Month: November 2010

“Be happily and uncomplicatedly Catholic.”

We do indeed need to show joy as Catholics.

My motto — “Be happily and uncomplicatedly Catholic.”

 Michael J. Sheehan Archbishop of Santa Fe

News Flashes –

A good endorsement for Catholic schools. In her interview with The New York Times, Melinda Gates, co-chairwoman of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation said about her high school in Dallas: “The Ursuline nuns were a bit more liberal, so they really taught us how to think about the problems of the world. The school motto is “Serviam”, that is, “I will serve.” – Encouraging news about our young Catholics. Kevin Jackson, the Pastoral Seminarian at Texas A&M, reports that there are so many students attending their weekly Mass that they have run out of seats. Great going, Kevin!

 

Facit  Short Story

Morning thought  

Today, I’ll be a wave rider!

A Joyful Catholic, I am!

    My favorite priest, layperson, breathing saint or organization.

Among those I admire is Jeff Skoll, the Canadian billionaire. With his fortune, he is investing in movies with a positive message and projects that promote world peace. During his lifetime, he also plans to give away all that he has. With his chronic back pains which have not been eliminated with five operations, he also knows the price of self-suffering. Thank you, Jeff, for being a splendid example for all, both rich and poor.

(Now, tell me about your favorite Catholic priest, layperson or organization that is making a difference aljagoe@comcast.net)

 

Interesting sayings

God who, by the very laws of his infinite sanctity, must be infinite joy, infinite gladness; one might almost say the he wears an infinite smile of eternal happiness. While he strikes, his hands are full of sweetness, and we feel in our very faults we are received into his arms and find ourselves resting on the infinite sweetness of God.

Dom Anscar Vonier, O.S.B. the abbot of Buckfast Abbey in Devon, England, who died in 1906.

That which is loved is always beautiful. A Norwegian proverb

There is no room for pride of posturing once we realize that we cannot function at our best if we don’t want the best for everyone.

Kristin Armstrong

Acknowledge that without me you can do nothing, but I will never let you lack help as long as you keep your weakness and nothingness buried in my strength.

One of the many revelations of his Sacred Heart received by Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque, who died in 1690.

I can’t censor the gleam in my eyes. Charles Laughton

Communiqués –

Your blast at the folkie Masses should remind our priest that Pope Benedict XVI said, “ This celebration, at which God not only comes close to us but also enters the very fabric of our existence, is fundamental to being able truly to live with God and for God and to carry the light of God in this world. We must all work together to celebrate the Eucharist even more profoundly: not only as a rite, but as an existential process that touches me in the very depths of my being, more than any other thing.” Regina Hopkins, Minneapolis –

Your “Friggin’ Sing-along-Mass” is a well crafted vitriol of this current horrid practice in our Church. Ken Reggins, Cambridge, MA –

 It’s old codgers like you complaining about the new Mass who are trying to move the Church back into the Middle Ages. Oscar Backstrom, St. Augustine, FL

Chuckle time

When the old pastor returned to his parish after a month’s vacation, he was surprised to find that both the number of people coming for confession and the collections had peaked. The young priest who had been covering for him said, “You told me to do anything I wanted to do, and I did.” The old man nodded and said, “But I don’t approve of two things you have done; first, the drive-in confessional. And then, the neon sign on top of the church COME IN AND TELL OR GO TO HELL.

 

 

