Life is a journey; the choices you make now will determine your eternal destination.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Liturgy changes

At last there are going to be changes to the English translation of the Roman Missal that more closely reflect the old Mass. When I was a kid, these translations were in the Missal across from the Latin. I remember particularly the Mea Culpa and striking the breast. And how did they ever get "and also with you" out of Et cum spirit tu tuo? This is going to throw the music ministers for a loop; they will have to conform to a traditional Gloria instead of giving it their own personal spin. Hey! Does this mean no more Gloria! Gloria! (clap clap)? YAY!

Here is a glimpse at some of the changes being proposed:

By DEBORAH GYAPONG Canadian Catholic NewsOttawa

Most of the changes in the new Mass translation involve the priest's prayers. Here are some of the changes that will affect the congregation:
After the priest says, "The Lord be with you," the new response will be "And with your spirit," instead of "And also with you."
The present "I have sinned through my own fault in my thoughts and in my words, in what I have done, and in what I have failed to do" in the first penitential rite will be replaced with "I have greatly sinned in my thoughts and in my words, in what I have done and in what I have failed to do, (and after striking their breast, they say) through my fault, through my fault, through my most grievous fault."
Latin origins
The Gloria's structure changes to more closely reflect the Latin original, for example:
Glory to God in the highest, and peace to his people on earth" will change to "Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace to people of good will.
Lord God, heavenly King, almighty God and Father, we worship you, we give you thanks, we praise you for your glory," will change to "We praise you, we bless you, we adore you, we glorify you, we give you thanks for your great glory, Lord God, heavenly King, O God, almighty Father.
I believe
The Nicene Creed will begin with "I believe" instead of the present "We believe."
The Sanctus will begin: "Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God of hosts," replacing the present Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might."
After the priest says, "Let us give thanks to the Lord our God," the response will be "It is right and just." rather than "It is right to give him thanks and praise."
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has posted a PDF version of the new Mass liturgy translation at www.usccb.org/liturgy/missalformation/OrdoMissaeWhiteBook.pdf -->

Deacons

Does your parish use deacons? What do you think of their role? Is this just another way to Protestantize the Catholic Church, or is there a valid need for deacons? There is the argument that there are not enough priests for the parishes. A deacon is allowed to assist the priest with the Eucharist, read the Gospel, preach sermons, teach classes, and take the Eucharist to the sick and imprisoned. He cannot consecrate the Eucharist or hear confessions.
I understand the need to take the load off priests in parishes that are very busy, and I think it's wonderful that there are men who feel the call to serve God in this way. However, I really prefer to hear the sermon from the priest. Deacons do not receive the theological training that the priest does. A case in point is the horrendous homily given by a deacon that I wrote about in an earlier post: the guitar- pickin' Jeremiah one. If a priest is present, there is no need for the deacon to assume the role of trying to advise us spiritually. That is what priests are trained to do, and should do.
One thing I am not clear on; is becoming a deacon a part of the steps to becoming a priest or is it an end in itself. Or can it be either?

Friday, September 26, 2008

More sacred music

A while ago,Tom in Vegas got me listening to sacred music with his playlist on his blog, and it's a world I thoroughly enjoy. One of the greats is Tomas Luis de Victoria.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

