Just because I am God’s own, totally unique, God’s very own possession, what else can I do but sing of God’s goodness. My whole being sings
Sr. Charleen Hug, S.N.D
(She teaches theology at Notre Dame Academy in Toledo, OH)
With the Church in crisis, I was puzzled by our bishops devoting so much time and effort to change words in the Mass. They remind me of two of my women relatives. The first was my Mississippi great-grand-mother who raised prize chickens. Back in the early 1900s, house parties were popular social events in the South. One would invite four or five couple to come for a several day visit, when they would be constantly entertained with fancy dinners, parties, dances, picnics and games. My mother told me that the few days before she had a house party, the place was in constant turmoil with the family and servants preparing food, getting the house in order and planning for every hour of the event. During this time, her grandmother would devote her time to cleaning out her chicken house.
The other person was my splendid Spanish mother-in-law. Whenever she observed someone doing something which she thought was not of importance, she would say, “Ah, they must not have much to do.”
One aspect of the bishops’ changes puzzles me. At the beginning of the Mass, the priest faces the congregation and offers his blessing: “The Lord be with you.” When he says “you”, I assume he is blessing each body and spirit. We used to answer, “And also with you.”
But now, in reply, we are to say only “And with your spirit.” What gives? Why shouldn’t we also want a blessing on the priest’s physical being?
One reason they made this change might have been because of an event which happened one day at the beginning of a Mass when the priest was having trouble with his microphone. At the start of the service he was fumbling with his mike speaker attached to his robe, and the sound came on just as the priest said to the deacon, “There is something wrong with this mike,” and the congregation said with one voice, “And also with you.”
“Three things in human life are important. The first is to be kind. The second is to be kind. And the third is to be kind.”
Shame on me
(A letter to me from Rita S., in Portland, Oregon)
“Armiger, I read your book, Light Reading for Good and Wayward Catholics, and if I were the Pope, I would excommunicate you!”
(I wrote back)
“Dear Rita, I thank you for your frank comment about my book, and I thank God that you aren’t the Pope.”
Former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum is considering a run for the presidency in 2012. (God, please save America)
If have an interest in teenagers, don’t miss the article, “Faulty Guidance”, by Father William J. O’Malley, S.J. in the September 14-21 issue of America magazine. It’s an excellent no-holds-barred article.
Also, check out the “Pray” article by Zev Chafets in the magazine section of the Sunday New York Times on September 20. In discussing how we Catholic pray, there is an interesting interview with Sister Janet Ruffing, director of Fordham’s program on spiritual direction.
Joyful Catholic Quiz
(Answers to last week’s quiz)
The winner of the gift copy of Light Reading for Good and Wayward Catholics is Jacob Rodriguez in Chicago in New Orleans who logged in at 8:27 AM on September 23.
1. Because of the stain on her garment, St. Veronica is the saint patroness of laundresses
2. Papal Elections take place in the Sistine Chapel.
3. The first USA bishop was John Carroll, Archbishop of Baltimore, consecrated on August 25, 1790.
From the book, How to Become a Bishop without Being Religious, by Charles Merrill Smith
“Two requirements to be a bishop: gray hair and hemorrhoids to give you that sorrowful look.”
My Favorite Priest
Rev. Andrew Gries, O.C.S.O.
While visiting at Carroll Manor, a nursing home in Washington, DC, I met Father Andrew Griest, a wonderful Trappist monk whose life has been dedicated to prayer and silence. While confined in this facility for the rest of his life, he continues his priestly mission by attending daily Mass in the chapel and sharing his time with fellow Trappist patients, Father Edmund and Brother James. He welcomes, listens and counsels both Catholics and non-Catholics who come to him for advice. He is a true priest—a good representative of God. I look forward to each visit with him and always leave peaceful and happy.
Submitted by Margaret Headley in Washington, DC