, especially dedicated to mission, we understand even more that, precisely due to the strength of Baptism, we possess an innate missionary vocation.”

He added: “Let us invoke the intercession of the Virgin Mary so that missionaries of the Gospel may multiply. Intimately united with the Lord, may every person who has been baptized feel called to announce the love of God to all, with the witness of his own life.”

After the Angelus, Benedict XVI made an appeal “for people who, in countries around the world, are victims of kidnapping. While I reiterate the firmest condemnation of this crime, I give assurance that I remember in my prayer all victims and their relatives and friends. In particular, I join the urgent appeal recently made to me by the Archbishop and community of Sassari for Mr John Baptist Pinna, kidnapped on 14 September, so that he may be swiftly restored to his dear ones.”

Father Cantalamessa: On the Priesthood

~via Zenit

"Chosen from and for men"
30th Sunday in Ordinary Time (B)
Jeremiah 31:7-9; Hebrews 5:1-6; Mark 10:46-52

The Gospel passage recounts the cure of the blind man of Jericho, Bartimaeus.

Bartimaeus is someone who does not miss an opportunity. He heard that Jesus was passing by, understood that it was the opportunity of his life and acted swiftly. The reaction of those present -- "and many rebuked him, telling him to be silent" -- makes evident the unadmitted pretension of the wealthy of all times: That misery remain hidden, that it not show itself, that it not disturb the sight and dreams of those who are well.

The term "blind" has been charged with so many negative meanings that it is right to reserve it, as the tendency is today, to the moral blindness of ignorance and insensitivity. Bartimaeus is not blind; he is only sightless. He sees better with his heart than many of those around him, because he has faith and cherishes hope. More than that, it is this interior vision of faith which also helps him to recover his external vision of things. "Your faith has made you well," Jesus says to him.

I pause here in the explanation of the Gospel because I am anxious to develop a topic present in this Sunday's second reading, regarding the figure and role of the priest. It is said of a priest first of all that he is "chosen from among men." He is not, therefore, an uprooted being or fallen from heaven, but a human being who has behind him a family and a history like everyone else.

"Chosen from among men" also means that the priest is made of the same fabric as any other human creature: with the emotions, struggles, doubts and weaknesses of everybody else. Scripture sees in this a benefit for other men, not a motive for scandal. In this way, in fact, the priest will be more ready to have compassion, as he is also cloaked in weakness.

Chosen from among men, the priest is moreover "appointed to act on behalf of men," that is, given back to them, placed at their service -- a service that affects man's most profound dimension, his eternal destiny.

St. Paul summarizes the priestly ministry with a phrase: "This is how one should regard us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God" (1 Corinthians 4:1). This does not mean that the priest is indifferent to the needs -- including human -- of people, but that he is also concerned with these with a spirit that is different from that of sociologists and politicians. Often the parish is the strongest point of aggregation, including social, in the life of a country or district.

We have sketched the positive vision of the priest's figure. We know that it is not always so. Every now and then the news reminds us that another reality also exists, made of weakness and infidelity --- of this reality the Church can do no more than ask forgiveness.

But there is a truth that must be recalled for a certain consolation of the people. As man, the priest can err, but the gestures he carries out as priest, at the altar or in the confessional, are not invalid or ineffective because of it. The people are not deprived of God's grace because of the unworthiness of the priest. It is Christ who baptizes, celebrates, forgives; the priest is only the instrument.

I like to recall in this connection, the words uttered before dying by the country priest of Georges Bernanos: "All is grace."

Even the misery of his alcoholism seems to him to be a grace, because it has made him more merciful toward people. God is not that concerned that his representatives on earth be perfect, but that they be merciful.

Prayer in Preparation for Holy Communion



O Lord Jesus Christ, my God, absolve, remit, pardon, and forgive me the sins, offences, and transgressions, which I Your sinful, unprofitable, and unworthy servant, have committed from my youth to this present day and hour, whether in knowledge, or in ignorance, whether of words or deeds, whether in thought or imagination, in my undertakings, or in any of my senses. And by
the intercessions of her who conceived You without seed, the immaculate and ever-virgin Mary, Your Mother, my only unashamed hope, my protection and my salvation, make me worthy to partake without condemnation of Your immaculate, immortal, life-giving, and dread Mysteries, for the forgiveness of sins and to eternal life, to sanctification, enlightenment, strength, healing, and health of both soul and body, and to the blotting out and complete obliteration of my evil thoughts and imaginings and intents, of night fantasies and the evil spirits of darkness; for Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory and the honor and the worship, with the Father and the Holy Spirit, now and ever and forever. Amen.

In his goodness to all, God gives order and harmony to the world


~by Pope St. Clement I

Let us fix our gaze on the Father and Creator of the whole world, and let us hold on to his peace and blessings, his splendid and surpassing gifts. Let us contemplate him in our thoughts and with our mind’s eye reflect upon the peaceful and restrained unfolding of his plan; let us consider the care with which he provides for the whole of his creation.

By his direction the heavens are in motion, and they are subject to him in peace. Day and night fulfil the course he has established without interfering with each other. The sun, the moon and the choirs of stars revolve in harmony at his command in their appointed paths without deviation. By his will the earth blossoms in the proper seasons and produces abundant food for men and animals and all the living things on it without reluctance and without any violation of what he has arranged.

