Jun 012016
 

The Weekly Francis – Volume 142 – 1 June 2016

pope-francis2-300x187This version of The Weekly Francis covers material released in the last week from From 12 May 2016 to 1 June 2016.

The Weekly Francis is a compilation of the Holy Father’s writings, speeches, etc which I also post at Jimmy Akin’s The Weekly Francis. Jimmy Akin came up with this idea when he started “The Weekly Benedict” and I have taken over curation of it.

Daily Homilies (fervorinos)

General Audiences

Homilies

Messages

Regina Cæli

Speeches

Papal Tweets

  • “Loving and forgiving are tangible and visible signs that faith has transformed our hearts.” @Pontifex 19 May 2016
  • “The firm commitment for human rights springs from an awareness of the unique and supreme value of each person.” @Pontifex 20 May 2016
  • “Each one of us can be a bridge of encounter between diverse cultures and religions, a way to rediscover our common humanity.” @Pontifex 21 May 2016
  • “The feast of the Most Holy Trinity renews our mission of living in communion with God and all people on the model of the divine communion.” @Pontifex 22 May 2016
  • “In a broken world, to communicate with mercy means to help create closeness between the children of God.” @Pontifex 23 May 2016
  • “God can fill our hearts with his love and help us continue our journey together towards the land of freedom and life.” @Pontifex 24 May 2016
  • “With the weapons of love, God has defeated selfishness and death. His son Jesus is the door of mercy wide open to all.” @Pontifex 25 May 2016
  • “Jesus gives himself to us in the Eucharist, offering himself as spiritual food that sustains our life.” @Pontifex 26 May 2016
  • “Mary is an icon of how the Church must offer forgiveness to those who seek it.” @Pontifex 27 May 2016
  • “Remain steadfast in the journey of faith, with firm hope in the Lord. This is the secret of our journey!” @Pontifex 28 May 2016
  • “By receiving the Eucharist we are nourished of the Body and Blood of Jesus, and by entering us, Jesus joins us to his Body!” @Pontifex 29 May 2016
  • “We are stewards, not masters of our earth. Each of us has a personal responsibility to care for the precious gift of God’s creation.” @Pontifex 30 May 2016
  • “I join spiritually all those taking part in special devotions to the Blessed Virgin Mary on this last day of the month of May.” @Pontifex 31 May 2016
  • “When disciples of Christ are transparent in heart and sensitive in life, they bring the Lord’s light to the places where they live and work.” @Pontifex 1 June 2016

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May 232016
 

What is called the 4-hymn sandwich seems to be the common format I run into for Mass. Although I am also finding that number increasing to six or seven hymns to make sure that not one second of silence is available. In the radio broadcasting medium dead air is to be prevented at all cost. So wall-to-wall hymns seem to have the same philosophy.

I was thinking about this at Mass this weekend as yet another hymn was started during Communion. I was hoping for some sacred silence after receiving Communion. Well I got my wish sort of. The hymn was called “Sacred Silence”, I found this rather hilarious that there is a hymn called “Sacred Silence”.

Sacred silence, Holy ocean
Gentle water, washing over me
Help me listen, Holy Spirit
Come and speak to me

How about instead of singing about “Sacred Silence” that we actually have some? Especially during Communion. Out of several parishes I attend there is only one where there is any understanding of sacred silence. I have been very impressed by this one young man who is the organist there. That he understands that he doesn’t have to fill every part of the Mass where music is allowed with music. That silences are allowed and can feed contemplation.

I especially notice the difference between Sunday Masses and Daily Mass where usually there is sacred silence and not just the rollout of hymn after hymn. I can appreciate Church musicians both for when they play, and when they purposely choose not to play. I am a both/and kind of guy and love both sacred music and sacred silences as they both nourish me. I love to sing, but post receiving Communion I want to concentrate on reflecting of this great gift.

Maybe one reason I crave sacred silence at Mass is that I fill my life up with noise. Most of the day I have headphones on listening to music, podcasts, and audiobooks. Even in the shower I make sure I have Bluetooth speakers available. About the only part of my day when I am not listening to something is during the periods of prayer from the Liturgy of the Hours and the Rosary. So no doubt I need to nurture some sacred silence in my own life. Although I did keep the irony down by writing this blog post with no music in the background.

