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Saturday 4 August 2012

More on the Feeding of the Five Thousand for Saturday

I hope some readers have enjoyed the meditations on the Feeding of the Five Thousand. This is the penultimate one.

In the passage, which is from John, one sees that the extra bits, the "left-overs" were gathered up carefully and filled up many, many baskets. Nothing was wasted.

Now, I compare, mentally, the five loaves and two fishes with talents or gifts God has given us to use in the world. If we use out talents, God makes these small gifts multiple for His Glory, not ours. In other words. if we give our lives to God and let Him use all "for the glory of God", the results will be more than we can imagine. I have seen this in my life, with a few talents I have, and how God has used everything and multiplied the results.

I do not do this, He does. Give Him your talents, your gifts and let Him use these as He Wills. We cannot be more generous than God.

The Good Old Boys and Girls and Chick-Fil-A

Bill Barrow in an Associated Press article yesterday had a great comment on how the civil-marriage thing is not merely what it seems to be regarding the Chick-fil-A reaction. And, I agree with his premise that part of this is a "North-South divide" perspective in the States. He writes from Atlanta and his article is found on this Houston news site-

Now, I come from a state which use to be conservative, but is now not so, especially after a judge okay-ed same-sex marriages. Iowa is not typical of the Midwest for many reasons. Iowa City has the highest number of abortions of any city in the United States per capita. Go figure. Part of this has been the weakness of Protestantism, with over 80% of the population being at least nominally Protestant. Part of it has to do with years of weak and even criminal bishops in the Catholic Church. That is another post.

Sadly, some of the most liberal and heretical areas are Catholic in name only, such as Boston, Massachusetts, which has gay marriage, and of course, New York.

But the North-South divide in America is real. I lived in Missouri and my mother is from St. Louis. Missouri has one of the great pro-life organizations in all of the States. People believe in the Ten Commandments. Even Protestant youth I met there and some Protestant neighbors never would agree with same-sex unions. It is not Biblical.

What has happened in the States is that the real Evangelical Christians and many Catholics who are traddies are from the South. There are historical reasons for this. But, the fact that places like Chicago, Boston, New York and Washington are so liberal, and I mean in the Catholic world, is shocking and horrible to us little old Midwest and Southern types.

Make no mistake, but the evils of compromise are rife on the East and West coasts. I have several friends with families who have been able to leave places like California and New York in order to raise their children in real Catholic environments, with real Catholic culture more inland.

City people vs. country people is not exactly what I mean here at all. But, the keeping of Bible Christianity and the strength of my friends from the South who are Catholic seems to indicate that something else happened in these states. I do not include the Bay Area of Louisiana, Mississippi, Georgia and Alabama, which has a completely different culture, sadly weakened by the occult and poor catechesis.

But, I think the snobbery of the mayor of Boston and our own president has to do with looking down on the people of the good old Bible belt.

And here is another good article for thought.

More Meditation on the Feeding of the Five Thousand

Perceiving then that they were about to come and take him by force to make him king, Jesus withdrew again to the mountain by himself. 
When the people saw the sign which he had done, they said, "This is indeed the prophet who is to come into the world!

Today, I thought about these words in the text. And, the words preceding these powerful images. Christ knew His Own People, but they knew Him as well. Sometimes modern men and women suppose the Jews were untutored. No, all the boys and some of the girls went to "school". They knew the Scriptures by heart. They prayed daily with the Psalms of David, the beloved king.

A Sign! The Jews had a huge sign. 

The Jews knew their Scripture. They understood archetypes. They knew their history. The Messiah would be a prophet who would raise people from the dead, who would feed thousands, who would heal and preach.

The Jews remembered and longed for the Kingdom. They loved David above all rulers. They knew the Messiah would be a King, as well as Prophet and Teacher. 

In the Miracle of the Loaves and the Fishes, the Jews recognized that Jesus was the Messiah. Too many God-events, too many typologies, too many resonances with their Scriptures opened their eyes to the Truth.

But, they wanted an earthly Kingdom, a powerful Warrior Messiah, like the Maccabees. They wanted to make Jesus King of this world. They were the first liberation theologians, and they were wrong.

Jesus slipped away. It was not time for Christ to show His power and might.
That would come in the Passion and Resurrection. But, the Passion begins on Holy Thursday, at the Last Supper, the Institution of the Eucharist, and the Feeding of the Five Thousand, happening at Passover, foreshadows the Death and Resurrection of Christ.