Yet unexplored regions of the abysses and inexpressible realms of the deep are subject to his laws. The mass of the boundless sea, joined together by his ordinance in a single expanse, does not overflow its prescribed limits but flows as he commanded it. For he said: Thus far shall you come, and your waves will be halted here. The ocean, impassable for men, and the worlds beyond it are governed by the same edicts of the Lord.

The seasons, spring, summer, autumn and winter, follow one another in harmony. The quarters from which the winds blow function in due season without the least deviation. And the ever-flowing springs, created for our health as well as our enjoyment, unfailingly offer their breasts to sustain human life. The tiniest of living creatures meet together in harmony and peace. The great Creator and Lord of the universe commanded all these things to be established in peace and harmony, in his goodness to all, and in overflowing measure to us who seek refuge in his mercies through our Lord Jesus Christ; to him be glory and majesty for ever and ever. Amen.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

New auxiliary bishop for Detroit

~from Vatican News and Whispers in the Loggia

The Holy Father has named Mons. Daniel E. Flores of the Diocese of Corpus Christi to be an Auxiliary Bishop to Cardinal Adam Maida of Detroit. Mons. Flores is rector of the cathedral of Corpus Christi and Vice-rector of St. Mary's Seminary of Houston. Mons. Flores will be the youngest member of the US Bishops.

Italian journalist says Benedict XVI has made the Church bulwark of reason

~from Catholic News Agency

Italian journalist Vittorio Messori said this week that Pope Benedict XVI is the leader “of a Church that seems to have become the greatest bulwark of reason.”

In an article published by the Spanish daily “La Razon,” Messori said the “intellectual prestige” of Benedict XVI, “which was not lacking in his predecessors,” seems to be the unique characteristic of the current Pontificate.

Messori said that the idea of Pope “as professor” seems to prevail in the minds of the people. This is evident during each of his public appearances in which “the masses of the faithful” do not come to get emotionally charged up, “but rather to learn, almost to attend the lecture of a wise and at the same time generous professor, who breaks down and offers his knowledge to those who do not have it.”

In this sense, he referred to the “first-hand knowledge” that the Pontiff has “of the secular intellectual world.”

“Pope Ratzinger,” he said, is never “invective” nor engages in “ecclesial rhetoric.” “He knows what he says and he makes his arguments.”

In his article, the Italian journalist noted that this intellectual quality, outstanding in the current Pontiff, was not uncommon in his predecessors. “None of the Popes who have reigned during the life of someone who is today in his seventies could be classified as an ‘amateur,’ as a pastor lacking in profound and solid culture and human experience,” Messori said.

Messori said whether people agree with him or not, Benedict XVI’s warnings “are always examined with great attention” by Catholics and non-Catholics alike. As proof he pointed to the words of the Pope and the Lateran University: “It is urgent that new paths be found to help the West out of the dramatic crisis of culture and identity that has unfolded before our eyes.”

Friday, October 27, 2006

Nuns urge Catholic voters to challenge church

In other words, nuns who are CINOs (Catholic in Name Only)

~from Denver Post

An organization of Catholic nuns whose leadership includes four Colorado women is urging Catholic voters to challenge church teachings against abortion and gay marriage while weighing a broad range of social issues on Election Day.

In an "open letter to Catholic voters," the National Coalition of American Nuns provides an alternative to the church hierarchy's voter education efforts in Colorado and nationwide, said Sister Mary Ann Cunningham of Denver, a board member.

Opposing war and treating immigrants with compassion are included in a list of seven issues outlined by the group. Mary Ann Coyle and Anna Koop of Denver and Sallie Ann Watkins of Pueblo are the other Colorado nuns on the board.

The letter also states, "We encourage respect for the moral adulthood of women and will choose legislators who will recognize the right of women to make reproductive decisions and receive medical treatment according to the rights of privacy and conscience."

Cunningham said many Catholics disagree with the church's opposition to legalized abortion for "compassionate, faithful reasons."

Denver Archbishop Charles Chaput has urged Catholics to "act Catholic" when they vote or run for office and called opposition to abortion "foundational."

"We're supposed to vote as our conscience tells us, not as the archbishop's conscience tells him," said Cunningham, a member of the Sisters of Loretto. "I have great respect for the archbishop, but I think that's kind of treating us like children."

Jeanette DeMelo, spokeswoman for the Denver Archdiocese, said Chaput has highlighted a broad range of issues, all grounded in Catholic teaching.

"Archbishop Charles Chaput is not teaching his personal opinion," she said. "This is the church's teaching, and it is the responsibility of a Catholic to vote their conscience, but their rightly formed conscience, their educated conscience."

The nuns' letter also says citizens "in committed relationships - whether marriages or civil unions" - should have adoption, inheritance and other rights.

Colorado's Catholic bishops oppose a measure on the November ballot that would grant domestic-partnership benefits to same-sex couples, and they support a constitutional amendment that would define marriage as between one man and one woman.

"I do value the voice of the church hierarchy," Cunningham said. "But I don't find anything in the Gospels about abortion or gay marriage."

Who are these women? Take a look:



Yeah, no habit.

