Thursday, April 29, 2010

Recognitio, The Missal is Approved

The Vatican has approved the new English translation of the Roman Missal.

This means that perhaps as early as Advent 2011 (this December), the words of the Mass will be undergoing a significant change. This is a positive development as it will re-instill a sense of sacred language within the Roman Rite that has not existed since the Novus Ordo was instituted and the Tridetine Rite deemed extraordinary.

Rocco Palmo, the preeminent Catholic Blogger carries the announcement on his blog, Whispers in the Loggia.

For more information on the new translation you can go to:

The USCCB's special Revised Roman Missal Page and The Revised Roman Missal

This is an excellent development as it attempts to instill a higher and more divine language into the English celebration of the Sacrifice of the Mass. The new language not only contains a more sacred tone, but also offers a deeper and more theological understanding of what we profess and believe. Jesus Christ is no longer "One in being with the Father", but now He is "Con-substantial with the Father". This is a powerful theological truth that conveys a deeper and richer understanding of the relationship between Christ and the Father.

It is my belief that the new translation will be an enormous benefit because it will present an opportunity for the Church to re-catechize herself to the truths that we profess at Mass.

Echoing the words of the Vox Clara commission, we pray, "For the Church":

O God, who in your wonderful providence

decreed that Christ’s Kingdom

should be extended throughout the earth

and that all should become partakers

of his saving redemption;

grant, we pray, that your Church

may be the universal sacrament of salvation,

and that Christ may be revealed to all

as the hope of the nations and their Savior.

Who lives and reigns with you

in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Monday, April 19, 2010

The 5th Anniversary

5 years ago today we heard the words "Habemus Papam" announced from the balcony of St. Peter's Basilica. Shortly thereafter we were introduced to Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, the new Pope.

Pope Benedict XVI took on the heavy mantle left by his predecessor, John Paul the Great. Yet in that time, he has continued to demonstrate his incredible theological acumen and a desire for Christian unity with our brethren in the Eastern Orthodox Church. He has also welcomed faithful Anglicans into the Catholic fold. Pope Benedict XVI is overseeing a renewal in the Catholic liturgy both with the Extraordinary Rite with the Tridetine Mass, but also with the Ordinary Novus Ordo Mass. He has made a series of excellent episcopal appointments and has sought to deal with the sordid past of clerical sex abuse.

Yet, much work remains to be done. The renewal of the liturgy is not yet complete and resistance remains. The false interpretation of Vatican II is still prevalent in many Catholic circles and universities and must continue to be confronted. The reform of the byzantine Roman Curia must also be enacted. Benedict XVI has been a blessing for the Catholic Church and one hopes and prays that God gives us many more years of his leadership at the barque of Peter.

V. Let us pray for Benedict, our Pope.

R. May the Lord preserve him, and give him life, and make
him blessed upon the earth, and deliver him not up to the
will of his enemies. [Ps 40:3]

Our Father, Hail Mary.

O God, Shepherd and Ruler of all Thy faithful people, look
mercifully upon Thy servant Benedict, whom Thou hast chosen
as shepherd to preside over Thy Church. Grant him, we
beseech Thee, that by his word and example, he may edify
those over whom he hath charge, so that together with the
flock committed to him, may he attain everlasting life.
Through Christ our Lord. Amen. (Thanks to Fr. Z for this prayer)

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

St. Pius XII?

I've always found the allegations against Pope Pius XII to be motivated by either an animosity against the Catholic Church or by a significant misunderstanding on the historical record. Could Pope Pius XII have done more, certainly, but he nonetheless accomplished a great deal.

Ultimately the historical record will justify his actions. The Church in considering Pius XII for sainthood has declared his life to be one of heroic virtue. In the end, the real judgement lies with that Ultimate Arbiter, Jesus Christ. Yet, I would think (though I cannot know the will of God), that it will be a judgment found in his favor.

Golda Meir, the Prime Minister of Israel said upon Pope Pius XII's death: "We share in the grief of humanity at the passing away of His Holiness, Pope Pius XII. In a generation afflicted by wars and discords he upheld the highest ideals of peace and compassion. When fearful martyrdom came to our people in the decade of Nazi terror, the voice of the Pope was raised for its victims. The life of our times was enriched by a voice speaking out about great moral truths above the tumult of daily conflict. We mourn a great servant of peace."