May 232016
 

thecatholicsun_2016-May-20

These Dominican nuns still rib the Cardinal about the time he mixed his zucchetto in their laundry.


Well actually these are Mary Queen of Heaven Missionaries based in the Archdiocese of Cebu in the Philippines, along with Cardinal Ricardo Vidal.

You can read about them here along with the source of this photo.

May 222016
 

You never know what kind of homily you will get on Trinity Sunday or as I call it Bad Analogy Sunday. Still this time around my pessimism was not rewarded and I was treated to a rather good homily. One that started “Thomas Aquinas says.” He used the Analogy of the Family to good effect, which is also the analogy the Catechism uses (CCC 2205).

Being in the Diocese of St. Augustine, not surprisingly over the years, I have often been treated to the story of St, Augustine, the boy, and the seashell. As a Middle Ages legend it serves it purposes as a reminder that the Trinity is a mystery, but not anything beyond that.

I would rather hear St. Augustine’s analogy of the Trinity he used in his book Confessions.”

I speak of these three: to be, to know, and to will. For I am, and I know, and I will: I am a knowing and a willing being, and I know that I am and that I will, and I will to be and to know. Therefore, in these three, let him who can do so perceive how inseparable a life there is, one life and one mind and one essence, and finally how inseparable a distinction there is, and yet there is a distinction. Surely a man stands face to face with himself. Let him take heed of himself, and look there, and tell me. But when he has discovered any of these and is ready to speak, let him not think that he has found that immutable being which is above all these, which is immutably, and knows immutably, and wills immutably.

Just as long as you remember all analogies limp, and they are downright crippled when it comes to The Most Holy Trinity.

Although I find Frank Sheed’s explanation providing the most light as laid out in Theology and Sanity and Theology for Beginners.

The Lutheran Satire bit on St. Patrick’s Bad Analogies is pretty funny as a vehicle to go over common bad analogies. Although there is no evidence that St. Patrick ever actually used the Shamrock as an analogy for the Trinity.

May 202016
 

From an article in the Washington Post ‘Exorcist’ director William Friedkin says Vatican invited him to document the real thing.

William Friedkin, acclaimed director of “The Exorcist,” says he’s now seen the real thing — and filmed it.

Talking to an audience at the Cannes Film Festival in France on Thursday, the 80-year-old filmmaker said that the Vatican invited him to film an exorcism earlier in May. The version he constructed for the 1973 supernatural horror film, Friedkin added, was not that far from the actual rite he recently documented.

“I don’t think I will ever be the same having seen this astonishing thing,” he said, according to Agence France-Presse. “I am not talking about some cult, I am talking about an exorcism by the Catholic Church in Rome.”

A representative for the Vatican countered the claim that it had invited Friedkin, noting that it currently does not have an official exorcist. However, the spokesman told the AFP that it is possible Friedkin was confusing another Catholic initiative with the Vatican.

It does make you wonder who did invite him to film an exorcism if that is actually what happened.

Now some might ask “Isn’t Father Gabriele Amorth the Vatican Chief Exorcist?” Well there is no such position and Fr. Amorth is just one of the exorcists for the Diocese of Rome. There is no hierarchy of exorcists.

The question does come up from time to time about why doesn’t the Church film exorcisms as a sort of proof of Demonic activity. No doubt the main reason is the privacy of the people involved. Plus unlike the movies where Exorcism is mostly one grueling session – in real life they can go on for a considerable amount of time. I think there are quite a lot of good reasons why the Church doesn’t publicize exorcisms and I surely doubt filming one would change anybodies mind about the existence of Demons. People can witness miracles and remain skeptical afterwards.

This whole report seems pretty dodgy to me.

May 182016
 

Robyn Lee, a former Managing Editor of the CatholicMatch, posts her story about what led her to the Franciscan Sisters of the Eucharist

Now the jokes kind of write themselves. “When the dating scene is tough there is always Jesus”. Forget blind dates, Jesus cured the blind.