Father Drinan and Attila the Hun

~from Human Life International e-Newsletter by Fr. Tom Euteneuer

One of the plagues of the Catholic Church in modern America is the barely-disguised faith abuse of many of our so-called Catholic universities. The actions of some of these universities are just intolerable from the viewpoint of authentic Catholicism, and they should be exposed and rebuked for the heresy, apostasy or the just plain pathetic Catholicism that they advocate. This week saw one of the most egregious slaps in the face to the Catholic Church that has been seen in a long time: an award for an abortion-advocating priest. The culprit? Georgetown - again.

This fallen-away Catholic school in DC has an astounding history of offensive actions against the Catholic Faith. Remember the scandal of the removal of Crucifixes from the classrooms despite student protests? How about the sponsorship of the V-Monologues and endorsement of the openly gay advocacy group on campus? They also hosted pornographer Larry Flint with honors but then staged a pretty nasty walkout on Cardinal Arinze, of all people, because he dared to mention homosexuality as a threat to the family. Not surprising really, when you consider that this is the same university that taught Bill Clinton how to be a politician.

The shenanigans of the Georgetown University Law Center this week, however, top them all. Georgetown Law established an endowed chair for "human rights" in the name of Fr. Robert Drinan, the Jesuit priest who unwaveringly supported abortion while he was in Congress (1971-1981) and even defended the despicable partial birth abortion. Why this scandal of a priest was not summarily run out of the priesthood by his superiors or at very least silenced for his shameless blessing of abortion is beyond me. But what inevitably happens when heretics are not disciplined by their superiors is that they end up being celebrated and honored with silly awards like this. Well, if Fr. Drinan is a human rights hero then Attila the Hun was a diplomat. Maybe Georgetown Law should name a chair of humanitarian law after Atilla just to be consistent.

This incident, of course, touches upon the open, gaping wound in Catholic higher education these days. Western culture owes the very concept of the university to Roman Catholicism, which brought this institution to society for the purpose of evangelizing culture and saving souls through intellectual pursuit and formation in virtue. What passes for Catholic universities today is sometimes a pure mockery of that great tradition. Schools that routinely violate authentic Catholic teaching and refuse to discipline heretics in their midst under the rubric of "academic freedom" should not be called Catholic - pure and simple. They should have their status to teach as representative institutions of the Catholic Church revoked because they violate their very reason for existence, which is to bring souls and societies to Christ, Truth Incarnate.

We can lay the blame at the feet of bishops who don't supervise the Catholic credentials of these places, religious superiors who allow their subordinates to get away with heresy and school administrators who just don't seem to care about the mission of Christ. Parents would do well to stop investing upwards of $40,000 a year in Georgetown and other formerly Catholic universities just to have their kids lose the Faith and very possibly their souls.

Islamization of Iranian schools grows

When haven't they been Islamized in the last 20 years?

~from Asia News

The new school year in Iran has started with moves to boost the Islamization of education, with the increasingly frequent application of “religious principles” on the one hand and efforts to keep students under strict control on the other, especially at university.

Teachers are not spared: as from this year, male teachers will no longer be allowed to teach in girls’ schools and vice-versa. The Education Ministry has recruited 13,000 new trained teachers as well as 4,000 who are either war veterans or members of religious minorities or religious students. And 500 teachers will be picked from students of the Quran Training Center.

As for text books, in September, Ayatollah Makarem Shiraz raised an alert at the end of a visit to the southern provinces: “Footprints of the enemies of Islam continue to appear in books of primary schools.” Among other things, he said that while there were images of veiled girls in the books of first grade students, those for the fifth grade displayed girls without the hijab.

In any case, a project is being assessed that would make studying the Quran obligatory in the last four school years. There are also plans to encourage the Passdaran Corps and other “revolutionary” bodies to open private schools, especially for preschool age and schools in the technical field, which would have a marked religious character.

As for universities, in September, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said that “for the last 150 years, the educational system has been affected by secularism”. He said: “Today, students should shout at the president and ask why liberal and secular university lecturers are present in the universities.”

After his speech, some university students were suspended for undertaking “political activities” against the regime leaders. For example, this was the reason given for the suspension of one or two semesters of 11 students from Bou-Ali Sina University in Hamedan.

Then there is a project proposed by the head of the Security Forces of Tehran province, General Reza Zarei. This is for the setting up of a school police force that would be deployed outside but also inside school buildings.

Pray for the Pope

Knights of Columbus sponsors “Spiritual Pilgrimage” with Pope during Turkey trip

~from Knights of Columbus via Catholic Online

The Knights of Columbus announced today that it will sponsor a “spiritual pilgrimage” with Pope Benedict XVI as he travels to Turkey in late November. Knights, their families, and all Catholics are being asked to pray daily for the Pontiff during the trip, which begins on Tuesday, November 28 and concludes on Friday, December 1.

Knights will pray for the pope’s intentions beginning on November 26, the Sunday before the pope departs (the Solemnity of Christ the King). In addition, the Knights of Columbus will print and distribute cards with a special prayer written by the Order’s Supreme Chaplain, Bishop William E. Lori. Knights and others joining in the Spiritual Pilgrimage will say the prayer each day during the pope’s trip.