Albert Einstein said of the Church: "Being a lover of freedom, when the Nazi revolution came in Germany, I looked to the universities to defend it, but the universities were immediately silenced. Then I looked to the great editors of the newspapers, but they, like the universities were silenced in a few short weeks. Then I looked to individual writers . . . . they too were mute. Only the Church . . . stood squarely across the path of Hitler’s campaign for suppressing the truth. . . I never had any special interest in the Church before, but now I feel great affection and admiration . . . . and am forced thus to confess that what I once despised, I now praise unreservedly."

Even the New York Times, today that bastion of enmity toward the Catholic Church, spoke glowing words about Pope Pius XII's heroic witness. They identified him as a "lonely voice crying out of the silence of a continent"

Under the Roman Sky is a small movie that is attempting to defend the Pope and provide a glimpse at his heroic virtue.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

O Death, Where is Thy Sting?

St. John Chrysostom or the Golden-tongued was a Doctor of the Church, one of the most important Eastern Fathers, and the Patriarch of Constantinople in the 4th Century. He is famous both for his work on the Divine Liturgy, but also the large collection of his preaching that has survived.

I have personally found the Easter Homily of St. John Chrysostom to be especially powerful and one that captures the meaning of Easter. I post it in its entirety below (Thanks to the EWTN website where I pulled it from).

Let all pious men and all lovers of God rejoice in the splendor of this feast; let the wise servants blissfully enter into the joy of their Lord; let those who have borne the burden of Lent now receive their pay, and those who have toiled since the first hour, let them now receive their due reward; let any who came after the third hour be grateful to join in the feast, and those who may have come after the sixth, let them not be afraid of being too late; for the Lord is gracious and He receives the last even as the first. He gives rest to him who comes on the eleventh hour as well as to him who has toiled since the first: yes, He has pity on the last and He serves the first; He rewards the one and praises the effort.

Come you all: enter into the joy of your Lord. You the first and you the last, receive alike your reward; you rich and you poor, dance together; you sober and you weaklings, celebrate the day; you who have kept the fast and you who have not, rejoice today. The table is richly loaded: enjoy its royal banquet. The calf is a fatted one: let no one go away hungry. All of you enjoy the banquet of faith; all of you receive the riches of his goodness. Let no one grieve over his poverty, for the universal kingdom has been revealed; let no one weep over his sins, for pardon has shone from the grave; let no one fear death, for the death of our Saviour has set us free: He has destroyed it by enduring it, He has despoiled Hades by going down into its kingdom, He has angered it by allowing it to taste of his flesh.

When Isaiah foresaw all this, he cried out: "O Hades, you have been angered by encountering Him in the nether world." Hades is angered because frustrated, it is angered because it has been mocked, it is angered because it has been destroyed, it is angered because it has been reduced to naught, it is angered because it is now captive. It seized a body, and, lo! it encountered heaven; it seized the visible, and was overcome by the invisible.

O death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory? Christ is risen and you are abolished. Christ is risen and the demons are cast down. Christ is risen and the angels rejoice. Christ is risen and life is freed. Christ is risen and the tomb is emptied of the dead: for Christ, being risen from the dead, has become the Leader and Reviver of those who had fallen asleep. To Him be glory and power for ever and ever. Amen.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Good Friday

Good Friday is Good because it accomplishes what Jesus Christ set out to accomplish by becoming incarnate in the Flesh through the Virgin Mary. It is Good because the act is made complete with His Resurrection from the Tomb. It is Good because it was the singular act that was for the expiation of the sins of the world. It is Good because it is the Act that brings Heaven and Earth together.

It is indeed Good, despite all the pain and suffering He endured. What He accomplished by it for us made it Good.

The Passion of the Christ is an excellent movie but my favorite part is how Mel Gibson ties together the Last Supper with the Crucifixion. Just as every Sacrament of the Mass is the re-presentation of Christ's supreme sacrifice, so the Last Supper is a pre-presentation of that gift. The movie more than any other, through the eyes of the Apostle St. John, makes that unmistakable link between the Eucharist and the Cross of Calvary. It is indeed Good.