From Book II, Chapter 12, "The Royal Road of the Holy Cross" from The Imitation of Christ" by Thomas A'Kempis
Submitted by James Spencer
(This is part 9 of 14 from Book II, Chapter 12, "The Royal Road of the Holy Cross" from The Imitation of Christ" by Thomas A'Kempis.)
Mass began and I was sorely aware that it has been a very long time since I have been to a Ordinary Form mass but i found it reverent and prayerful.
1. Because I'm NOT holier than thou.
If anything, I'm a far greater sinner than many of you can imagine. I'm a total failure at being Catholic, and I don't know about you because of the fact that I'm a failure, I need constant reminders that I'm not God, which leads us to point 2.
The ultimate act of humility is to kneel before God in contrition, begging for his Mercy to reign. I don't know about you, but I need a ton of that Mercy for the amount of times I've screwed up. Ever wonder why kneelers are set up in the confessional, hint, it's because kneeling is also a penitential act and we imitate the Saints, (most notably St. Mary Magdelen, Ss John and Mary at the foot of the Cross). It's not just an interior attitude, it should be reflected externally as well.
3. For those that want to kneel and can't.
I know that there are many that want to receive kneeling but are physically unable to do so for whatever reason it may be. We are one body in Christ and offering our actions for another is a laudable thing to do :)...I need ALL the brownie points to shorten my purgatory sentence, any act that can help, I'm all for it.
4. Catholic Theology
Et Verbum carno factus est. God came to us, we didn't come to God. We receive Holy Communion, we don't feed ourselves. The fact that we're supposed to be converted like children should say something. It doesn't mean we de-progress as humans, but rather that child like innocence, that child like dependency on God.
I was told that Vatican II was the cause for Communion in the hand, read the documents for myself, turns out the catechist was lying...
6. Imitation of the Saints
Who am I to be standing, when all the great lay Saints kneeled before me, my patron St. Thérèse, St. Catherine, Isidore, and many of the other great Saints. :)
7. John Paul II and Mother Theresa were against it.
"Wherever I go in the whole world, the thing that makes me the saddest is watching people receive Communion in the hand."- Bl. Teresa of Calcutta"
"...privledge of the ordained..."
And we all know how EVERYONE loves John Paul II and Bl. Mother Theresa, their words have value.
8. Personal sacrifice and mortification.
For those of you that don't know, my left leg has metal rod in it. Some days it can be a real chore to kneel, and others easier. It's much easier to kneel at the rail, than it is on the hard floor, but I offer it up as such and remember that my sacrifices can help those around the world.
**Disclaimer information so I don't get killed
1. I don't believe those who receive in the hand are intrinsically evil.
3, I didn't quote Church documents on purpose, no one reads them (I know my readers do, but I can't speak for the world)
by Fr. John Zuhlsdorf
Courtesy: What does the Prayer Really Say?
In the 1962 Missale Romanum, the Extraordinary Use of the Roman Rite, this is First Passion Sunday. In the Novus Ordo we also call Palm Sunday “Passion” Sunday. Today is the beginning of “Passiontide”. It is known as Iudica Sunday, from the first word of the Introit of Mass, from Ps 42 (41).
Also, as part of the pruning, as of today in the older form of Mass, the “Iudica” psalm in prayers at the foot of the altar and the Gloria Patri at the end of certain prayers was no longer said.
The pruning cuts more deeply as we march into the Triduum. After the Mass on Holy Thursday the Blessed Sacrament is removed from the main altar, which itself is stripped and bells are replaced with wooden noise makers. On Good Friday there isn’t even a Mass. At the beginning of the Vigil we are deprived of light itself! It is as if the Church herself were completely dead with the Lord in His tomb. This liturgical death of the Church reveals how Christ emptied Himself of His glory in order to save us from our sins and to teach us who we are.
The Church then gloriously springs to life again at the Vigil of Easter. In ancient times, the Vigil was celebrated in the depth of night. In the darkness a single spark would be struck from flint and spread into the flames. The flames spread through the whole Church.
If we can connect ourselves in heart and mind with the Church’s liturgy in which these sacred mysteries are re-presented, then by our active receptivity we become participants in the saving mysteries of Christ’s life, death and resurrection. To begin this active receptivity we must be baptized members of the Church and be in the state of grace.