The prayer asks that the pope’s visit will bring about “deeper ties of understanding, cooperation, and peace among Roman Catholics, the Orthodox, and those who profess Islam.” And it asks that “Pope Benedict be kept safe from all harm as he prays, bears witness to the Gospel, and invites all peoples to a dialogue of faith, reason, and love.” The full text of the prayer appears below. A PDF file of the prayer card can be found at www.kofc.org.

“Only a few Catholics can physically travel with the Holy Father to Turkey,” Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson said, “but millions of us can be united with him in prayer during his pilgrimage for peace.”

“We will ask Our Lady of Fatima to intercede for the pope during this journey,” Anderson continued. “Mary is regarded with special esteem by people of the Islamic faith, and this is especially true under her title Our Lady of Fatima, since Fatima was the name of the prophet Mohammed’s daughter.”

The Knights of Columbus is the world’s largest lay Catholic organization, with more than 1.7 million members in North and Central America, the Philippines and Poland.

Text of the Knights of Columbus prayer

The spirit pleads for us

~by St. Augustine

The person who asks for and seeks this one thing from the Lord makes his petition confidently and serenely. He has no fear that, when he receives it, it may harm him, for if this is absent, anything else he duly receives brings no benefit at all. This is the one, true and only life of happiness, that, immortal and incorruptible in body and spirit, we should contemplate the Lord’s graciousness for ever. It is for the sake of this one thing that everything else is sought and without impropriety requested. The person who has this will have all that he wants; in heaven, he will be unable to want, because he will be unable to possess anything that is unfitting.

In heaven is the fountain of life, that we should now thirst for in prayer as long as we live in hope and do not yet see the object of our hope, under the protection of his wings in whose presence is all our desire, so that we may drink our fill from the plenty of his house and be given drink from the running stream of his delights, for with him is the fountain of life, and in his light we shall see light, when our desire will be satisfied with good things, and there will be nothing to ask for with sighs but only what we possess with joy.

Yet, since this is that peace that surpasses all understanding, even when we ask for it in prayer we do not know how to pray for what is right. Certainly we do not know something if we cannot think of it as it really is; whatever comes to mind we reject, repudiate, find fault with; we know that this is not what we are seeking, even if we do not yet know what kind of thing it really is.

There is then within us a kind of instructed ignorance, instructed, that is, by the Spirit of God who helps our weakness. When the Apostle said: If we hope for something we do not see, we look forward to it with patience, he added, In the same way the Spirit helps our weakness; we do not know what it is right to pray for, but the Spirit himself pleads with sighs too deep for words. He who searches hearts knows what the Spirit means, for he pleads for the saints according to God’s will.

We must not understand by this that the Holy Spirit of God pleads for the saints as if he were someone different from what God is: in the Trinity the Spirit is the unchangeable God and one God with the Father and the Son. Scripture says: He pleads for the saints because he moves the saints to plead, just as it says: The Lord your God tests you, to know if you love him, in this sense, that he does it to enable you to know. So the Spirit moves the saints to plead with sighs too deep for words by inspiring in them a desire for the great and as yet unknown reality that we look forward to with patience. How can words express what we desire when it remains unknown? If we were entirely ignorant of it we would not desire it; again, we would not desire it or seek it with sighs, if we were able to see it.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Patriarch hopes papal trip to Turkey will help Orthodox minority

~from Catholic News Service

Global interest in Pope Benedict XVI's upcoming trip to Turkey has focused on relations with Muslims, especially after the pope's recent remarks on Islam and the controversy that followed.

But the Nov. 28-Dec. 1 visit also will highlight the tiny but historic Greek Orthodox community in Turkey and its struggle for religious freedom.

In fact, it was Istanbul-based Orthodox Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew who first invited the pope to visit as a demonstration of ongoing dialogue between the Christians of East and West -- an aspect overshadowed by the latest controversy with Islam.

In an apparent desire to put ecumenical relations and Christian issues back on the map, Patriarch Bartholomew recently held meetings with reporters, outlining his expectations for the papal trip.

"We are awaiting the pope's visit with fraternal love and great anticipation. It will be very important for our country and for Catholic-Orthodox relations," the patriarch said in late September.

The tentative papal program includes several events hosted by the ecumenical patriarchate: vespers, a Divine Liturgy, private talks between the pope and the patriarch, and the signing of a joint ecumenical declaration.

In these and other encounters, the Orthodox are hoping the pope will raise the profile of their minority church in Turkey and provide public support for their religious rights.

"The pope always underlines the principles of religious freedom and human rights ... which are valid principles for democratic societies. So I think the pope in his sermon here will speak not only in favor of Catholics but in favor of all religious minorities," Patriarch Bartholomew said.

The ecumenical patriarch holds a place of special honor among the world's Orthodox leaders. His flock in Turkey, however, numbers only about 5,000 ethnic Greeks today, following a long exodus of Greek Christians over the last century. In 1923, when the modern Turkish state was founded, the country had an estimated 180,000 Greek Orthodox.

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Papal document on Eucharist reported "imminent"

~from Catholic World News

The publication of the papal document concluding the work of last year's Synod on the Eucharist is "imminent," according to the I Media news agency.

Citing informed sources at the Vatican, I Media reports that Pope Benedict XVI will soon release his apostolic exhortation on the Eucharist. The Holy Father reportedly was reviewing a final draft of the document late in August.