My Journey, Continued

I just finished reading"How to Converse Continually and Familiarly With God" by St. Alphonsus Ligouri. I have been looking for ways to "pray always". I find that I get wrapped up in what I do during the day and need to stop and take time for God. Here are some suggestions from that great saint that help to keep devotion to God uppermost in your mind throughout the day:
-When you awake in the morning, your first thought should be to raise your mind to God and offer Him all the actions of that day, asking Him to help you by His grace. Then make the other morning Christian acts of thanksgiving, love, petition and the firm resolve of living that day as if it were the last day of your life.
-There are three devotions which you must treasure above all the others if you want to grow in holiness: devotion to the Passion, to the Most Blessed Sacrament, and to the Blessed Virgin. In your meditation, make frequent acts of contrition, love of God and self-oblation. One fervent act of love in the morning meditation is sufficient to keep the soul fervent throughout the remainder of the day.
-When you leave your room or your house and when you return, recommend yourself to the Blessed Mother by saying a Hail Mary. When going to the table for your meals, offer to God whatever pleasure or displeasure you may feel in eating or drinking, and after the meal, thank Him by saying:"What benefits, O Lord, you bestow on one who has so greatly offended you!"
-In order to keep recollected and united with God in this life, insofar as possible, take advantage of all that you hear and see to raise your mind to God and to remind you of eternity. For example, when you look at water trickling from a leaking container, reflect that, in the same way, your life is ebbing away and death is drawing near..... When you view fields and seashores, flowers and fruits, which gladden you with their appearance or with their fragrance, say: "How many beautiful things God has made for me on this earth in order that I may love Him! What further delights He has for me in Heaven!"
- When you look at rivers and brooks, think that just as the waters run to the sea without ever stopping, so you too must always run to God, who is your only good....The sight of valleys made fertile by the waters running down from the mountains above should remind you that, in a similar manner, the grace of God is poured out on humble souls, but abandons the proud. When you see a beautiful church all decorated, consider the beauty of a soul in a state of grace- a real temple of God. When you see a fire, or candles burning on an altar, say: "How many years I should have been burning in Hell! But since, O Lord, You have preserved me from it, grant that my heart may burn with love for You as that fire, or those candles."
-During the day make frequent offerings of yourself to God, as St. Teresa of Avila was wont to do, by saying: "Here I am , O Lord; do with me what You please. Tell me what You wish me to do for You, and I will do it all." Repeat acts of love for God as often as you can. St. Teresa used to say that acts of love are like wood maintaining the fire of divine love kindled in our hearts.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Feast day of St. Padre Pio

Quotes from Padre Pio:

The most beautiful credo is that which come from your lips in darkness, in sacrifice, in pain, in the supreme effort of an unbending will for good. It is this which, like a stroke of lightning, penetrates the darkness of the soul; it is this which in the flash of the tempest lifts you and leads you to God.

Bear in mind that the more the enemy (devil) assaults you, the closer God is to your soul. Think about, and penetrate this great and comforting truth.

The proof of love is to suffer for the one you love.

To doubt is the greatest insult to the Divinity.

The gates of Heaven are open for all creatures.(who repent) Remember Mary Magdalene.

Keep close to the Catholic Church at all times, for the Church alone can give you true peace, since she alone possesses Jesus, the true Prince of Peace, in the Blessed Sacrament.

Oh, how precious time is! Blessed are those who know how to make good use of it. Oh, if only all could understand how precious time is, undoubtedly everyone would do his best to spend it in a praiseworthy manner!

One thing is necessary: to be near Jesus. You know well that at the birth of our Lord the shepherds heard the angelic and divine chants of the heavenly spirits. The Scriptures say so. But they do not say that his Virgin Mother and St. Joseph who were nearer to the Child, heard the voices of the angels or saw those miracles of splendor. On the contrary, they heard the Child weeping and saw by the light of a poor lantern the eyes of the Divine Child all bathed in tears, in sighs and shivering cold. Now I ask you: Would you not have preferred to have been in the dark stable, filled with the cries of the little Child, rather than to have been with the shepherds. beside yourself with joy over those sweet melodies from heaven and the beauties of this wonderful splendor?

Let us bind ourselves tightly to the Sorrowful Heart of our heavenly Mother and reflect on its boundless grief and how precious is our soul.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Dedication to Our Lady



The month dedicated to Mary's sorrows is winding down. I have been working on increasing my devotion to Mary, and just ordered The Little Office of the Blessed Virgin from Fraternity Publications


Hope you enjoy these videos, the first is Salve Regina, and then Charlotte Church, Ave Maria.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Giveaways over at Salve Regina

You may want to visit my sister at Salve Regina as she is doing two giveaways; A Catholic daily planner/calendar and a beautiful print, "Song of Angels". All you need to do is leave her a comment on those posts, which you can get to by clicking on the links I provided. Give it a try, especially if you have never entered a giveaway!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

St. Joseph

Along with my love for the Holy Mother of God, I have a devotion to St. Joseph, which I am sure is prompted by my patron saint, Teresa of Avila. Here is a quote from her autobiography.

To other saints, Our Lord seems to have given power to succor us in some special necessity- but to this glorious saint, I know by experience, He has given us the power to help us in all. Our Lord would have us understand that as He was subject to St. Joseph on earth- for St. Joseph, bearing the title of father and being His guardian, could command Him- so now in heaven Our Lord grants all his petitions.

St. Joseph has been very helpful to me, and I am thankful for his intersession.


