Luke Headley is a personable young man, born in Wichita, married to a lovely wife Traci, "father" to an adorable rat terrier named Nina, a ferret name Squiggly and one fat cat named Tobias. His interests, outside of mass, include working on his 100 plus year old house, The Harding House (http://members.cox.net/wichitahpa/harding.html), restoring a 1931 model A Ford and working on his pipe organ at home (he used to fixed pipe organs for a living).
That's a lot of hobbies for a married man working full time at Spirit. "My wife is a very patient lady" Luke says. "The house is the new big hobby. So much to do. She's 123 years old this year (umm...he's referring to the house :D) and is showing her age in some places. My wife and I are hoping for some little ones soon; that will put everything at a stand-still, so lets just say I will never have an excuse to say that I am bored.
One hobby, or rather, avocation that stands out in Luke's mind is serving at the Traditional Latin Mass (EFLR) . "(That) is the highlight of my year and I get to do it every Sunday...it consumes my mind all week...as soon as Mass ends, I am ready to go again, no matter how much my knees hurt!"
When it comes to Catholicism (particularly the Extraordinary Form of the Latin Rite) I can attest to Luke's passion. In his grand old home Luke has his own chapel, complete with home altar. He built it himself and it sort of resembles the altar at St. Anthony but in smaller scale. Luke has even gone so far as to install a bell in his attic which, much to the amazement of his neighbors, he rings every so often.
Luke comments on the beginning of his love affair with the traditional mass. "I still very much remember my first Traditional Latin Mass. My wife and I decided that we would see what it was like. I hadn't heard much about it (we need to advertise better!). I remember being very excited about seeing the high altar there by itself...then there were the servers, and more servers and more servers!!
"Then there was Father Lies wearing his biretta! And I was thinking, yes they (birettas) DO still exist outside of Rome!"
Luke has proven to be an astute student of Catholic liturgy as he studiously pours over the often complex rubrics for the traditional mass. And between the house and the organs and his family I suspect that there is much more to Luke than this brief post can contain so I will let Luke close it out in his own words with his own message.
"To say I prefer the Traditional Latin Mass doesn't quite get it. I have a love affair with it. I have tried so hard to educate other people and help them learn to love it like I do. It is hard to get through to people. It almost makes you want to cry when they don't get it, and reject it. It IS the most beautiful thing this side of heaven."
"I would like to see MORE SERVERS! that means you young man in the middle back section (sitting with your mom). I want to see more people in the pews. We need to promote the beauty of this mass...we have the most beautiful mass in the most beautiful church in town."
The Preface before the Sanctus...it's nice that we know this part of the mass without even looking...we can recognize this from our mass at St. Anthony. This is what makes the EFLR truly Universal.
Lesson 27: The Sacramentals
292. Q. What is a sacramental?
A. A sacramental is anything set apart or blessed by the Church to excite good thoughts and to increase devotion, and through these movements of the heart to remit venial sin.
293. Q. What is the difference between the Sacraments and the sacramentals?
A. The difference between the Sacraments and the sacramentals is:
1. The Sacraments were instituted by Jesus Christ and the sacramentals were instituted by the Church;
2. The Sacraments give grace of themselves when we place no obstacle in the way; the sacramentals excite in us pious dispositions, by means of which we may obtain grace.
294. Q. Which is the chief sacramental used in the Church?
A. The chief sacramental used in the Church is the sign of the Cross.
295. Q. How do we make the sign of the Cross?
A. We make the sign of the Cross by putting the right hand to the forehead, then on the breast, and then to the left and right shoulders, saying, In the name of the Father and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.
296. Q. Why do we make the sign of the Cross?
A. We make the sign of the Cross to show that we are Christians and to profess our belief in the chief mysteries of our religion.
297. Q. How is the sign of the Cross a profession of faith in the chief mysteries of our religion?
A. The sign of the Cross is a profession of faith in the chief mysteries of our religion because it expresses the mysteries of the Unity and Trinity of God and of the Incarnation and death of our Lord.
298. Q. How does the sign of the Cross express the mystery of the Unity and Trinity of God?
A. The words, In the name, express the Unity of God; the words that follow, of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, express the mystery of the Trinity.
299. Q. How does the sign of the Cross express the mystery of the Incarnation and death of our Lord?
A. The sign of the Cross expresses the mystery of the Incarnation by reminding us that the Son of God, having become man, suffered death on the cross.