The imminent release of a papal document on the Eucharist would be noteworthy under any circumstances. But in light of the reports that Pope Benedict is preparing another document on the use of the Latin Mass, the document will be even more anxiously awaited. Some Vatican-watchers have surmised that the Pontiff will release his motu proprio on the Latin Mass in conjunction with the apostolic exhortation on the Synod.

The members of the bishops' committee charged with drafting a document on the Synod discussions, which the Pope would use as the basis for his apostolic exhortation, met in Rome early in June. At that time the Pope had expressed a desire to see the document soon, and wrap up the work of the Synod on the Eucharist. He apparently worked on the document during his summer stay at Castel Gandolfo.

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And can it be....

I missed this post of Fr. Z's yesterday: Great News
Folks, I received very good news today. Three sources confirmed something for me of great importance and a matter of consolation. At the moment, it is best not to publish it or talk too much about it, until it is brought to light by the proper authority.

Nevertheless, I would kindly ask readers of WDTPRS in print and in this blog general to say in advance a prayer of thanksgiving to God. Whenever we have petitions, it is good to add a prayer of thanks together with the petition.

So, I ask you kindly to say a prayer of thanks for something in particular, even if you don’t know yet what it is. I am really not trying to be cageywith this. Sometimes people who run blogs or write article rush to publicize soemthing before its times and, in doing so, create unnecessary complications. Just say a prayer of praise to God, for this and other blessings in your lives.
Father then launched into the Te Deum.

Offline today


I apologize for being offline today. Our Catholic homeschooling group came over for tea and breakfast after Mass. There is a great joy in seeing lots and lots of children and knowing that our house is kid-proof (nothing valuable to be broken, and cuts and bruises can be kissed away) and the moms were able to engage in adult conversation while the older children took care of the young ones. My Boy Scout sons set up tents in the backyard for the little ones to run off their excess energy after eating all the scones that I baked very early this morning. Anyway, I'm exhausted. I'll try to catch up with the day's news.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Road trip

...to New Orleans to see the Vatican mosaics. From CNA:
They’ve never left the Vatican — until now. Thirty-seven mosaics, depicting masterworks from the Renaissance to modern times, will be on display in New Orleans, from Jan. 28 to June 1, at the Catholic Cultural Heritage Center of the archdiocese.

The Exhibition of the Vatican Mosaic Studio is described by organizers as “an evolution of the human spirit as seen through mosaic art,” reported The Associated Press. The exhibit was to have opened in April but was delayed due to the effects Hurricane Katrina.

The Vatican studio is reportedly for its mosaics made of tiny bits of enamel, glass and stone, and so finely crafted that they look almost like paintings. In addition to producing and selling works to the public, it is also responsible for preserving St. Peter’s mosaics

According to the an AP report, the studio was founded in the 16th century, when Pope Gregory XIII brought expert mosaic craftsmen from Venice to Rome to decorate St. Peter's Basilica.

Security for Pope's Trip to Turkey

~from Zaman Daily, Pope to Get Bush-Like Protection

Strict security measures will be taken during Pope Benedict XVI’s official visit to Turkey scheduled for November 28 to December 1, 2006.

The Security General Directorate, in cooperation with the National Intelligence Agency (MIT) and the Gendarmerie, is working on security plans in an effort to prevent any provocations or even assassination attempts against the Pope, who, after his offensive remarks on Islam and prophet Muhammad, will be visiting Turkey.

During the papal visit, the Directorate will adhere to their Type A protection plan, which was previously invoked during US president George W. bush’s visit to Turkey.

During his stay, Benedict XVI will visit Ankara and Istanbul and meet officials. The Pope, will also visit Hagia Sophia and other historical sites in Istanbul.

The Type A security plan will be enforced during the entire visit. Turkish F-16 aircraft will accompany the pope’s flight upon its entrance into Turkish airspace.

During the pope’s four-day visit, the Security General Directorate will not permit any leave of absences in Ankara and Istanbul.

In other provinces, the police will also take security measures against probable street actions and protests.

7,000 policemen will be on duty in Ankara, and 9,000 in Istanbul to protect the Pope.

Soon after the Pope lands, traffic will be halted. He will be taken to an armored vehicle. As an additional measure, two identical official cars will be part of the Pope’s convoy.

Police officers from special units and sharpshooters will be stationed beforehand along the Pope’s route.

Meanwhile, where the Pope will be staying during his visit to Turkey is still unclear. It is reported that he will stay either at the Holy See Embassy Residence, or at the Hilton Hotel, where George Bush had stayed before.

General Audience: St Paul teaches salvation is for all as God is God of all

~via Asia News

St Paul, the “thirteenth apostle”, taught through his life that God should be put in the centre, and he showed how “salvation is offered to all mankind without exception” with his universal apostolate, “because God is God of all”.

Benedict XVI today announced a new cycle of catechesis to 25,000 people gathered for the general audience, since he has completed his depiction of the 12 apostles. Starting with Paul of Tarsus, he will now tackle “men and even women who dedicated their lives to the Gospel and to the Lord”.

