Category Archives: Catholics

Hearing trivia from the pulpit? What’s this Last Coming thing anyway?

The Advent season conundrum:

At some point during this Advent season, there will undoubtedly be a priest somewhere with a smattering of biblical-critical trivia he picked up in seminary who will confidently inform his congregation that Paul changed his mind on the coming of Christ.

Early on in his ministry, he’ll say, Paul believed Christ would return soon, during Paul’s own lifetime . . . .

Later, however, it is claimed, Paul supposedly came to the disappointed realization that Christ was not returning “soon,” and that he (Paul) would be dead when Christ came.  . . . .

Confused parishioners may then be allowed to swing hopelessly in the winds of confusion. There’s nothing some people like better than showing how much more intellectually sophisticated they are than the supposedly “naive” early Christians.

Oh those early Christians, oh those early Christians (to the tune of Oh Dem Golden Slippers) . . .

What do do? Well, for starters keep this in mind:

The Catholic way of reading Scripture is based on the faith that Scriptures weren’t merely a random jumble of books by various authors gathered together by some Church bureaucrat in the Fourth Century, but that the Holy Spirit inspired all of it, so that we can use texts from one book to illuminate our reading of others.

What Christ tells us in the Gospels about the end times is that “no one knows the day or the hour” (so for the life of me I can’t figure out why people keep listening to people who claim they do); that it will “come like a thief in the night;” that in the meantime, we should, like the wise virgins, “keep oil in our lamps,” “be sober,” and “stay alert,” for when the time comes, a man on his roof won’t have time to come down and go inside. There’ll be no time for grabbing one’s coat or packing up a few nice things for the trip. When it’s time to go, it will be time to go.

Beyond that,

we should live our lives, caring for our children, planning prudently for the future, finishing our little projects, and doing all those things that we can do to be “provident” in the image of the God in whose divine providence we participate.

And yet at every moment we should also be asking ourselves the ultimate . . .  question: If Jesus were to return right now, and I were to be asked to give an account of my life and my soul, what would I want the Lord to find me doing and thinking about?

Good advice.

Let’s hear it for weekday mass . . .

. . . where the worship is peaceful, quiet, and fruitful:

My mother, a musician, struggled to endure the off-key singers who led hymns, unfortunately for us all, at Sunday Mass in my hometown parish.

So sometimes she’d sneak out of Mass early Sunday and during the week, take me to daily Mass instead. No off-key singing there. No singing at all, actually. There was quiet, peacefulness, intimacy among the 20 or 30 communicants.

The lights were dim, the sermons short and to the point. “The apostle picked up his cross and followed Him,” the priest began one sermon I remember, then paused, then ended it: “Would that we would do the same.”

I know people who swear by this. Read the rest of this excellent commentary.

Tradition-oriented African cardinal to head Vatican Office of Divine Worship

Being African means never or almost never starting mass with “good morning”:

The Church in Africa has a clear and sharp understanding of the division between immanent and transcendent, sacred and profane.

Having been to many liturgies in Africa, I have never had the experience I have had in some European countries of attending a Mass that seemed more like a school assembly.

This sense of the transcendent and sacred, which permeates the whole of life in Africa, is also seen in an attention to ceremonial that never seems out of place. [italics added]

It’s good to be friendly, but public signs of being so are not always what you want, eh?

Later: But if you scroll down to comments, you find a different kettle of fish, much of which is inside Vatican baseball which is fascinating to some, including me:

