Sunday, January 25, 2015

Sunday Snippets--A Catholic Carnival

Well, here we sit, again.  I'm posting my week's activities on the net, along with my fellow bloggers, on the blog, This And That And The Other Thing.  This week was fun, most of the time.  Come read:

Monday  --  Funeral

Tuesday  --  Thanks be to God, I am finished!

Wednesday  --  Msgr. Moran's homily.

Thursday  --  The why of "Through Christ Our Lord..."

Friday  --  A "cloistered brother's" poem.

Saturday  --  My personal experiences inspired this post.

Hey!  At least I'm never boring.  Click here for some more interesting posts from my friends.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Ten Tips for Confessors

Very often I read Tips for Confession, How to Make a Good Confession, etc.  I haven't ever seen tips for the confessor, at least in my experience, because I certainly hope there are discussions for priests regarding how to better the sacrament of reconciliation.

Ten Tips for Confessors

1.  Don't yell.  As a child, I often heard stories about "Don't go to Father So and So, he yells at you."  There was a confessor at Arch Street who did do this.  He's infamous about his yelling.  A priest told me that he went to confession to him, (as a priest), and was yelled at.  Thankfully, that was not my childhood experience.  However, as an adult, not too long ago, the confessor, in the middle of my laundry list of sins, yelled, "This is not spiritual direction!  This is not the time for spiritual direction!"
     "Oka-a-a-y"  I have no idea what set him off.  I was so shocked that I don't know which one, or all of my sins caused him to say that.  So I just continued with my list.  He gave me absolution and I went on my way.  Strange.

2.  Give reasonable penances.  Don't get too creative.  You would think that I, for one, would appreciate different penances.  But in this penitential circumstance--I'm not in the mood.  In the confessional, I don't have pen and paper to write down scripture verses.  One time, in particular, comes to mind.  I was given particular verses in Colossians.  When I read them, I didn't see any relevance to my sins.  I began to doubt that I remembered correctly.  So I read Galatians because it kind of, sort of, sounds like Colossians?  Again, no reference to my confession.  So I read 1 & 2 Corinthians.  I couldn't see any references that would help me.  I gave up, besides I certainly satisfied my penance requirement.
    Another time, I was in a church that was new to me.  I wanted to pray my penitential prayers in the Adoration Chapel, which was in a different part of the building than the confessional.  I got lost trying to find the place.  When I finally found the Adoration Chapel; I knelt in front of the monstrance; I blessed myself; and I couldn't remember what my penance was.  !!!!!!!!!!!  Pray for me.

3.  Don't be snippy.  Can't you tell by my demeanor that I'm serious and humbling myself before you?  This isn't easy for the penitent.  Even if you don't perceive that I'm in the correct disposition to come to confession, just presume that I am.  Why else would anyone come?

4.  Don't cut the penitent off.  If I'm taking a long time, can't you tell me, and make an appointment for me to come at another time?

5.  Don't tell me to NOT to confess so often.  I'm getting the opposite advice from everything I read.  Besides, if the penitent belongs to a lay religious organization, he may be obligated to go to confession often.

6.  Don't tell me you can't give me absolution because you don't see any sin.  Can't you give me absolution for the sins in the past?

7.  Compliment.  Isn't there anything good that you see that offers hope that the penitent will attain sanctity?  Even if it's just "Your sins are abuses of your gifts."

8.  Offer suggestions.  Help me amend my ways.  Do you see a propensity--a path that is wrong?

9.  Pray for me.

10.  Grace received in the Sacrament of Reconciliation is in proportion to the disposition of the penitent, I understand.  I'm sorry if I bore you.  Please try to be attentive.  Pretend this is the first time you are hearing confessions.  You are acting in Persona Christi, after all.  

Friday, January 23, 2015

Where is the Stork?

This is an interesting poem because it is written in two languages.  The author, Francisco Wills intended them to be just like that, in English and in Spanish.  The poet does not consider them translated.  Together they are one.

Dónde estàn las cigueñas?                                               Where is the Stork?

Los bebes los trae la cigueña                                        The stork delivers babies,
de niño me dijeron.                                                       I was told as a child.

Hoy, recuerdo en mi tierra                                            Today, I remember in my land,
De guaduas y azaleas,                                                   of bamboo-canes and azaleas,
robles y palmas,                                                            oaks and palms,
acacias y plataneras,                                                      acacias and plantain trees,
a jóvenes madres,                                                          young mothers,
que a diario,                                                                  that every day
en los arboles del bosque,                                              in the forest trees,
vieron sinsontes y canaries;                                             saw mocking-birds and canaries,
azulejos y Ruisenores;                                                    blue jays and nightingales,
golondrinas y gorriones,                                                  swallows and wrens,
pero nunca jamàs una cigueña.                                        but never ever a stork. 