After Jesus, recalled the pope, Paul “is the person from the beginning about who we are most informed”, both from the Acts of the Apostles as well as his letters that allow us to get to know him “without intermediaries”. “A diaspora Jew, Paul lived in the city of Tarsus between Anatolia and Syria”, a persecutor of Christians until struck by the light of Christ. Described by Chrysostom as “superior to angels and archangels” and by Dante as “vase of election”, which means, the pope explained, “an instrument chosen by God”, Paul knew the first disciples of Christ, “who put not a religion but the person of Jesus at the centre, and to him was linked the remission of sins”. But his “enlightenment and true vocation came when he encountered the Risen Lord”. For this reason, Paul “describes himself explicitly as an apostle by vocation or an apostle by the will of God”. Benedict XVI said: “From that moment, he dispensed all his energies for Jesus Christ and for his Gospel”. From here is drawn the foremost teaching of Paul, that “what counts is putting Jesus Christ at the centre of our lives, and that in the light of Christianity, every other value is found or even, if necessary, purified from possible impure matter.”

The second aspect of St Paul underlined by Benedict XVI “is the universal character of his apostolate: salvation is offered to all men without exception... The proclamation of grace destined to reconcile man with God and with others, does not concern only the Jew, it concerns all, because God is God of all”.

Highlighting the passion of Paul to spread the Gospel in every part of the world, Benedict XVI also drew attention to his sufferings and martyrdom in Rome under Nero. “He could not have faced such great trials were it not for a reason of absolute value: for him, this was Jesus Christ.” He added: “May the Lord help us to put his exhortation into practice, when he says ‘be imitators of me, as I am of Christ’”.

You will find no prayer that is not already contained in the Lord's Prayer



~by St. Augustine

Here are some examples.

When one prays: Be glorified among all nations as thou art glorified among us, and Let your prophets be proved true, what else is one asking than Hallowed be thy name?

When the psalmist says: Bring us back, O God of hosts, let your face shine on us and we shall be saved what else is he saying than Thy kingdom come?

When he says: Direct my steps according to your word, so that iniquity has no dominion over me what else is he saying than Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven?

When the book of Proverbs one says: give me neither poverty nor riches, grant me only my share of food what else is this than Give us this day our daily bread?

When the psalmist says Lord, remember David and how he served you or O Lord, if I have done this, if there is iniquity in my hands, if I have rewarded with evil those that did evil to me what else is this than Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us?
When he says: Deliver me from my enemies, O my God, and defend me from those that rise up against me what else is this than Deliver us from evil?

And if you go over all the words of holy prayers, I think you will find nothing which cannot be comprised and summed up in the petitions of the Lord’s Prayer. So when we pray we are free to use different words to any extent, but we must ask the same things: in this we have no choice.

It is our duty to ask these things without hesitation for ourselves and for our friends, for strangers and even for our enemies; although of course our emotions may differ according to the persons being prayed for and their closeness or their distance from us.

Now you have the answers to two questions: what sort of person you should be when you pray, and what sort of things you should pray for. These answers have not come from my teaching but from the teaching of him who has condescended to teach us all.

We must seek a blessed life and we must ask God to grant it to us. What a blessed life might mean is something that many people have had many arguments about; but why should we go to many people or listen to many arguments? God’s own Scriptures have summed it up exactly: Blessed is the people whose God is the Lord. How are we to be part of that people, to look on God and live with him for ever? As St Paul says, The only purpose of this instruction is that there should be love coming out of a pure heart, a clear conscience, and a sincere faith.

For “a clear conscience” we may read “hope”. Faith, hope, and charity, therefore, lead to God the man who prays, the man, that is, believes, hopes, and desires, and is guided as to what he should ask from the Lord by studying the Lord’s Prayer.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Lay ministers may not cleanse Communion vessels, Pope Benedict says

~from CNS

At the direction of Pope Benedict XVI, extraordinary ministers of holy Communion will no longer be permitted to assist in the purification of the sacred vessels at Masses in the United States.

In an Oct. 23 letter, Bishop William S. Skylstad, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, asked his fellow bishops to inform all pastors of the change, which was prompted by a letter from Cardinal Francis Arinze, prefect of the Vatican Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments.

The U.S. bishops had asked the Vatican to extend an indult -- or church permission -- in effect since 2002 allowing extraordinary ministers of holy Communion to help cleanse the Communion cups and plates when there were not enough priests or deacons to do so.

Bishop Skylstad, who heads the Diocese of Spokane, Wash., said Cardinal Arinze asked Pope Benedict about the matter during a June 9 audience, "and received a response in the negative."

Noting that the General Instruction of the Roman Missal "directs that the sacred vessels are to be purified by the priest, the deacon or an instituted acolyte," the cardinal said in his Oct. 12 letter that "it does not seem feasible, therefore, for the congregation to grant the requested indult from this directive in the general law of the Latin Church."

Although receiving Communion under both kinds is a "more complete" sign of the sacrament's meaning, Cardinal Arinze said, "Christ is fully present under each of the species."

"Communion under the species of the bread alone, as a consequence, makes it possible to receive all the fruit of eucharistic grace," he added.

Another "legitimate option" when "the high number of communicants may render it inadvisable for everyone to drink from the chalice" is intinction -- the practice of dipping the consecrated host into the consecrated wine -- "with reception on the tongue always and everywhere," the cardinal's letter said.

