Saturday, February 02, 2019

N.S. de Candelaria

Happy Candlemas!

Unmasking ...

I would steal Monsignor Pope's title, but decided against it.

Nevertheless his recent post, The Masks Are Coming Off is right on target.  Nothing hidden that will not be exposed - so it seems to me the real face of evil is emerging.  Heretofore, many of us were persuaded to see the best intentions in every thing, every one, every movement - even when they directly opposed us for believing in Christ and what the Church teaches regarding faith and morals.

The veil is torn in two.

I have been thinking of this passage from the Passion of Christ,  “And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit. At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom.”

I know there are many levels of meaning in that event, but today, when it seems the Church is in the throes of scandal - the scandal of the cross exposes the truth in a startling way, so it seems to me.  We've seen scandal after scandal exposed, one after another.  Now we see the world we live in, society, culture, politics exposed for what it is, being unmasked, to use Monsignor's analogy.

An abortion bill, similar in many respects to the horrifying bill recently passed in New York, was recently tabled by the Virginia General Assembly. It would have eliminated many of the requirements already in state law for third-trimester abortions. That it was tabled is the only good news.
Most of you have already heard the exchange between Virginia state delegate Todd Gilbert and the bill’s sponsor, delegate Kathy Tran. He asked Tran if her bill would allow a woman who is in labor to request an abortion if a physician certified that the pregnancy would impair her mental health; Tran replied that it would.
About this truly shocking (but honest) admission, delegate Tran afterwards lamented, “I was caught off guard and probably wasn’t as artful in the moment as I could have been,”
“Artful”—In other words, she couldn’t wordsmith quickly enough to cloak the shocking truth that if this bill became law, a woman already in labor could legally have her child killed (with a physician’s approval). - Finish reading here.
The slippery slope.

That term has become cliche, but it is so true.  How does one excuse the lie pro-choice people use when they assure us they want abortions to be 'safe and rare' and only want women to have the 'choice' available to them?  Tran truly exposes the craft of wordsmithing to make something so heinous palatable and acceptable to those who refuse to accept the reality of infanticide.

Since the McCarrick scandal my POV has changed.  How much I felt I could excuse on account of human weakness, or the excuse, that's what gay people do - even when the actions of some, if true, may have actually been criminal.  How easily one can be mislead in this culture, even deceived by evil masquerading as good, or the means to a greater good.  It is mind blowing.  I keep thinking of what our Lord said in the Gospel, "because of the increase of evildoing, the love of many will grow cold."  Warning, "False messiahs and false prophets will arise, and they will perform signs and wonders so great as to deceive, if that were possible, even the elect."

Do not be amazed, [then,] brothers, if the world hates you.
Beloved, do not trust every spirit but test the spirits to see whether they belong to God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.  This is how you can know the Spirit of God: every spirit that acknowledges Jesus Christ come in the flesh belongs to God, and every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus does not belong to God. This is the spirit of the antichrist that, as you heard, is to come, but in fact is already in the world. - 1 John

“We are now standing in the face of the greatest historical confrontation humanity has gone through. I do not think that wide circles of the American society or wide circles of the Christian community realize this fully. We are now facing the final confrontation between the Church and the anti-Church, of the Gospel versus the anti-Gospel. This confrontation lies within the plans of divine Providence; it is trial which the whole Church, and the Polish Church in particular, must take up. It is a trial of not only our nation and the Church, but, in a sense, a test of 2,000 years of culture and Christian civilization with all of its consequences for human dignity, individual rights, human rights and the rights of nations.” - Attributed to St. John Paul II

Friday, February 01, 2019

Yeah, so ...

I've been a bit under the weather, but I'll be seen by the doctor sooner than later.  If you can, please say a prayer for me.  My sick friend and my cat depend upon me, so I can't become incapacitated.  Thank you.

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Morning Prayer and recollection

How to begin a day.

I've trained myself - or better - God has given me a grace to remember him throughout the day and night.  Whenever I awaken, I say a prayer and throughout the day I pray and make spiritual communions, to help me remain in his presence.

Before doing anything, each day I begin with morning prayer - devotions.  I re-collect everything, as it were.  We are accustomed to think of recollection as gathering the senses and entering into interior prayer, we all know how to do that from our thanksgiving after Holy Communion.  Each day, I re-collect my intentions, my sins, my weaknesses and failures - like Job, I'm easily reminded of that by my 'friends' - those attachments that show me my wicked inclinations.  I also re-collect my 'people' friends and family, and especially my enemies, to commend them to God - and of course, today I prayed so much for those suffering from the cold - people and critters.  Then I use words - the psalms, devotional prayers, and the readings from Mass.

Each morning I pray the Holy Spirit to pray in me, and I have found so much consolation, in the following prayer.  So much peace.  I especially love this plea, which sums up every intention:  "Aspiration of love, proceeding from the Father and the Son, alert me to be ever aware of Thy indwelling; stimulate the eyesight of my soul to discern the unfailing light of divine grace. Adorable Holy Spirit, have compassion on the dullness of my mind and the weakness of my will. Illuminate and strengthen me to trample on temptation."