Still it does get me thinking about what people do when they discern a religious vocation and try to determine what charism of an order attracts them.

Really there should be a “Catholic Religious Order Match”. There is a lot of commonality between seeking a religious order and seeking a spouse via a dating site.

Filling out a questionnaire, an online, profile, etc. Both the aspirant and the religious order are looking for a good match. A “come and see” period to help discern compatibility. Whether it is concerning a vocation for marriage or the religious life there is the question “What is God calling you to”. With hundreds of religious orders out there having matching online profiles in one place could be useful.

May 182016
 

While news always trends towards the depressing, it seems like it is just one damned thing after another this year. A presidential election gone insane, a President issuing PC diktats, people trying to get on the right side of history instead of the right side of truth. There is just so much that is unnerving and the pace of the insanity seems unmatched.

Yet as an optimistic-pessimist I can see the bad and the good. The political craziness dissuades me from any utopian vision of politics. If only such-and-such is elected, if only some party has the majority, all the empty lies that sustain the status quo of government bloat and inefficiency. Put no trust in princes.

So much to grip about, and yet to realize that there is no environment where we can not grow in holiness. So these thoughts have been churning away in me and Fr. Dwight Longenecker crystalized these feelings for me.

Why blame the world for being corrupt and venal when I also am too concerned about money and material possessions? Let me simplify my life and seek detachment. Let me live more by faith, be more generous with my money and be happier. Why blame the world for immorality and lust? God grant me the grace to live chastely, to seek purity of heart and innocence of mind, and let Sodom and Gomorrah go where it will. Why blame the world for being duplicitous, manipulative, power hungry and cruel? Instead let me look to my own life and seek always to be transparent in all my doings, concerned only for others and not myself and to never stoop to being manipulative or cruel.

In other words, I want to live local and love local. Let the politicians do their worst. I have a job to do, a life to lead, a Lord to worship and a people to serve. I do not ask of the courage to stand up to the evil in Washington or the world. I simply ask for the courage to stand against the evil in my own life, in my family, my parish and my community. As a citizen I will be involved and vote where I can for local politicians who share my values and principles. As a priest I will seek to serve those who God has given me as my flock and family.

If we seek perfection in the world, first imitate Jesus and grow in perfection via grace – sheer grace. I find it easy to complain about the corruption of government, but want to find another topic to discuss when it comes to my own corruption and moral laziness.

“These things have I spoken unto you, that in me ye may have peace. In the world ye have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” Jn 16:33

So if such tribulations make me ponder my own cross and my own need for Jesus – then Lord help me pick up that cross.

May 182016
 

pope-francis2-300x187This version of The Weekly Francis covers material released in the last week from From 3 May 2016 to 18 May 2016.

The Weekly Francis is a compilation of the Holy Father’s writings, speeches, etc which I also post at Jimmy Akin’s The Weekly Francis. Jimmy Akin came up with this idea when he started “The Weekly Benedict” and I have taken over curation of it.

Daily Homilies (fervorinos)

General Audiences

Homilies

Messages

Regina Cæli

Speeches

Papal Tweets

  • “Dear Religious: wake up the world! Be witnesses to a different way of thinking, acting and living!” @Pontifex 12 May 2016
  • “If our hearts and actions are inspired by charity, by divine love, then our communication will be touched by God’s own power.” @Pontifex 13 May 2016
  • “To communicate with mercy means to help create a healthy, free and fraternal closeness among the children of God.” @Pontifex 14 May 2016
  • “Come, Holy Spirit! Free us from being closed in on ourselves and instill in us the joy of proclaiming the Gospel.” @Pontifex 15 May 2016
  • “The gift of the Holy Spirit has been bestowed in abundance so that we may live lives of genuine faith and active charity.” @Pontifex 16 May 2016
  • “The world needs the courage, hope, faith and perseverance of Christ’s followers.” @Pontifex 17 May 2016
  • “The Jubilee is the party to which Jesus invites us all, without excluding anyone.” @Pontifex 18 May 2016

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