Along with the letters from Bishop Skylstad and Cardinal Arinze, bishops received a new resource prepared by the bishops' Committee on the Liturgy titled "Seven Questions on the Distribution of Holy Communion Under Both Kinds."

The committee document also suggested distribution of Communion by consecrated bread alone or by intinction when the number of communicants makes the purification of vessels by priests, deacons or instituted acolytes alone "pastorally problematic."

"Priests should also keep in mind potential risks associated with intinction, especially in the coming flu season," the document added.

The committee said extraordinary ministers of holy Communion may continue to "consume what remains of the precious blood from their chalice of distribution with permission of the diocesan bishop."

The document notes that the "extraordinary ministry" by which laypeople distribute Communion "was created exclusively for those instances where there are not enough ordinary ministers to distribute holy Communion, due to the consummate importance of assuring that the faithful have the opportunity to receive holy Communion at Mass, even when it is distributed under both species."

Ordinary ministers of Communion are priests and deacons, with instituted acolytes being permitted in the Roman Missal to help the priest or deacon "to purify and arrange the sacred vessels."

In the United States, instituted acolytes, who must be male, generally are seminarians preparing for priesthood.

What Does the Church Really Say about Music in Mass?

~Excerpted from Catholic Exchange by Fr. James Farfaglia

Since the close of the Second Vatican Council, church music has been at the center of a lot of controversy. In many places liturgy has become mere entertainment or an emotional pep rally. Music has become the very center of a crisis which has profoundly affected the Catholic Mass.

What Is Sacred Music?

For anyone who is interested in the proper implementation of the liturgical reform envisioned by the Second Vatican Council, there are documents on the subject of liturgical music which need to be read and studied. For the centenary of the Motu Propio “Tra le Sollecitudini” of Pope St. Pius X (1835-1914) who did much work for liturgical reform, Pope John Paul the Great published an important document on sacred music. In his document we find words that will help us answer our question.

In continuity with the teachings of St. Pius X and the Second Vatican Council, it is necessary first of all to emphasize that music destined for sacred rites must have holiness as its reference point: indeed, "sacred music increases in holiness to the degree that it is intimately linked with liturgical action." For this very reason, "not all without distinction that is outside the temple (profanum) is fit to cross its threshold," my venerable predecessor Paul VI wisely said, commenting on a Decree of the Council of Trent. And he explained that "if music — instrumental and vocal — does not possess at the same time the sense of prayer, dignity and beauty, it precludes the entry into the sphere of the sacred and the religious." Today, moreover, the meaning of the category "sacred music" has been broadened to include repertoires that cannot be part of the celebration without violating the spirit and norms of the Liturgy itself. (Chirograph of the Supreme Pontiff John Paul II for the Centenary of the Motu Propio, 4)
From this text, we can deduce that not all music is appropriate for the Catholic Mass. In fact, the post-conciliar document Musicam Sacram (March 5, 1967), gives us a precise definition of sacred music when it states:
By sacred music is understood that which, being created for the celebration of divine worship, is endowed with a certain holy sincerity of form. The following come under the title of sacred music: Gregorian chant, sacred polyphony in its various forms both ancient and modern, sacred music for the organ and other approved instruments, and sacred popular music, be it liturgical or simply religious.

A Treasure of Inestimable Value

Sacred music has a very important function within the liturgy of the Catholic Church. In the Vatican II document Sacrosanctum Concilium we find these words:
The musical tradition of the universal Church is a treasure of inestimable value, greater even than that of any other art. The main reason for this pre-eminence is that, as sacred song united to the words, it forms a necessary or integral part of the solemn liturgy. (112)
The same text goes on to tell us the very purpose of the sacred music: i.e., the glory of God and the sanctification of the faithful.

In light of what we have seen thus far, we can now ask the question, What is appropriate music for the Catholic liturgy?

More

St. Louis Election Eve Mass with Archbishop Burke

~Hat tip to Marcus at Rome of the West
Archbishop Raymond L. Burke will be the Principal Celebrant and Speaker at a Mass For The Great Needs Of Our Time, The Safeguarding Of Embryonic Human Life And The Right To Life For The Unborn, on the eve of the election, November 6, 2006 here at St. Gabriel Church. Mass at 7:30 pm, rosary at 7:00 pm.

The "Missionary Image" of Our Lady of Guadalupe will be at the Mass. It is an exact photographic replica of the original image and travels the world with a mission to end abortion and convert millions. You are invited to touch or kiss the image before or after Mass.

Pueri Cantores

~from Savannah Morning News

About 150 youth from the dioceses of Charleston, S.C., and Savannah joined in song Sunday for a choral festival and Mass sponsored by Pueri Cantores, the student choral organization of the Catholic church.

The singers, ages 7-18, performed works spanning 1,500 years - from Gregorian through the 20th century - at the service held at the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist.

Pueri Cantores organizes regional, national and international liturgies and events for youth choirs. It currently has 110 member choirs in the United States.

Pueri Cantores strives to present great liturgical music in the Mass, increase cultural understanding and develop within its singers a closeness and commitment to the Church.

The Savannah Festival will be followed by six other festivals in various cathedrals and churches throughout the country. For more information, go to Pueri Cantores.