Blessed art thou among all men.
And blessed are thine eyes, which have seen what thou hast seen.
And blessed are thine ears, which have heard what thou hast heard.
And blessed are thine hands, which have touched the Word Incarnate.
And blessed are thine arms, which have carried the One who carries all things.
And blessed is thy breast, on which the Son of God most sweetly reposed.
And blessed is thy heart, kindled with most ardent love.
(From Invocations to St. Joseph by Fr. Olier)

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Marian Quotes from Saints

O Mary, we poor sinners know no other refuge but you, you are our only patroness, and we all look to you! St. Thomas of Villanova
There is no one more capable of seizing and holding the sword of God's vengance than you, Most Beloved of God! St. Bonaventure
O Mary, open the gates of heaven to us- you have its keys! St Ambrose
Whoever loves Mary will persevere-St. John Berchmans
O Lady, never cease watching over us. Keep and guard us under your wings of mercy, for, after God, we have no hope but in you.-St. Ephrem

Monday, September 15, 2008

My Journey, Continued

My husband and I were just discussing a friend who has no peace of heart, for whom even things which to us are obvious, are a struggle. This person has fallen away from God and into the world of self-help gurus, to no avail. For this person, and for all who struggle to find inner peace, I offer this meditation from The Imitation of Christ:

THE kingdom of God is within you," says the Lord.[1]
Turn, then, to God with all your heart. Forsake this wretched world and your soul shall find rest. Learn to despise external things, to devote yourself to those that are within, and you will see the kingdom of God come unto you, that kingdom which is peace and joy in the Holy Spirit, gifts not given to the impious.
Christ will come to you offering His consolation, if you prepare a fit dwelling for Him in your heart, whose beauty and glory, wherein He takes delight, are all from within. His visits with the inward man are frequent, His communion sweet and full of consolation, His peace great, and His intimacy wonderful indeed.
Therefore, faithful soul, prepare your heart for this Bridegroom that He may come and dwell within you; He Himself says: "If any one love Me, he will keep My word, and My Father will love him, and We will come to him, and will make Our abode with him."
[2]
Give place, then, to Christ, but deny entrance to all others, for when you have Christ you are rich and He is sufficient for you. He will provide for you. He will supply your every want, so that you need not trust in frail, changeable men. Christ remains forever, standing firmly with us to the end.
Do not place much confidence in weak and mortal man, helpful and friendly though he be; and do not grieve too much if he sometimes opposes and contradicts you. Those who are with us today may be against us tomorrow, and vice versa, for men change with the wind. Place all your trust in God; let Him be your fear and your love. He will answer for you; He will do what is best for you.
You have here no lasting home. You are a stranger and a pilgrim wherever you may be, and you shall have no rest until you are wholly united with Christ.
Why do you look about here when this is not the place of your repose? Dwell rather upon heaven and give but a passing glance to all earthly things. They all pass away, and you together with them. Take care, then, that you do not cling to them lest you be entrapped and perish. Fix your mind on the Most High, and pray unceasingly to Christ.
If you do not know how to meditate on heavenly things, direct your thoughts to Christ's passion and willingly behold His sacred wounds. If you turn devoutly to the wounds and precious stigmata of Christ, you will find great comfort in suffering, you will mind but little the scorn of men, and you will easily bear their slanderous talk.
When Christ was in the world, He was despised by men; in the hour of need He was forsaken by acquaintances and left by friends to the depths of scorn. He was willing to suffer and to be despised; do you dare to complain of anything? He had enemies and defamers; do you want everyone to be your friend, your benefactor? How can your patience be rewarded if no adversity test it? How can you be a friend of Christ if you are not willing to suffer any hardship? Suffer with Christ and for Christ if you wish to reign with Him.
Had you but once entered into perfect communion with Jesus or tasted a little of His ardent love, you would care nothing at all for your own comfort or discomfort but would rejoice in the reproach you suffer; for love of Him makes a man despise himself.
A man who is a lover of Jesus and of truth, a truly interior man who is free from uncontrolled affections, can turn to God at will and rise above himself to enjoy spiritual peace.
He who tastes life as it really is, not as men say or think it is, is indeed wise with the wisdom of God rather than of men.
He who learns to live the interior life and to take little account of outward things, does not seek special places or times to perform devout exercises. A spiritual man quickly recollects himself because he has never wasted his attention upon externals. No outside work, no business that cannot wait stands in his way. He adjusts himself to things as they happen. He whose disposition is well ordered cares nothing about the strange, perverse behavior of others, for a man is upset and distracted only in proportion as he engrosses himself in externals.
If all were well with you, therefore, and if you were purified from all sin, everything would tend to your good and be to your profit. But because you are as yet neither entirely dead to self nor free from all earthly affection, there is much that often displeases and disturbs you. Nothing so mars and defiles the heart of man as impure attachment to created things. But if you refuse external consolation, you will be able to contemplate heavenly things and often to experience interior joy.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

New header painting

Before you ask; the new header picture is by
BALESTRA, Antonio
Italian painter, Veronese school (b. 1666, Verona, d. 1740, Verona)

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Fr. Corapi Newsletter

I know I already posted on 9-11, but this email newsletter from Fr. Corapi is a must to share.