Special Intentions List

As you pray with a broad brush, please include these loved ones, who have been submitted by our readers. You, too, are invited to send me names of your special persons who are in need of prayer. My address is aljagoe@comcast.net. They will be on the list for 60 days. At the end of that time, if prayers are still needed, you merely have to renew the name. Juanita Caldwell, Isola Todd, David Abbey, Linwood “Skip” Williams, Roseanne Somlock, Nicholas Gallagher, Tom Lewis, Donald Whitcomb, Violeta Zepeda, John Aylor, Rev. Joseph Marini, Enrique Portillo, Sharon McPike, Tom Ryan, Joseph Normile, Jim Quimby, Russell Edwards, Gertrude Goldstein, Rev. Stephen Huffstetter, Hugh Cannon, Eric Moore, Joan Barrett, 8-year-old Michael Fotta and his parents, Lolita Alvarez, Camilus Musselman, Ed Block, Isobel Milligan, Peter Bartkiewiez and his family, Joe Toles, Grace Toomey, Bob Earll, Camilus Musselman, Ed Cole, Bishop Thomas Olmsted, Jay Parker, William Stephenson, Roger Stoven, Bob Abbott, Denny Kline, Lois Pinkin, Larry Mannino, Cheryl DeSantis

I Envy The Muslims

We do indeed need to show joy as Catholics.   My motto — “Be happily and uncomplicatedly Catholic.”

Michael J. Sheehan, Archbishop of Santa Fe

 

I Envy the Muslims

…for three reasons.  First, I admire their commitment to pray five times a day — to take time out from whatever they are doing to recognize God, and to give thanks.  I have seen this demonstrated by Muslims of all ranks, from day laborers to corporate executives.  Often I have witnessed it is in a vacant spot at a busy airport where the religious fellow is kneeling in prayer, not giving a damn what others think.  I don’t have the guts to do that. (What about you? Would you do it?)

          As a Catholic it would be easy for me to pray five times a day, using the five decades of each mystery of the Rosary. Often, I make the morning commitment to do it. By bedtime, I seldom have remembered to accomplish this spiritual goal.

          Secondly, their devotion to Muhammad, as God’s Messenger who died in 632, is astounding. Their reverence for this person is so great that a critical cartoon in a Dutch newspaper caused a fury throughout the Islamic world with a death warrant declared for the cartoonist, which has put his life in jeopardy.

Their belief is that God has not appeared on earth in human form or any other form.  We believe that Jesus was God manifested, and yet we don’t treat him with the extreme love, devotion and protective desire that the Muslins demonstrate towards Muhammad, who was merely a receiver of messages from God.  I would like to think constantly of Jesus as the most important factor in my life, superior in importance to those I most love, to my possessions and to life itself. But in this, I fail.

Saint Padre Pio of Pietrelcina wrote, “I also suffer greatly, Father, when I see how people ignore Jesus, and what is worse, how they even insult him, especially by those dreadful blasphemies. I should like to die, or at least become deaf rather than hear so many insults offered to God by men.”

Pope Benedict XVI stated that “We must learn to know intimately Jesus Christ, the God with the human face, and really come into contact with him.”

My third envy is their devotion to the Qur’an, their holy book which was dictated by Muhammad as he heard these words from the Most High.  Reverence for the Qur’an (their “Word of Allah”) requires that almost all Muslims commit sizeable portions to memory. One may not touch the original Arabic text without being ritually clean. It may not be carried below waist level and to throw it or tear any of its pages is sacrilege.

Recently, riots broke out when Bishop Bishoy in Egypt’s Coptic Orthodox Church said that passages in the Qur’an denying the divinity of Jesus might have been inserted after the death of Muhammad. To quiet massive protests, the bishop had to apologize.  Can you imagine the Christian community rising up in arms every time a non-believer is critical of our Bible?

When the kook Minister Jones in Florida threatened to burn a Qur’an, revolts broke out in Muslim territories with massive demonstrations, and Jones and President Obama were burned in efface, etc.

I wish I had the same devotion to our Bible that the Muslims have towards their Qur’an. Why don’t I make the commitment to start daily reading and studying our “Word of God”?  Perhaps I’ll start tomorrow.

(And what are your thoughts about this? aljagoe@comcast.net 

Recommended Readings

–         From the Ralph McInerney’s article, “The Eucharist and Culture”, in the October 30 issue of Inside Catholic:

How easily we lose the sense of wonder of the miraculous…One reads that large numbers of Catholics do not understand or accept the teaching of the real presence of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament…It may well be that liturgical changes have drained the Mass of awe and reverence.  Romper room music and bushels of bonhomie don’t prepare one to receive Jesus in the sacrament. (Comment: Amen!!!)