What a rich passage...I shall share two more meditations later.

Rules for Eucharistic Adoration Part Two

These quotations are from various sources.
 Instruction On Eucharistic Worship issued by the Sacred Congregation of Rites

While the Blessed Sacrament is exposed, the celebration of Mass in the same area of the church (eadem aula ecclesiae) is forbidden .... This is because ... the celebration of the Mystery of the Eucharist includes in a more perfect way that spiritual communion to which exposition should lead the faithful. Therefore there is no need for this further help. If exposition of the Blessed Sacrament is prolonged for a day, or for several successive days, it should be interrupted during the celebration of the Mass, unless it is celebrated in a chapel apart from the exposition area and at least some of the faithful remain in adoration.

 Code of Canon Law, canon 943: 

"... In special circumstances the minister of exposition and deposition alone, but without the blessing, is an acolyte, an extraordinary minister of holy communion, or another person deputed by the local Ordinary, in accordance with the regulations of the diocesan Bishop."

Instruction Redemptionis Sacramentum

"[156.] This function is to be understood strictly according to the name by which it is known, that is to say, that of extraordinary minister of Holy Communion, and not “special minister of Holy Communion” nor “extraordinary minister of the Eucharist” nor “special minister of the Eucharist”, by which names the meaning of this function is unnecessarily and improperly broadened."

In other words, no Eucharistic Ministers may set up Adoration unless there are special circumstances and with permission of the local bishop. . Only priests, deacons, seminarians who are acolytes and members of orders as indicated in the above document. Extra-ordinary Ministers of Communion are not the Ordinary  Ministers of Communion. 

The various correct titles are Ordinary and Extraordinary Ministers, not Eucharist Minister.

More on the vocations document....some amazing statements

This is the last post on the document on vocations. I want to stress three points which I find remarkable and which have been MISSED by commentators and priests. The first is so obvious as to be amazing.

This first point is that altar servers lead to vocations. Then, why do we have girl altar servers? I cannot believe the problem which has been set-up here.

The second point has to do with retreats for boys and men for vocations. This should be happening everywhere and is in some dioceses.

The last point strikes me as amazing as well. Minor seminaries were shut down in my life-time one after another, like falling dominoes. Now, the call for minor seminaries seems timely. I cannot understand how such chaos happened in the Church in the 1970s.

18. Altar service is often the first step to other forms of service in the Christian community. This experience, wisely integrated into education for liturgical prayer, listening to the Word and sacramental life, can be used as a real path leading to the possibility of a priestly vocation.
For this reason, vocational ministry for priesthood gives special attention to altar boys. Numerous priests and seminarians, before going to seminary, have been part of the group of altar boys and have served at the altar.
Retreats and vocational spiritual exercises, organized for young men, are extremely important in allowing them to live the experience of silence, of prolonged prayer and of encouThree more points selected from the document on vocations examined in the past few days show a remarkable statement MISSED by most Catholics, including priests. Note these three points:
ntering the Word of God. They can be special moments of reflection upon one’s life, a personal discovery of one’s own vocation.
“Residential vocational communities” can also help young men in finding and discerning a vocational direction leading to the seminary. They are a kind of ‘pre-seminary’, with the stable presence of properly trained priests who offer a ‘rule of life’ punctuated by moments of brotherly life, personal study, sharing in the Word, personal and communal prayer, celebrating the Eucharist and spiritual direction.

19. Minor seminaries can offer boys and teenagers the chance to be accompanied, educated and formed in discerning their desire to become priests. Furthermore: ‘In view of its nature and mission, the minor seminary could well become a significant reference point for vocations promotion in the diocese, with suitable formative experiences for young men seeking to discover the direction of their lives and their vocation, and for those who have already decided to set out on the path to ministerial priesthood, but are not yet ready to enter the major seminary.’1
1 Congregation for Bishops, Directory for the Pastoral Ministry of Bishops Apostolorum successores (22 February 2004), n. 86.

Women, do not weep

I just heard a talk in which the priest, from a traditional Latin Mass order, stated that the average age of his community of Mass goers is 40 and under. That could indicate why so many good traditional women from the ages of 40-70 have not found excellent traditional Mass husbands.

Younger sisters in Christ, take heart.