Papal Mass Picture
Just a Great Pic
“Your ‘Archdiocesan Guidelines’ are simply not acceptable as they stand and I ask you to reconsider them,” said the Ecclesia Dei president, Cardinal Darío Castrillón Hoyos, in a letter dated 6 March and seen by The Tablet this week. It said “guidelines allowing only a monthly Mass in a chapel of [the] Metropolitan Cathedral” were in violation of the norms established in the motu proprio, “Summorum Pontificum”, issued by the Pope in 2007 for the widespread use of the Tridentine Mass. [Get this…] Cardinal Castrillón said the papal decree was “part of the universal law of the Church” and could not be limited by the “particular law” of a diocesan bishop. [This is the part that the Pope’s enemies in this matter will really hate!] The Archdiocese of Manila ministers to more than 2.8 million Catholics.
“There is simply no legitimate reason why this [Tridentine] Mass cannot and should not be celebrated in any church or chapel of your archdiocese,” Cardinal Castrillón said in his letter to the Archbishop of Manila.
For decades, in fact, the growth of the number of Catholics - although it has continued - has been lower as a percentage than that of the rise in population. "The latest official statistical figures from the Church in Vietnam," says Fr. Anthony Nguyen Ngoc Son, one of the main speakers at the conference, "show that the Catholic population in 2007 was 6,087,700 among 85,154,900 people, or a rate at about 7.15% of national population,. This indicates a decline in number of registered Catholics comparing to 7.2 % in 1933 or 7.5% in 1939."
It is also alarming that while the percentage of Catholics has diminished over the past 50 years, that of other Christian denominations has risen. In 1999, these counted 400,000 members, and in 2008, according to the latest report, there were 1.5 million. According to Fr. Anthony Nguyen, "these figures are a clear indication of the ineffectiveness of the Church’s mission in Vietnam during the last 50 years."
The conference highlighted the alarming number of those who, baptized as adults, do not continue their faith life. Over the past seven years, about 35,000 adults have received baptism, in 80-90% of the cases through matrimony. Unfortunately, however, the number of these converts who continue to practice their religion is showing an alarming drop, above all because of the problems that they have to face after receiving baptism, like the loss of privileges and promotions in some jobs, or the subtle discrimination to which they are subjected by the atheist government.
To this must be added the attitude of practical indifference that many have adopted toward missionary efforts. Many are convinced that evangelization is something that concerns the priests, not the laity. Many Catholics also do not act as witnesses of Christ in their lives, and their behavior does not make a good impression on their non-Catholic neighbors and friends.
Even among priests, Fr. Anthony Nguyen observes, "the clergy has not assumed the much needed responsibility for the mission ad gentes in the country. Missionary efforts seem to be a personal, sporadic crusade for volunteering individuals and religious orders." Sr. Marie Nguyen, a sociologist in Ho Chi Minh City, adds that "dioceses and the Church in Vietnam as whole lack zeal, a comprehensive missionary strategy and investments of means and tools for evangelical mission, especially in the rural or remote areas."
A significant role is also played by government hostility. In many remote areas of the central highlands and the northern mountain provinces, pastoral activities are blocked by bureaucracy and government harassment. In these areas, missionary activity is always described as "a threat to national security," and local officials make no efforts to hide their hostility toward the Church's efforts to carry out its pastoral duties.
The constant policy of defamation, which is carried forward on all levels of education, also serves to generate confusion among young people and to discourage them from expressing their Catholic identity, in order to avoid a bad reputation. "Faith is often limited to something within a personal sphere that many Catholic youth try to make it as invisible as possible," says Sr. Mari Nguyen. "They try to avoid religion-oriented debates, hence lose chances to bear witness to Gospel."
This reality poses various questions, which were discussed during the meeting. The first is: how can the "Good News" of the Christian message be situated within the context of the bad social, political, and economic developments that the country is experiencing? In the midst of the desperation that is pervading everything, where is there room for the hope and optimism brought by the Gospel?
In the second place, how can the image of the Church as a family be constructed? How can Christian families become authentic domestic churches? What is the role of culture in evangelization? What efforts must be made to facilitate the inculturation of the Gospel into the Vietnamese tradition? What must be done to transmit the Christian message to the socio-cultural, religious, political, and economic reality of Vietnam? What emerged was that all of the answers must be sought in the correct understanding of the person of Christ, of his nature, of his meaning and his message addressed to humanity.
The Vatican: On YouTube
Were you aware that the Vatican and His Holiness have a YouTube channel? They do...and it is great! You can even subscribe. Check it out: http://www.youtube.com/vatican