Thursday, December 24, 2009

A great celebration

The weather in Iowa is crud. I was really tempted to cancel the mass out at our little rural parish because they kept saying that the ice was coming. But, being stubborn and Germanic, I refused. And I'm glad I did. As most of my brother priests in the area made the decision to cancel mass, I went out to a full church over wet (not slick) roads. And when I came back, the snow/ice/rain combination was just starting. I went slow but the roads never got slick.

And the mass was just incredible, not because of anything that I did, just because of the preparation that went into it. The church was packed. The choirs did really well, especially the college student who led the Responsorial Psalm. And there were so many people that I've never seen before along with all the regulars.

Tomorrow I'll celebrate the 9:00 if I can possibly make it to St. Thomas. And then I may have to be alone for Christmas. But, that's okay. I'm warm and well fed. There are a lot of people who can't say that much.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

I wonder if Handel ever saw this coming...

As you can probably tell, I've had a little more time than normal to post things the last couple of days. And, as a result, I've been able to read other people's blogs and see what's happening. I found this on American Papist blog and laughed a lot and hope you enjoy it too!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Do they know it's Christmas time at all?

I imagine most people in this country are well aware that there is a battle going on about health care. What probably isn't entirely clear is the battle going on behind the scenes with this bill regarding abortion. There are some people who have decided that this bill is the way to bypass long-standing laws prohibiting federal funding of abortions. They're not doing it directly, which is what is crazy. Instead, they've decided that they'll use federal funds to pay private insurers to cover abortions. The bishops of this country, especially Cardinal Daniel Denardo, deserve respect for the work they've done on investigating and clarifying what is wrong with this bill. He wrote...

This probably seems kind of trite criticism, especially the part about the government agency promoting and helping to subsidize abortions. But, think about what is really being discussed. Hospitals, clinics, doctors, and everyone else who provides health care are basically being told that you either abort children or pay for someone else to do. And, there'll be a government agency that'll make sure you do that very thing.

This needs to be addressed before this bill gets passed. And we need to make sure our senators hear that message.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

The meaning of the season

I preached this morning about how important it is to connect with people over the Christmas season, just like Mary connected with Elizabeth. I see it as an excellent opportunity to do some corporal works of mercy, which we don't usually talk about anymore.

The most surprising thing of all is that I got a compliment for praying Eucharistic Prayer I. A whole family came up to me and asked why we don't hear it more often. I love that prayer. I know it's long but I love the imagery that goes along with it. People amaze me often at what they pick up on.