Saturday, August 09, 2008

Pray for our deacons

This Sunday is the feast of St. Lawrence, a deacon of the Roman Church who was martyred in the second century. He is the patron of deacons and mine is preaching for me as a result. So, let's pray for the deacons who faithfully assist the priests and bishops and carry out the important work of serving widows.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Three weddings in one weekend...yikes

I've never before done more than one wedding on a weekend. I've been in a church when I had one and another priest (the pastor) had one either the day before or the day after. This weekend, I have one wedding today, one tomorrow and one on Sunday. I have no idea if I need to prepare for this or not. Jumping Jacks? Sprints? Intense concentration on people's names?

I have a feeling it won't be the first time that I'll have a wedding during Sunday mass, however. I'm afraid that, in the future, with a declining number of priests, this will be a solution to the problem of having too many liturgies on one weekend. I haven't yet had a wedding where the normal Sunday mass crowd couldn't have been there. And it's not as though there has been a wedding liturgy that has added so much time to the normal Sunday Mass that people would be angry. The exclusivity would suffer. It would turn it from a private family mass into a celebration of the whole church. I'm sure some will bristle, especially those that are really shy! But those catholics that think a Saturday wedding covers for Sunday mass would finally feel vidicated.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Have you read the new liturgy translation?

You can find it here. There are more changes that we've been led to believe. The good news is that we have until 2010 until the changes take effect. We may be able to use the next two years to help our people get used to them slowly.

The Lord be with you
And with your spirit

and

Behold the Lamb of God,
behold him who takes away the sins of the world.
Blessed are those called to the supper of the Lamb.

Lord, I am not worthy
that you should enter under my roof,
but only say the word
and my soul shall be healed.

I have a feeling, however, that we won't do anything until we are forced to do something.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Grace builds on nature

This weekends gospel (found here) was the feeding of the 5000 men, not counting women and children. One commentary I read suggested that Jesus needed the apostles to bring forth their five loaves and two fish in order to perform the miracle. I couldn't help but think of how God fed his people in the desert without the people putting forth anything. I thought that the lesson was a limitation on the power of God (he could only do it if he had the five loaves and two fish effectively treating him more like a god than God) and more that the ordinary way God works in this world is by building on the work that we have already done. If there wasn't the desire on our part and the willingness to do whatever it takes to make sure God's work done, then we have effectively turned God into a god again by making him an interference in this world.

What I'm trying to articulate is the long-held catholic belief that grace builds on nature, that God waits to see the choices we make and then adds to the work that we are doing. That's the lesson that I took from the gospel. Jesus first challenged the disciples to ask the right question. They wanted to ask Jesus to dismiss the crowd so that they could get food but, instead, he wanted them to get them food for themselves. Then, he took their meager effort (five loaves and two fish) and made it abundant.