While Catholics don’t believe in a rapture as expounded by a segment of Protestants, there is indeed a seeming Catholic rapture.
You can observe this on Sundays when the Mass is longer than an hour. Catholics can be very literal about the scriptures. When Jesus asks us if “So, could you not watch with me one hour? Catholics will grudgingly allow one hour, but don’t expect any more.
I observed the Catholic rapture today. Coming back to the pew I was sitting in after Communion I found that the pews around me were mostly empty and stayed empty. Previously the church was packed. Apparently some Catholics after receiving Communion are so enraptured that apparently they are taken up there and then. Amazing to be around such holy people. In fact even there cars are holy as I find that the parking lot is also emptied out after I wait for the priest to process.
Now I know Scott Hahn calls it the Judas Shuffle when Catholics leave early. I prefer the more charitable explanation of the Catholic Rapture.
Since I started attending the Traditional Latin Mass on Sundays I thought it was time to get a good 1962 Missal to use. I had considered buying the one from [Baronius Press][press]. For one I have other of their books and they are super high quality so I knew I could not go wrong. Still I took the question to social media and got several suggestions including Baronius Press’s offering.
One suggestion surprised me, using an app called iMass. This was suggested by several TLM goers of whom I have respect for. Now I am pretty geekly and use technology a lot, but did I want to use it during Mass? Plus there was the dichotomy of using a phone app during the TLM. Are you allowed to only use technology developed up to 1962?
Plus there is a vanity in me that doesn’t want to stick out. I figured if I started using a phone app during Mass the other Mass goers would be all like this:
Still I have noticed that more and more people are using phone apps during Mass for the readings. Something not confined to just younger people, but something I have observed across age groups. Still my first reaction when I see somebody holding a phone during Mass is:
Couldn’t they wait to text later on! Oh wait they have a app with the Mass readings.
So I decided to give the iMass app a tryout.
Now this app contains a full Missal along with the Breviary in multiple languages including Latin. You can even view live streams of Latin Masses and Liturgies.
So previously while attending the Latin Mass I used the booklet they hand out that helps you to follow along to an extent. The iMass app lets you fully follow along.
The app is used in landscape mode so that you can see both the Latin and the English text. I have an iPhone 7 Plus so the screen size is pretty much perfect for this. Mostly you just scroll along as you coordinate what the priest is saying to where you are in the Missal. Mostly I was able to do this despite the priest being soft spoken. I also found that I was able to read the English text as I was doing this and stay in place. The rubrics also help you to identify where you are in the Mass based on what the priest is doing. Besides just using the scrolling there is also quick navigation to the top or next section.
So I was pretty impressed with how useful this was since if I was using a Missal I would have been skipping around more. So mostly I was able to stay focused on the Mass and to see the translation.
So when it comes to using technology for prayer I have a simple test. Does it actually help me pray or is it a distraction? Or a distraction to others. The iMass app passes this test for me.
I once suggested the iHALO a visual indicator showing you are using a Mass appropriate app.
Speaking of Mass related technologies. Recently Apple came out with Theater Mode on the Apple Watch. This is different than just the mute button. In addition to muting, the watch would not light up when you moved your wrist.
So I now call this Mass mode and I now always put my watch in this mode before entering the church along with muting my phone. I wish the watch could mute both. Now I am pretty good about remembering to mute my phone before entering the church, I just usually forget to un-mute it later on. The “Mass Mode” provides me a reminder that I am muted and to remember to turn off “Mass Mode” and to un-mute my phone.
I have become more an more of a fan regarding the genre of daily meditations. Usually I like the format of a quote or two, short reflection, and a closing prayer/reflection. I usually like the conciseness of such books which get right to the point.
I have been taking a leisurely stroll through this new book using it as intended. Reading a single or a couple of pages daily. I really enjoy the variety of quote sources and how she reflects on them. She has a Chestertonian ability to see things afresh and to illustrate that freshness to you. There is gratitude and wonder in her reflections that inspire me to want to imitate that viewpoint more consistently.
Sometimes even from the best of writers I usually find the closing prayer/reflection more as something tagged on than integral. More as an expected part of the format than something useful. Not true here where even a single sentence is the exclamation point to what goes before.
I had previously mentioned that I joined a local group of St Paul Street Evangelization. On April 1st our first outing as a group was to Jacksonville Beach, Fl.
The parish sponsoring us is St Paul’s and is only two blocks from the public access to the beach. This can be confusing referring to St. Paul’s St Paul Street Evangelization. Our local team though is made up of a variety of people from multiple parishes in the Diocese of St. Augustine.
The things I do for Christ, like spending part of the day at the beach on an absolutely beautiful and sunny afternoon.
I compare this to the travails of St. Paul (that name is coming up a lot).
Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one. Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked. I spent a night and a day in the open sea.
So as an introvert I certainly had trepidations about evangelizing in the way of St Paul Street Evangelization, although their approach makes it easier. People there were actually very decent about getting offers for a free Rosary. Even the ones not interested at all were polite about it. I think a saw a rather confused face from one man wearing an obviously Evangelical t-shirt, but he was still pleasant in his refusal.