     –   “Junkets for Jesus” in the November-December Mother Jones.

 

Quiz

Last week, the winner of the autographed copy of Light Reading for Good and Wayward Catholic is Dorothy Wilcox in Birmingham, AL. Here are the answers:

1.     The two pairs of Apostles who had the same names were the two James’ and the two Judas’.

2.     The new president of Catholic University is John H. Garvey.

3.     Elijah rode into heaven in a fiery chariot.

We Do Indeed Need to Show Joy as Catholics

We do indeed need to show joy as Catholics.   My motto — “Be happily and uncomplicatedly Catholic.”

Michael J. Sheehan Archbishop of Santa Fe

 

My favorite priest, layperson, breathing saint or organization 

I admire the Protestant organization, Missions-Connect, Inc., that is doing an effective work in helping the poor in Cambodia with their shortage of rice. They guarantee that 100% of contributions will be used to buy, ship and distribute rice to the village people, both Christian and nonbelievers.

As Saint John of Brebeuf said back in the 17thCentury, “Far be it for me to chill the ardor of the generous resolutions of those noble souls who aspire to become missionaries.”

Mission-Connect are located at 21 Lake Frances Drive, West Palm Beach, FL 33411 (Tel: (561) 512-0590

(Now, tell me about your favorite Catholic priest, layperson or organization that is making a difference aljagoe@comcast.net)

 Interesting sayings

Some souls, drawing themselves inward, place their joy in themselves, picking and choosing what pleases themselves. They do not abandon themselves to God. They are very dear to themselves.

 But there are other souls, who have given up to God in a stage of most interior detachment, receiving everything for God with equal indifference whether it be bitter or sweet.  They are the true joyful interior spirits.

Father John Tauler, O.P. (died 1361)

The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it’s still on my list.

A nameless penitent

 

I have total confidence in God’s ways of working with each person, even with those who never address God personally, and yet offer genuine homage by their love for the good, the just and the beautiful.

Elizabeth Leseur (died 1914)

 

Forgiveness is the fragrance that a violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it.

Mark Twain 

Chuckle Time

Headlines that should have been edited:

          Something went wrong in the jet crash

          Miners refuse to work after death

          Juvenile Court to try shooting defendant

          It strike isn’t settled quickly, it might last a while

          Slain; police suspect homicide

          Red tape holds up new bridge

          Study of obesity looks for larger test

          Local high school dropouts cut in half.

          Typhoon rips through cemetery; hundreds dead.

Special Intentions List

As you pray with a broad brush, please include these loved ones, who have been submitted by our readers. You, too, are invited to send me names of your special persons who are in need of prayer.  My address is aljagoe@comcast.net. They will be on the list for 60 days. At the end of that time, if prayers are still needed, you merely have to renew the name.

Juanita Caldwell, Isola Todd, David Abbey, Linwood “Skip” Williams, Eileen Grotsky, Roseanne Somlock, Nicholas Gallagher, Tom Lewis, Donald Whitcomb, Violeta Zepeda, John Aylor,

Rev. Joseph Marini, Enrique Portillo, Sharon McPike, Tom Ryan, Joseph Normile, Jim Quimby, Russell Edwards, Gertrude Goldstein,

Rev. Stephen Huffstetter, Hugh Cannon, Eric Moore, Joan Barrett, 8-year-old Michael Fotta and his parents, Lolita Alvarez, Camilus Musselman, Jack Conner, Ed Block, Isobel Milligan, Peter Bartkiewiez and his family,

 Joe Toles, Grace Toomey, Bob Earll, Camilus Musselman,   Ed Cole, Bishop Thomas Olmsted, Jay Parker, William Stephenson, Roger Stoven, Bob Abbott, Denny Kline

 As you note, because of miraculous healings, several names have been deleted and added to our Deo Gratias list.