The full prayer...
O Divine Redeemer, Who said: "I will ask the Father, and He will grant you another Advocate to be with you for all time, the Spirit of Truth" (1 John 14:16) I consecrate myself to the eternal Spirit of God.
Aspiration of love, proceeding from the Father and the Son, alert me to be ever aware of Thy indwelling; stimulate the eyesight of my soul to discern the unfailing light of divine grace. Adorable Holy Spirit, have compassion on the dullness of my mind and the weakness of my will. Illuminate and strengthen me to trample on temptation. 
Grant me the Spirit of Wisdom, the prevision to look to my last end by cooperating now with Thy holy inspirations - all for the greater honor and glory of God; the Spirit of Understanding to deepen my grasp of eternal truths; the Spirit of Counsel to prudently choose the best way of pleasing God; the Spirit of Fortitude to stand up fearlessly in opposition to evil; the Spirit of Knowledge - self-Inspection regarding my fidelity to God's laws and the duties of my state in life; the Spirit of Piety to enable me to prefer my Divine Lover and His Will to earthly creatures; the Spirit of Fear of the Lord to realize the folly and ingratitude of defying my Lord and my God. 
Kneeling before Thee, O Divine Consoler, let me press to my heart the pierced feet of Jesus, look into His open side and trust in His Precious Blood channeled to my soul through the Sacraments. 
O Holy Spirit enfold all mankind with Thy Sevenfold Gifts. Keep me faithful unto death that I may win the crown of life. Amen.
Illuminate and strengthen me to trample on temptation. 

Even if we are so broken, so afflicted, so confused - like Job - we have our confidence and love burning deep within our soul.  We are never outside alone and cold when we have the Living Flame of Love within our souls.  Recollection is prayer, recollection is living in the presence of God.

This may sound especially pious, even presumptuous, but it seems to me it is a necessary reminder, a great help to remain faithful, especially now, when everything seems so uncertain and confused.

Pray for your friends and especially those who oppose you.

Remember ...

"If I were to meet the slave-traders who kidnapped me and even those who tortured me, I would kneel and kiss their hands, for if that did not happen, I would not be a Christian and Religious today... The Lord has loved me so much: we must love everyone... we must be compassionate." - St. Josephine Bakhita

Monday, January 28, 2019

Devotion to the Blessed Sacrament at Mass

And reverence for the Blessed Sacrament at Communion time.

Yesterday I was at the old people's church and an elderly EMHC missed the elderly lady's mouth - she was a couple of people in line ahead of me, which is why I noticed.  The host fell on the floor, and the EMHC picked it up and put it in the hand with which he was holding the 'plate',  and continued distributing communion.  So.  The host can be dropped, no matter how it is distributed.  However, altar servers used to use a communion paten, to catch any particles if they fell.  Likewise, kneeling with a communion rail cloth to catch a falling host used to work out well.

Yesterday, as is my custom, I got to Mass an hour early and shortly before Mass the deacon came out to purify the cups from the first Mass. I was looking at the Tabernacle and the credence table was in my line of sight.  I noticed he poured what was left of the Precious Blood into a bowl. I couldn't look anymore, as I suddenly realized the Precious Blood was just sitting unceremoniously on the credence table. I go early to Mass for prayer before the Blessed Sacrament and little did I know the PB was there.. Something is wrong with that - I'm not sure people believe or understand the Real Presence. Needless to say, I offered my communion in reparation for the negligence and indifference Jesus suffers in the Blessed Sacrament. 

Beraud Jean - Moment Of Holy Communion

These neglects and indifference amazes me even more since so much emphasis is placed on adoration outside of Mass - not in the tabernacle but in montrances and special chapels.  Completely away from the altar of sacrifice.  I wonder if the connection is made that the Eucharistic Sacrifice is the Mass, and the Real Presence, Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity is confected, generated in the Holy Sacrifice?

I sometimes wonder if some parishes open the chapel to adoration as a sort of 'see what we did' boast? My parish did it, but very few people show up, and few sign up.  I go and frequently no one is there.  I go in and find the candles are out, and sometimes the doors on the tabernacle are left open.  I only mention this to contrast the devotion to the Blessed Sacrament and the disconnect to how the Blessed Sacrament is handled at Mass.  It seems to me the reception of Holy Communion hasn't improved. 

I normally keep my eyes closed to these practices, having learned to live with it.  I'm also not against Communion in the hand and personally receive according to the mode of the parish I'm at.  However, if I could kneel I would like that, but I can no longer kneel due to physical disability.  The reason for this post originated on FB.  A young man posted something from WYD:

I found an entire piece of the Blessed Sacrament, our Lord Jesus Christ, on the ground while walking around the grassy field after the Sendoff Mass in WYD 2019.  Out of reverence and to prevent further desecration, I consumed it on the spot. I hope the Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion for WYD next time would check the ground around them before leaving, for this is the true Presence of Christ, and should not be taken lightly. 

Sunday, January 27, 2019

Holocaust Remembrance Day

"Thinking about the suffering of those you hold dear can reduce you to tears! In fact, you could spend the whole day crying. The most you can do is pray for God to perform a miracle and save at least some of them. And I hope I'm doing enough of that!" – Anne Frank