ON THE SEVENTH ANNIVERSARY OF 911
Today the world remembers the day of infamy that has come to be called 911. On September 11, 2001 the unthinkable happened—We were attacked by a hostile force deep within our own country. We were all shocked, many people were surprised, angry, saddened, or had their faith shaken.

Political correctness and genuine civility restrain us seven years later from saying much of what many of us think. We must love our country in season and out of season, convenient or inconvenient, whether the rest of the world does or not. That, however, does not mean we can’t correct ourselves, better ourselves. “Know thyself,” the Philosopher says.
Seven years later I admit that I am weary of the arguments at both extremes. At times the far left seems to truly despise the hand that feeds it. America bashing in some quarters has taken on the respectability of a rite of passage, if not a religion. You might expect it from some of the western European nations we have repeatedly bailed out of the hell visited on them by the Hitlers, Stalins, and other assorted thugs and mass murderers. It is shocking, however, when immigrants that have gone from relative rags to riches (most of us) hate themselves so venomously (We are the country after all).
On the other hand, there are those on the far right that seem to have a blind patriotism that discounts the evils this poor nation “under God” has subjugated itself to. We are in an economic crisis of unprecedented proportions, not just because of dependence on foreign oil, the housing crash, etc., but because of the crass negligence of the leaders we have voted into office—in both parties. Poor and weak leadership is punishment for sin. In an indirect way, so are all of the other evils that beset creation. An increasing number of countries hate us for various reasons. Terrorism has intruded itself into our daily life. We worry constantly about a host of evils. Why?
Do you suppose that a nation and the people that have democratically elected the leaders of that nation can be pleasing to God if they were guilty of the outrageous crime of genocide? If a nation legally and systematically had murdered 48,000,000 unwanted women over 60 years of age, would that nation be favored, blessed, and protected by God? Alright, change it to men under 30 years of age. Human beings are human beings.
We have under the specious pretext of law—the law of the highest Court in the land—murdered 48,000,000 innocent human beings through abortion in this country since that dark day Satan donned judicial robes and issued his decision in Roe v. Wade. The nation, and most of the world, is “bewitched” into thinking that this is somehow acceptable because a court of morally blind, if not insane, men said so. Hitler said many things, as did Stalin, and every other individual or institution living apart from God and His unalterable law. They are all gone. The immutable will of God and His truth still stand and always will.
As we recall the hell of 911 and pray for the victims, their families, and the nation in general, remember that God is not a fool, nor is He a disinterested party in the affairs of men. God knows every human being He created from all eternity by name. He loves each one as if they were His only child. How shall one nation under God answer God when He calls for an accounting for these beloved souls? Will we be protected from our enemies, from a never-ending cascade of natural disasters, from financial ruin?
May the Holy Spirit, Lord and Giver of Life, enlighten our minds and strengthen our wills to love the good and fight evil tirelessly; to defend the most innocent and helpless of our brothers and sisters—the unborn. The hour is late, darkness is falling, a day of reckoning is fast upon us. Now is the time to attack the evils of the day, abortion being the preeminent evil, for if the right to life is undermined, eroded, and ultimately destroyed, no other rights are relevant or meaningful.

God Bless You,
Father John Corapi

9-11 Lest We Forget


Here's to the heroes who gave their lives
helping others
Who struggled through the horror of that day,
and reached deep within themselves, and learned how to pray.
Here's to the victims who died that day
For someone's political agenda, with their lives they paid.
May God have mercy on their souls.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

First Saturday

Act of Reparation for the First Saturday of the Month
Most holy Virgin and our beloved Mother, we listen with grief to the complaints of your Immaculate heart surrounded with the thorns which ungrateful people place therein at every moment by their blasphemies and ingratitude. Moved by the ardent desire of loving you as our Mother and of promoting a true devotion to the Immaculate Heart, we come before you to express the sorrow we feel for the grievances that people cause you. We want to atone, by means of our prayers and sacrifices, for the offences with which many return your tender love.
Obtain for them and for us the pardon of so many sins. A word from you will obtain grace and amendment for us all.
Hasten, O Mary, the conversion of sinners, that they may love Jesus and cease to offend the Lord, already so much offended, and thus not fall into hell.
Turn your eyes of mercy toward us, that henceforth we may love God with all our heart while on earth,and enjoy Him forever in heaven. amen.