Son las mismas que                                                        They are the same ones that
en sus brazon llevan,                                                       in their arms cradles,
sonrientes y triunfantes,                                                   smiling and triumphant,
infants sonrosados.                                                          red-cheek babies.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Ask Away

Bishop Fulgentius of Ruspe, in this morning's Reading for the Thursday in the Second Week in Ordinary Time, explains why Catholics often end their prayers with "through Jesus Christ, your Son, our Lord."

Through the mystery of the Incarnation, Jesus Christ became man, the mediator of God and man...This then is the reason why we offer prayer to God our Father, but through Jesus Christ our Lord.

The good bishop talks about the exalted position we should place Jesus.  He is the great High Priest.  He became an offering for us, to the Father.  But I have a better reason for ending my prayers with "through Jesus Christ, your Son, our Lord."  Jesus told us to.  Read John 14:13.

"Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father. 13"Whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14"If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

From Ba-a-a- to Yoke

Msgr. Moran related the story of the lamb's significance on today, the feast of Saint Agnes.  St. Agnes was a young girl in the fourth century who was martyred.  Her name in Latin means lamb, and since Jesus is called the Lamb of God, and since lambs were the animals that were usually sacrificed to honor God, the church uses the lamb in an interesting tradition.

On the feast of St. Agnes, January 21, lambs are brought to be blessed by the pope.  The lambs are then cared for until it's time for them to be sheared.  The wool taken from the lambs is used to make palliums.  Palliums are cloth yokes.  New bishops will take on the yoke of Christ (Matthew 11: 30) on the Feast of Peter and Paul, June 29.

There are five crosses on the pallium, which is white.  The crosses represent the five wounds of Christ.  There is one cross on the back and two on the front.  Crosses are also on each shoulder.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Finis St. Louis de Montfort

I finally finished True Devotion Consecration to Mary, by St. Louis de Montfort.  Actually the book is a compilation of de Montfort's writings: The Love of Eternal Wisdom, The Secret of the Rosary, The Secret of Mary, Letter to the Friends of the Cross, and the True Devotion Consecration.  These were all arranged by Fr. Helmuts Libietis.

It took me five weeks to finish.  I committed myself to make this consecration and I did, and will.  I finished the book, but I'm not officially putting myself in front of the Tabernacle and making the consecration, until January 28th -- the Feast of St. Thomas Aquinas.  Aquinas is a Dominican, as am I, and we Dominicans have Our Lady as our special patron.  So I thought the feast of the Angelic Doctor would be a good day to consecrate myself to her.

That being said, I hated this book.  It is so outdated as to be useless.  One would be committed to a mental institution nowadays if their thought process was aligned with the theme of this book.  Good grief, how many times did I have to tell myself that I was less than excrement and should wear chains as a sign of being a slave to Jesus and Mary?

Another thing that surprised me and led me to dislike Fr. Libietis' compilation.  Nowhere in the book, does Libietis mention that St. Louis de Montfort was a Third Order Dominican. That's a gross and grievous error.  In fact, if you didn't know that St. Louis de Montfort is listed in the Dominican Litany of Saints, you would have thought he was a Third Order Carmelite!  I kept checking to see if Libietis was a Carmelite, because he kept mentioning that Order. How could he ever omit that Louis de Montfort is a famous Dominican saint!

There is also a huge emphasis on the Brown Scapular.  A Dominican would point out the fact that wearing
the Brown Scapular, worthy devotion as it is, is no rabbit's foot!  It is not your ticket through heaven's gate.
Besides, St. Louis de Montfort would have also worn the Dominican scapular that Our Lady gave to St. Dominic.  In fact, the Dominican scapular is the only part of the habit, that is blessed, because it comes from Our Lady, herself.  Why would Fr. Libietis omit this?

I am thankful that in spite of  my criticism of the book, it did bring me closer to Mary.  For that I am grateful.  Also, it has inspired me to write my own consecration to Mary.  I'm in the process, with St. Louis de Montfort's guidance, to write a consecration for us who live in the 21st century. Watch for it.  It will be posted during the 40 days of Lent.

To Jesus through Mary.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Christ Embraces Us

Statue of the Risen Christ
St. Augustine Church
Millville, MA
St. Augustine Church in Millville, MA, was the venue for the funeral service I attended today.  It was a lovely.  The deceased was a  retired army colonel and the burial service was very ceremonial.  During the Mass, my eye was drawn to a statue on my right.  It's a statue of the risen Christ.

Note how the arms of the statue are up, as Christ ascends to heaven.  Now note the shadow's arms.

I like to think that the shadow is showing us Christ embracing us, the people, as He ascends to His Father.