300. Q. What other sacramental is in very frequent use?
A. Another sacramental in very frequent use is holy water.
301. Q. What is holy water?
A. Holy water is water blessed by the priest with solemn prayer to beg God's blessing on those who use it, and protection from the powers of darkness.
302. Q. Are there other sacramentals besides the sign of the Cross and holy water?
A. Besides the sign of the Cross and holy water there are many other sacramentals, such as blessed candles, ashes, palms, crucifixes, images of the Blessed Virgin and of the saints, rosaries, and scapulars.
Personal Witness: The Church Militant
"For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places" (Ephesians 6:12).
The following story is one of a supernatural occurrance, a witness of something "other worldly". It was related to me many years ago and, with reluctance, recently by a man I know personally to be straightforward and honest It is a story he has told to only a few people but it is such a remarkable story that I got his permission (on condition of anonymity) and blessing to publish it here and share with the world.
I am blessed, or cursed, to have the kind of approachability that seems to elicit personal stories by both friends and perfect strangers. This lent itself to making me a very good bartender (in my younger days) where in bars so many damaged people tend to gather. I often served as therapist, counselor, referee ...a sort of an avuncular wine and spirit vendor. I witnessed many things...the downfall of many, the arising of others, of misery and newfound glory...I've heard stories one would faint at, one would cry at and many that one would marvel at. And here is just one of those kinds of stories.
(The following is what I could manage to type as it was related back to me.)
..."...I was partying a lot. Drinking....whatever, you know? ...I wasn't doing anything other than partying...running around...ya know?...no cares... so I was sound asleep when ...eleven or noon I bolted straight up in bed ....my heart was poundin' and I felt like I was crazy..going to explode!..for no reason...and I look over in the corner and there in the corner was a sort of..........it looked like a tornado ......a sort of mirage , ya know like a mirage on a hot highway or in a desert, and I couldn't really see it but I knew it was there...not sure if I saw it or my mind's eye saw it.................I can only describe it as...weird..like a ghost or something but not like a person...there was no color or body or anything....it was transparent but I'm not sure if I actually saw anything...............but I knew that I was seeing some kind of struggle...a fight...and I knew that there was evil in the room but it was in struggle with something...it was almost right away in an instant I think I knew that I was seeing the battle over me and it was good against evil fighting over me right there in my bedroom and just real quick it disappeared and everything was quiet...there was no noise but when it disappeared it seemed really quiet.
I got out of bed and I went straight to bathroom where I poured my bottle right down the sink and then I got on my knees beside my bed and prayed for the first time in a REAL long time....I don't remember what I prayed or said but..........I guess it was my angel I don't know...
This gentleman is older and mature now and leads a normal work-a-day existence, attends mass, generally has a quiet life and has had struggles and victories just like all of us. Whether or not you believe his story is up to you but it changed his perspective and he says he will never forget that morning some 20 years ago.
Post Script: "Personal Witness: The Church Militant" in no way reflects official Catholic doctrine but serves only as personal reflection.
Paul Zachary Myers, a professor at the University of Minnesota Morris, has pledged to desecrate the Eucharist. He is responding to what happened recently at the University of Central Florida when a student walked out of Mass with the Host, holding it hostage for several days. Myers was angry at the Catholic League for criticizing the student. His post can be accessed from his faculty page on the university’s website.
Here is an excerpt of his July 8 post, “It’s a Frackin’ Cracker!”:
“Can anyone out there score me some consecrated communion wafers?” Myers continued by saying, “if any of you would be willing to do what it takes to get me some, or even one, and mail it to me, I’ll show you sacrilege, gladly, and with much fanfare. I won’t be tempted to hold it hostage (no, not even if I have a choice between returning the Eucharist and watching Bill Donohue kick the pope in the balls, which would apparently be a more humane act than desecrating a goddamned cracker), but will instead treat it with profound disrespect and heinous cracker abuse, all photographed and presented here on the web.”
Catholic League president Bill Donohue responded as follows:
“The Myers blog can be accessed from the university’s website. The university has a policy statement on this issue which says that the ‘Contents of all electronic pages must be consistent with University of Minnesota policies, local, state and federal laws.’ One of the school’s policies, ‘Code of Conduct,’ says that ‘When dealing with others,’ faculty et al. must be ‘respectful, fair and civil.’ Accordingly, we are contacting the President and the Board of Regents to see what they are going to do about this matter. Because the university is a state institution, we are also contacting the Minnesota legislature.
“It is hard to think of anything more vile than to intentionally desecrate the Body of Christ. We look to those who have oversight responsibility to act quickly and decisively.”
Contact President Robert Bruininks at email@example.com