Friday, September 5, 2008

My Journey, Continued

Since I really want my journey to end in heaven, I wish to heed the advice given here by Thomas A Kempis in The Imitation of Christ:

Judgment and the Punishment of Sin

IN ALL things consider the end; how you shall stand before the strict Judge from Whom nothing is hidden and Who will pronounce judgment in all justice, accepting neither bribes nor excuses. And you, miserable and wretched sinner, who fear even the countenance of an angry man, what answer will you make to the God Who knows all your sins? Why do you not provide for yourself against the day of judgment when no man can be excused or defended by another because each will have enough to do to answer for himself? In this life your work is profitable, your tears acceptable, your sighs audible, your sorrow satisfying and purifying.
The patient man goes through a great and salutary purgatory when he grieves more over the malice of one who harms him than for his own injury; when he prays readily for his enemies and forgives offenses from his heart; when he does not hesitate to ask pardon of others; when he is more easily moved to pity than to anger; when he does frequent violence to himself and tries to bring the body into complete subjection to the spirit.
It is better to atone for sin now and to cut away vices than to keep them for purgation in the hereafter. In truth, we deceive ourselves by our ill-advised love of the flesh. What will that fire feed upon but our sins? The more we spare ourselves now and the more we satisfy the flesh, the harder will the reckoning be and the more we keep for the burning.
For a man will be more grievously punished in the things in which he has sinned. There the lazy will be driven with burning prongs, and gluttons tormented with unspeakable hunger and thirst; the wanton and lust-loving will be bathed in burning pitch and foul brimstone; the envious will howl in their grief like mad dogs.
Every vice will have its own proper punishment. The proud will be faced with every confusion and the avaricious pinched with the most abject want. One hour of suffering there will be more bitter than a hundred years of the most severe penance here. In this life men sometimes rest from work and enjoy the comfort of friends, but the damned have no rest or consolation.
You must, therefore, take care and repent of your sins now so that on the day of judgment you may rest secure with the blessed. For on that day the just will stand firm against those who tortured and oppressed them, and he who now submits humbly to the judgment of men will arise to pass judgment upon them. The poor and humble will have great confidence, while the proud will be struck with fear. He who learned to be a fool in this world and to be scorned for Christ will then appear to have been wise.
In that day every trial borne in patience will be pleasing and the voice of iniquity will be stilled; the devout will be glad; the irreligious will mourn; and the mortified body will rejoice far more than if it had been pampered with every pleasure. Then the cheap garment will shine with splendor and the rich one become faded and worn; the poor cottage will be more praised than the gilded palace. In that day persevering patience will count more than all the power in this world; simple obedience will be exalted above all worldly cleverness; a good and clean conscience will gladden the heart of man far more than the philosophy of the learned; and contempt for riches will be of more weight than every treasure on earth.
Then you will find more consolation in having prayed devoutly than in having fared daintily; you will be happy that you preferred silence to prolonged gossip.
Then holy works will be of greater value than many fair words; strictness of life and hard penances will be more pleasing than all earthly delights.
Learn, then, to suffer little things now that you may not have to suffer greater ones in eternity. Prove here what you can bear hereafter. If you can suffer only a little now, how will you be able to endure eternal torment? If a little suffering makes you impatient now, what will hell fire do? In truth, you cannot have two joys: you cannot taste the pleasures of this world and afterward reign with Christ.
If your life to this moment had been full of honors and pleasures, what good would it do if at this instant you should die? All is vanity, therefore, except to love God and to serve Him alone.
He who loves God with all his heart does not fear death or punishment or judgment or hell, because perfect love assures access to God.
It is no wonder that he who still delights in sin fears death and judgment.
It is good, however, that even if love does not as yet restrain you from evil, at least the fear of hell does. The man who casts aside the fear of God cannot continue long in goodness but will quickly fall into the snares of the devil.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Side Effects

I love it when ordinary people stand up to giant corporations, and especially when it is a pharmaceutical company:

KathleenSlattery-Moschkau
By JOE WINTER, Catholic News Service Madison, Wis.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
A movie based on questionable marketing tactics she saw when she worked in the pharmaceutical industry as a sales representative has brought notoriety to a Wisconsin Catholic woman.
Side Effects was reviewed by many of the biggest industry publications the world over, including the British medical journal The Lancet, then did well in sales when it was came out on DVD in 2007, said Kathleen Slattery-Moschkau who produced the film.
Multi-media platformThe film is based on her on-the-job experiences as a pharmaceutical rep.
Slattery-Moschkau has a company called Hummingbird Pictures, which has other projects on the same theme in the works, she added.
When it comes to marketing pharmaceuticals, "things are not done in the best interest of the patient," Slattery-Moschkau said in an interview. "The (sales) reps are evaluated by the number of pills they move through their territory, and the number that are prescribed."
Based on their performance evaluations, and how they sway the doctors they call on, the reps usually are either offered big bonuses or fired, she said.
"They are looking for bubbly, bright Kens and Barbies. It is all about spin and how something is pitched," Slattery-Moschkau said. Lines of sales banter are taught and rehearsed in the training sessions - which often stress simply the pronunciation of the drugs.
Information game

If the latest research is favourable, it becomes a big part of the selling pitch, but if not, the information is squelched, Slattery-Moschkau said.
When her movie was released, a spokesman for the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, told USA Today the film "really does sound like fiction considering that all sales representatives undergo extensive technical training and are prepared to answer questions about new medicines and their characteristics."
Slattery-Moschkau said she was not qualified to tell doctors how they should prescribe, since her degree is in political science, not medicine. Still, she said she was hired to do just that.
She said Side Effects is really a David versus Goliath story, adding that she was concerned about writing it, because she worried she would face repercussions from the industry.
"For 10 years, as a drug rep, almost daily I experienced the comical marketing tactics of the industry, as well as their dangerous pursuit of profits that can, and have, come at the expense of patients' lives," said Slattery-Moschkau, who finally left the industry.
"It was very difficult, because the money and perks are so seductive, but eventually I couldn't look in the mirror any longer."
About her movie, she added: "I chose to do it as a story instead of a documentary, because I thought I could reach a wider audience that way."
The right to know

She wanted to provide, in an entertaining format, information about medications and people's health.
Slattery-Moschkau also produced a documentary to go along with the movie called Money Talks: Profits Before Patient Safety.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Catholic internet TV station

Today is the first day for broadcasting for Real Catholic TV, an American based internet TV station. It is all Catholic programming, news, etc. I checked it out and here is my review; it is quite a slick production, but for a non-American, some of the programs are not so interesting; a lot of it is about what is going on in the Presidential race, and other political issues in the States. The music that introduces the programs was quite abrasive. (Think a Catholic version of CNN). And on a technical level, even though I use a pretty good high-speed connection, every program was interrupted for buffering. So this isn't going to be a link on my blog any time soon, but I will keep checking it out to see if it improves.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Entertainment???

Yesterday, I went to a Mass that left me reeling. It was obviously geared towards youth, as the "choir" was all teenagers and young adults, complete with guitar, bongos, and piano. (The guitar drowned out the voices and was out of time). The homily, given by a deacon, included such tricks as presenting an unpopped bag of popcorn to symbolize a person who wants to be filled with God's love and grace, and, surprise surprise, a popped bag to show us how we are when filled with grace! And since there was a reading from the prophet Jeremiah he couldn't resist picking up a guitar and singing the chorus to "Jeremiah was a bullfrog"-Joy to the fishes, etc. Of course, the "audience" was encouraged to sing along and clap! At the end of the Mass, the "audience" applauded the choir. The reason I call the congregation an audience, is because it was as if everyone was there to be entertained, not to concentrate on the Holy Sacrifice, unfolding on the altar. There is something wrong with the reasoning that says we have to have this type of service to keep our youth coming to Mass. They can't possibly understand the Mass if they think of it as entertainment. If this is the future of the church, then the church is in deep trouble. Our young people can't be getting the Catholic education they need; quite possibly those who are teaching them do not understand the teachings of the Catholic Church. I'd love to see a revolution towards tradition amongst our youth! Because this type of modernism is bound to lead them away from God and into -what's the word for it? humanism? The focus on this Mass definitely was not God. So how are young people to learn the true meaning of theMass?