We should have had EMT’s out with us for anybody fainting from seeing Catholics evangelizing. For the most part I hung back while more extroverted members of the team approached people. Giving me a change to pray for those being interacted with. Plus I could enter conversations at times regarding areas I was confident talking about. Having listened to thousands of hours of Catholic radio I can finally make use of that. It was all very enjoyable and even relaxing. Time went pretty quick for the three hours we were out there.
It was great getting to know some of the other members of the team. Quite varied in experience and thankfully many of them are very outgoing approaching people with seeming ease. Especially impressed with Deacon Ed who leads the team. It is just great seeing Catholics out there doing this and I can hardly believe I am one of them.
If you are thinking you want to do more to evangelize in a non-pressure way – I highly recommend St Paul Street Evangelization. In the five short years they have been around they have really grown.
With the recent death of my wife I am of course dealing with a lot of changes. All the patterns of everyday life in 36 years of marriage have been totally disrupted. While I am thankful for my faith in dealing with my grief, it still must be dealt with. The waves of sadness that hit me suddenly are mostly surprise attacks. Still I am dealing with it the best I can in prayer.
One of my early thoughts going through this process was that I wanted to live a life worthy of her. She who had toiled for years praying for her hardened atheist husband. After being married so long I think it can be rather easy to be set adrift. Still my faith anchors me and helps me from making of fool of myself – or at least more of a fool of myself.
Of those changes one was to commit to Daily Mass. My work hours are flexible so I searched through MassTimes.org looking for an early Mass that I could go to and still get to work somewhat early. Not many to choose from with that criteria and ended up with one at 7:00 A.M. that was only a little off my route. This was much earlier than I wanted. Still I have now managed a routine of getting ready in the morning in 15 minutes to be on my way. So despite waking up much earlier than I wanted, this is so worth it to start my day this way.
The second change I wanted to effect was to get involved in evangelization. That the faith my wife had given me should be multiplied. In the past I have made plenty of excuses regarding this. I felt like Moses telling God about how he wasn’t good talking to people. I am a bit of a gregarious introvert. I do love people, but tend to myself. I do better in larger groups than smaller ones like many class clowns.
Over the last couple of years I have been hearing more and more regarding St. Paul Street Evangelization. The more I heard the more I thought that just possible I could fit in doing this. There non-confrontational approach of handing out Rosaries, Miraculous Medals, etc – while listening to people and answering questions appealed to me. A group setting where you have several people involved and people praying for you when you talk to someone.
So I decided to reach out to them to find if there was a chapter near me. Turns out there was one – one that was just forming. So last Saturday I met with this group in their first meeting. An interesting range of people led by a Deacon obviously on fire for the faith. The parish he belongs to is providing all the materials needed. So next Saturday will be our first experience of setting out a table and following the charism of St. Paul Street Evangelization. The parish sponsoring this is right off the beach and so there will be a lot of foot traffic where we will be setting up.
Another change is becoming more involved in parish life. My wife liked going to different parishes each week. She disliked going to the same place over an over. My tendencies are different as have no problem with routine. Although going to all these different parishes did give me a snapshot regarding liturgical worship in my diocese and that generally things are improving in this regard. My first thought was to be involved in the parish where I first came into the Church. A downtown Jacksonville church that is now a Basilica. A really beautiful church with a solid pastor.
Other considerations came into play though. After my wife died I scrambled to find a place for her to be interned. I found that a parish within easy driving distance to me was the only one with their own graveyard. So she is interned there in a Mausoleum. Since we were not members of this parish, the costs were increased. Later as I realized I wanted to be buried there next to her I decided that this parish would be my home. The main church is very large seating around 4,500. They also still maintain their historic church completed in 1883. This wooden building is situated in front of the cemetery where my wife is. They have the Traditional Latin Mass on Sundays so this is where I go. After Mass it is a short walk to visit my wife and pray the Divine Mercy. I love going to the TLM on Sundays, but also love the Daily Masses I go to in the Ordinary Form.
So those are just some of the changes I am going through. So any prayers you can send my way I would appreciate.
The River Frome could soon be capable of bearing the same rights as humans and companies, if proposals to establish a nature rights by-law go ahead.
Sustainable Frome is campaigning to get Frome Town Council to create a new type of by-law which recognises the river as a legal system capable of bearing the same rights as us humans.
The key elements of a nature rights by-law for the river were laid out at a town council meeting last July. These would be:
1. That the river be given appropriate rights stemming from the function of rivers within the wider whole of nature.
2. That local people and the council be granted the power to enforce these rights on behalf of the river. Currently anyone trying to defend the nature of the river has to show sufficient interest in order to bring a case.
3. That the river must not be subordinated to the rights and interests of companies of natural persons, whose property claims must respect the rights of the river.
Now I like Fantasy stories just as much as my favorite genres. Always liked sentient rivers that struck deals in such stories. This is all just fine for fiction.
Now if rivers are sentient and has rights, Old Man River is due some Social Security back payments.
Ol’ man river, that ol’ man river
He don’t say nothin‘, but he must know somethin’
He just keeps rollin‘, he keeps on rollin’ along
Although they might consider all the back taxes rivers must owe since they have the same rights and thus duties as humans.