This is something that I really miss from my Anglican days...a first-rate children's choir. All my children were trained in the Royal School of Church Music style and the boys belonged to a children's schola that chanted the introit and gradual every other week. Imagine our intense disappointment upon "discovering" the current state of Catholic music. That is something our kids haven't quite overcome yet. Imagine being able to chant "In paradisum" or "Veni, Creator" at the age of eight and then transferring to another venue where "Be not afraid" is standard Catholic fare. Conversion was not easy for my children and it is very emotional for me to watch them wince at the music during Mass. We try to reassure them, but we suffer together and take consolation in the Eucharist.

Rosary Prayer for Pope Benedict's trip to Turkey

Please consider praying the rosary for Pope Benedict on his apostolic trip to Turkey from November 28th-December 1st. Please spread the word. Take the graphic and post it on your site, too.

Pope's Address to Pontifical Universities

~from Catholic News Agency

Following a Mass celebrated to mark the beginning of the Roman academic year, Pope Benedict XVI offered a few words of reflection for students and faculty of the Pontifical Universities and Athanea of Rome. The Holy Father encouraged the students gathered to strengthen their spiritual life and to be prepared to receive the truth which, he noted, comes from God and not from a popular consensus.

The Holy Father noted the tremendous diversity of nations from which the Pontifical students originate. “At the start of this new academic year,” Pope Benedict said, “we praise the Lord for this special community of professors and students, which declares so eloquently the universality and the unity of the Catholic Church. A community still even more beautiful because it principally addresses the youth, giving them the opportunity to enter into and engage in institutions of high cultural and theological values, and offering at the same time, the possibility of enriching pastoral and ecclesiastic experiences.”

The Pope insisted that the Pontifical institutions should focus on, “the important priority of spiritual life and the need for concern, along with cultural growth, for a balanced human development and a deep religious and ascetic formation.”

“Those who want to be a friend of Jesus and to become an authentic disciple, whether seminarian, priest, religious, or layman, can cultivate an intimate friendship with Him in meditation and in prayer,” the Pope insisted.

Benedict XVI emphasized that “the deepening of Christian truths and the study of theology or other religious disciplines assumes an education of silence and contemplation, because it is necessary to be capable of listening with the heart to hear what God says.”

The Pontiff explained that “thought has always needed purification to be able to enter into the dimension in which God pronounces His redemptive and creative word.”

"Only if they stem from silence and contemplation, can our words have some value and utility, and not fall into the inflated speeches of the world, that seek the consensus of the common opinion,” the Pope said.

The Pope stressed that “he who studies at an ecclesiastic Institute should, in this way, be obedient to the truth and therefore cultivate a special asceticism of thought and word.”

“Such an asceticism,” the Holy Father continued, “is based on a loving familiarity with the Word of God and would first speak with that 'silence' in which the Word is originated, in the dialogue of love between the Father and the Son in the Holy Spirit. In this dialogue we also have access by the sacred humanity of Christ.”

“Your future apostolate will be fruitful and rich in the measure that, in these years, it is prepared with serious studies, and above all is nurtured by your personal relationship with Him, tending to holiness and having as the only end of your existence the realization of the Kingdom of God,” the Holy Father concluded.

On the Lord's Prayer



~by St. Augustine

We need to use words so that we may remind ourselves to consider carefully what we are asking, not so that we may think we can instruct the Lord or prevail on him.

Thus, when we say: Hallowed be your name, we are reminding ourselves to desire that his name, which in fact is always holy, should also be considered holy among men. I mean that it should not be held in contempt. But this is a help for men, not for God.

And as for our saying: Your kingdom come, it will surely come whether we will it or not. But we are stirring up our desires for the kingdom so that it can come to us and we can deserve to reign there.

When we say: Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven, we are asking him to make us obedient so that his will may be done in us as it is done in heaven by his angels.

When we say: Give us this day our daily bread, in saying this day we mean “in this world”. Here we ask for a sufficiency by specifying the most important part of it; that is, we use the word “bread” to stand for everything. Or else we are asking for the sacrament of the faithful, which is necessary in this world, not to gain temporal happiness but to gain the happiness that is everlasting.

When we say: Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us, we are reminding ourselves of what we must ask and what we must do in order to be worthy in turn to receive.

When we say: Lead us not into temptation, we are reminding ourselves to ask that his help may not depart from us; otherwise we could be seduced and consent to some temptation, or despair and yield to it.

When we say: Deliver us from evil, we are reminding ourselves to reflect on the fact that we do not yet enjoy the state of blessedness in which we shall suffer no evil. This is the final petition contained in the Lord’s Prayer, and it has a wide application. In this petition the Christian can utter his cries of sorrow, in it he can shed his tears, and through it he can begin, continue and conclude his prayer, whatever the distress in which he finds himself. Yes, it was very appropriate that all these truths should be entrusted to us to remember in these very words.

Whatever be the other words we may prefer to say (words which the one praying chooses so that his disposition may become clearer to himself or which he simply adopts so that his disposition may be intensified), we say nothing that is not contained in the Lord’s Prayer, provided of course we are praying in a correct and proper way. But if anyone says something which is incompatible with this prayer of the Gospel, he is praying in the flesh, even if he is not praying sinfully. And yet I do not know how this could be termed anything but sinful, since those who are born again through the Spirit ought to pray only in the Spirit.