Rules for Exposition of the Sacrament Part One

A friend of mine has been asked to help with a small conference where there will be Eucharistic Adoration. We were discussing the venue and she reminded me of a few rules which were set out by the Vatican a long time ago, 1970s, regarding Adoration. Also, recently, since the reign of Pope Benedict XVI, there have also been amendments. I shall try and find those when I have time. Here are the basic rules. There are different rules for Perpetual Adoration, which is not the subject of this post. I merely highlight some. Parishioners are not to deal with the Monstrance at all. I shall have several posts on this, including the entire document from the Bishops of England and Wales.

From The Congregation of Divine Worship EUCHARISTIAE SACRAMENTUM

For exposition of the blessed sacrament in the monstrance, four to six candles are lighted, as at Mass, and incense is used. For exposition of the blessed sacrament in the ciborium, at least two candles should be lighted and incense may be used.

During the exposition of the blessed sacrament, celebration of Mass in the body of the Church is prohibited.
In addition to the reasons given in no. 6, the celebration of the eucharistic mystery includes in a higher way that inner communion to which exposition is meant to lead the faithful.
If exposition of the blessed sacrament goes on for a day or for several successive days, it should be interrupted during the celebration of Mass, unless it is celebrated in a chapel separate from the area of exposition and at least some of the faithful remain in adoration.

The following form of simple reposition may be observed: the priest or deacon, vested in an alb, or a surplice over a cassock, and a stole, replaces the blessed sacrament in the tabernacle after a brief period of adoration and a prayer said with those present. The exposition of the blessed sacrament may take place again, in the same manner and at a scheduled time

The ordinary minister for exposition of the eucharist is a priest or deacon. At the end of the period of adoration, before the reposition, he blesses the congregation with the sacrament.
In the absence of a priest or deacon or if they are lawfully impeded, the following persons may publicly expose and later repose the eucharist for the adoration of the faithful:
a. an acolyte or special minister of communion;
b. upon appointment by the local Ordinary, a member of a religious community or of a pious association of laymen or laywomen which is devoted to eucharistic adoration.
Such ministers may open the tabernacle and also, as required, place the ciborium on the altar or place the host in the monstrance. At the end of the period of adoration, they replace the blessed sacrament in the tabernacle. It is not lawful, however, for them to give the blessing with the sacrament.
92. The minister, if he is a priest or deacon, should vest in an alb, or a surplice over a cassock, and a stole. Other ministers should wear either the liturgical vestments that are used in the region or the vesture that is befitting this ministry and is approved by the Ordinary.
The priest or deacon should wear a white cope and humeral veil to give the blessing at the end of adoration, when the exposition takes place with the monstrance; in the case of exposition in the ciborium, he should put on the humeral veil.

Fr. Ripperger on the Sacrifice of the Mass and the Passion

On the Sacrifice of the Mass--we need it and it continues throughout history as we are not perfect.

In Colossians 1:24, St. Paul states, Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up those things that are wanting of the sufferings of Christ, in my flesh, for his body, which is the church. DR

There is a mystery of suffering in the Church. How many saints and even those who have died recently for the Faith, are martyrs? How many people suffer in charity and goodness for no apparent reason? If we are in sanctifying grace, that does not mean we shall have a smooth life. Quite the opposite.

St. Thomas Aquinas tells us that all the virtues were preached by Christ from the Cross.

His Passion was infinite in merit in their cause, but not in the effects. But, there is more.

Not because there is something lacking in Christ's suffering, which is infinite, God chose the effects would not take effect so that we can take part in the suffering, passion and death with those.

Prayers, sufferings and merits which we gain in suffering is planned and willed by God the Father, who wanted us to be part of our own salvation. We cooperate in the Passion of Christ and therefore merit higher places in heaven.

You may have never heard this before. Most of the priests in some seminaries teach that we only preach the Resurrection and not the Passion. I have heard this recently in a talk by Father Chad Ripperger. But, I heard this as a girl in both elementary and high school. The teaching of the Church has always maintained that we must gain merit.

God may want, says Father Ripperger, that God sometimes does not answer our prayers right away as He wants us to gain more merit. If our prayers are not answered immediately, even in the Mass, God is waiting for us to change, to grow, to gain more merit. Not everyone gets to heaven, Fr. reminds us. The efficacy of the Calvary sacrifice, he states, to those who are the "elect". People forget this. We do not believe in universal salvation, as Father reminds us.

Go, if you can, to daily Mass. It is part of His Will for us that we try and go to daily Mass. We are changed, which Fr. Ripperger reminds us, to sons and daughter of God, through baptism and the sacraments. Be a grace-pig. Go to Mass daily.