Oh! Those Friggin’ Sing-a-Long Masses

We do indeed need to show joy as Catholics.   My motto — “Be happily and uncomplicatedly Catholic.”

Michael J. Sheehan, Archbishop of Santa Fe

 

Oh! Those friggin’ sing-a-long Masses 

That make the Devil dance and shout with joy to see Communion watered down to a ho-hum part of the service. I recently attended one at the Church of Saint Joachim in Rockport, MA.

          The song leader, emcee and star performer was a large gray-haired woman who, during the hour long service, only relinquished the mike twice—for the reading and then the homily.  Before distributing Communion, the priest announced, “We will first sing Communion hymn #1.”  When the song was finished, he first gave Communion to the woman emcee who gulped it down like a dog getting a tidbit and then immediately resumed the mike with “We will now sing Communion hymn #2.”

          Thus the entire service succeeded in not allowing five seconds of silence for prayer and meditation. Communion, one of the most sacred sacraments in our religion, was treated like an incidental side order during a dinner meal. No wonder the Devil is overjoyed to see the Church crippling itself by belittling the belief that Christ, who was God, can and will transpose himself into bread and wine to be consumed by true believers—the mystical union of the sacred (the Holiest of the Holy) and profane (man) becoming one.

This miraculous deed is so awesome that I doubt if anyone, including the Pope, can fully comprehend its fullness of meaning and purpose.  But that doesn’t give ground for the Church to minimize its value with distractions and no quiet time. Parents often say, “Keep children busy so they can’t get into trouble.”  Today’s Church practices, “Keep lay folks busy so they can’t think, pray or meditate.”

In Models of the Church, Cardinal Avery Dulles wrote, “The Eucharist is the climactic sacrament, signifying the deepest and most intimate union with Christ, who makes himself the life-sustaining food and drink of his spiritual family. The Eucharistic liturgy is structured in such a way that Christ addresses the congregation by word as he spoke to the disciples at the Last Supper, and then gives himself in sacramental form under the invocation of the Holy Spirit.” (Hey, pastors, are you listening?)

          I would be embarrassed to take a potential convert to a sing-a-long Mass, because he would experience more spirituality in a service at a Unitarian church.  (You readers, what are your thoughts about this? aljagoe@comcast.com)

            Recommended readings 

–         “Sanctifying, evangelizing and catechizing a parish” by Fr. Francis Peffley in the October Homiletic & Pastoral Review

–         “A moment of historic healing” in the October The Catholic World Report.

–         “Why I pray the Rosary” by Unagidon in October 8 Commonweal.  

QUIZ 

The first to send the right answers to aljagoe@comcast.net will receive a gift copy of Light Reading for Good and Wayward Catholics.

  1. What two pairs of the Apostles had the same name?
  2. Who is the new President of Catholic University, and the third lay person to serve in this role?
  3. What did Elijah ride into heaven?

 News flashes and items 

–         When attending a funeral in a Presbyterian Church, I found a “Welcome” pamphlet in the pew with this message:  This dynamic congregation is serious about following Jesus Christ through worship, study, service and fellowship. Our family of faith share laughter and tears a past of our mutual caring. We offer music programs, strong Christian education for all ages, and an active mission program in the local community as well as throughout the world. (Comment: (1) If you were searching for a religion, would this appeal to you? (2) Why don’t we Catholic do the same?

–         The New York Times (10/9) The Pew Research Center Poll showed that one-half of the Catholics don’t understand Communion. (Comment: Wow! Whose fault is that?)

–         Confirming today’s materialistic world, an article in the November Money magazine reporters that to “Get the Most Happiness for Your Buck” all you have to do is (a) eat frequently in expensive restaurants, rather than occasionally in expensive ones, (b) follow the herd and enjoy what others are enjoying and (c) be sociable and don’t be  loner. 

                                Facet Short Story 

                                           Simple Equation    

Mary was the mother of Jesus;

Jesus is God;

therefore,

Mary was and is the mother of God.

Amen!