Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Monday, June 28, 2010

Ecumenical mutterings.

With the expected replacement of Cardinal Kasper as head of the Dicastery in charge of 'dialogue', there is much talk over at our friends of a "MINOR" persuasion on the state of ecumenical affairs.  Pat Archbold posted a article for the National Catholic Register.  In his makes the point, advancing the notion that Kaspar has done remarkable service to the Church and the cause of Inter-Religious Dialogue and Ecumenical Affairs.  Nevertheless, perhaps, a change in this department is a much needed one.  One could argue, as Archbold certainly does, that 'dialogue' has become an end, in itself.  Too often among ecumenists, this is where things stop.  We talk and talk and talk and....well.... we keep talking; we lost sight of the END -- namely, union and communion with Christ AND His Church -- which, my friends, is the Catholic Church.

Many of our younger friars come from non-Catholic backgrounds -- this writer being only one of them.  We understand and appreciate the value and the need of dialogue and Christian charity and pastoral prudence when approaching disputed questions between the Church and other ecclesiastical communities.  Respect is certainly deserved and to be given to the legitimate traditions and customs of these groups.  However, it has to be recognized, that for the sake ecumenism, efforts by some have been made -- albeit with very good intentions -- that have led to a deep dilution of and near-rejection of the Catholic identity, which marked the globe prior to the Second Vatican Council.

God Bless the work of Cardinal Kaspar -- as with anything, sometimes new eyes, new talents can bring a greater and renewed vigor and enthusiasm to the playing field.

Ut unum sint....

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Martyrs' love for the Mass?

His Excellency, Archbishop Charles Chaput, gave a lecture at the Liturgical Institute at Mundelein Seminary on the liturgical renewal that is being undergone throughout the Church.  His talk could not have come a better time and, I would say, his talk can occur over and over again, until it becomes an echo in the hearts of the faithful.  The current battle in the episcopal circles within the United States and, perhaps to a lesser degree, is, in fact, surrounding the Sacred Liturgy -- particularly, in the area of translation.  Sadly, these squabbles direct the real need in the Church for a greater understanding as to the real intention of the Second Vatican Council in its document, Sacrosanctum Concilium, and the succeeding documents of the Church.

The Sacred Liturgy is, in essence, a dialogue within the GodHead -- Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  Through God's grace, we are able to participate and share in that dialogue, by virtue of our baptismal consecration.  The signs, actions, gestures used at  the Liturgy are designed and offered as a means to participate more fully -- bodily, intellectually, spiritually in that dialogue: to take up our proper roles and parts in the spirit of Faith and devotion.  There is a reason why the Church calls the celebration of the Eucharist (the culmination and source of all Liturgical celebrations) the 'source and summit' of the Christian Life.  The very lifeblood the Her Apostolic Mission in the world is centered around the Liturgy.  As Archbishop Chaput candidly and poignantly said, "The reason we evangelize" is to bring people closer to God, in communion with Him in the "Eucharist".

Friday, June 25, 2010

Captivity of Identity

In the world today, we, as Catholics, are being threatened to renounce our identities as believers of Christ.  It would appear that the demon of secularism desires us to become irreligious and pagan.  The recent events taking place in Spain and that have started or already happened in other parts of Catholic Europe, only serve as a vivid reminder to us of the danger of quiet apathy.

We cannot begin or continue to believe that we are immune from such insurgences into our own nation.  While we are without the history of explicit Christian symbols in our schools, we are not without Judeo-Christian expressions and manifestations in our larger culture.  But even these are fast becoming obsolete, eliminated from the public square and/or relegated to being acts or opinions of a so-called 'religious fanatics'.  The gift of Faith makes us a part of the Kingdom of God -- that Kingdom is like any other Kingdom.... it MUST BE DEFENDED ....

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Religious Freedom, threatened

Archbishop Wuerl speaks

Summer Months

Well, we are officially in the summer season.  The Mercedarian students have been dispersed to the various houses of the Vicariate in the United States.  They will be helping the local communities in their apostolic tasks and experiencing the particular flavors of the different houses.  In the religious life, there is a common expression of communal living among ALL friaries/monasteries of the Order.  Nevertheless, the particular apostolic and local situation of each house, gives a unique dynamism to each local community.  Our students are able to have a better feel and experience of the different communities, grow in greater fraternity with the other friars, and learn much from the older brothers, who have many, many stories to tell of times past.

Please pray for the Solemnly Professed friars of the Vicariate, who will father in western NY for a week of 'ongoing formation' and meetings.

God Bless!