paulpriest • 2 hours ago
Unfortunately this is a stunt.
Cardinal Sarah is indeed an orthodox behemoth – one of the best Cardinals the Church possesses.
BUT – As Head of [the pontifical council] Cor Unum he was getting under the skin of the uber-progressive Caritas International – they loathed his interventionism and his having the Dicastery authority to thwart them.
[remember the top-level firings in CI?]
But Cardinal Sarah cannot be accused of anything but performing his job masterfully and devotedly
…and given the Kasper comments against African Bishops?
Moving out one of the Only Two Africans in the Curia would have been impossible…even for His Holiness….
Cardinal Sarah had to be removed from Cor Unum to keep those who have the papal ear happy
So he had to be transferred – not fired.
The CDW [after the purge from 3 wks ago] is now filled with Bugninites and [abp] Marinites….whatever His Eminence might intend to do at the CDW – he can guarantee that his underlings in middle-management will do everything in their power to counter and thwart it [with backing from those who are close to His Holiness].
Just as Cardinal Pell was moved to finance to ensure he was kept away from everything else Curial.
Cardinal Sarah is being moved away from where he was most crucially effective – in ensuring the Church’s missions, initiatives, proposals and teachings on social justice – remained Catholic.
This is NOT a good day for Holy Mother Church.
But Thank God His Eminence is still a sprightly 69 and will still be able to run rings round his enemies – and still get a few things past the wolves…
AND it means he will still be present at #Synod 15 – where ++Burke won’t be and ++Pell may not be…
Steve paulpriest • 2 hours ago
“Cardinal Sarah is being moved away from where he was most crucially effective – in ensuring the Church’s missions, initiatives, proposals and teachings on social justice – remained Catholic….This is NOT a good day for Holy Mother Church…”
Ok but the Church’s liturgy is central to the mission to the Church and he seems throughly Catholic in his comments on things, so I for one am rejoicing, especially when the doom mongers predicted that we would have an anti-Catholic appointed. Jesus Christ be praised.

paulpriest Steve • an hour ago
Do you SERIOUSLY think that Abp Marini will not hold massive influence regarding the future of all things liturgical if those all-too-close to His Holiness have their way?
Remember there was an almighty purge of the CDW less than a month ago…as well as the Congregation of the Clergy..anyone who even had a nodding acquaintance with Pope Benedict was given the ceremonial order of the boot…
Look out for who will be getting a compensatory red hat sooner than later!
Abp Marini will be a Bri-Nylon Bugninite thorn in our side for ages to come…
And Cardinal Sarah most certainly couldn’t [under this Pontiff] have been transferred to the Congregation of the Clergy – that would have been too earth-shatteringly wonderful for the orthodox and those of a traditionalist ilk…His Eminence would be countering every ‘move of the wolves’ at every turn…
Cardinal Sarah anywhere is wonderful for Holy Mother Church – he is God’s man – but he was more effectively an adversary of the wolves – and governments and big business and secularising culture-of-death promoting leviathans at the UN etc while he was head of Cor Unum…and that’s why he was ousted.

The black-robed regiment on call . . .

Clergy to the pulpit barricades!

AURORA IL – Sunday evening, the Illinois Family Institute hosted several hundred Illinoisans who gathered at Aurora Christian School to hear Pastor, Author, and Oklahoma State Representative Dan Fisher call for Illinois clergy to “wake up” and join a modern day Black Robed Regiment.

 

The Black Robed Regiment was the name the British placed on the American clergy during the Founding Era (a backhanded reference to the black robes they wore). The British blamed the Black Robed Regiment for American Independence, and American leaders agreed

” We’re all Catholics now,” the Episcopal priest said at a rally in the Federal center a few years back, referring to the impingements on religious liberty fostered by ObamaCare.

Trouble is, in N. Illinois the RC priests are mostly liberals politically, if not in every other way.

However, I heard an excellent sermon pre-election day 2012 at St. John Vianney, Northbrook, at the 10 a.m. Latin mass. Quite good indeed.

Pope Francis exposed . . .

. . . as a shrewd and focused opponent of a very bad curia:

The first non-European Pope was elected to do one thing: reform the Roman Curia, the pitifully disorganised, corrupt and lazy central machinery of the church. He is determined to pull it off — but he’s 77 and has part of a lung missing. When he looks at his watch during long Masses in St Peter’s, it’s not just because elaborate services bore him. He knows he may not have much time. ‘Two or three years and then off to the house of the Father,’ he said this week. Was he serious? You can never tell.

That’s from an all-out detailed, informative, original rundown on Pope Francis by the prolific Damian Thompson in the (UK) Spectator, where he is associate editor.

Some especially good stuff:

Jorge Bergoglio has little in common with Joseph Ratzinger apart from an intense, orthodox Catholic faith and a love of classical music. Like many Jesuits, Francis isn’t interested in liturgy. This is actually good news for traditionalists, because it means he won’t clamp down on the Latin Mass (with one baffling exception: the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate, a new order whose use of the Old Missal has been brutally restricted). [Italics added]

And:

The Pope has declared a spiritual culture war on the bureaucrats who forced the resignation of his predecessor, the most intellectually gifted pontiff for 200 years. Cardinal Ratzinger was once known as ‘the Rottweiler’. How ludicrous that nickname seems in the light of his eight years as Pope, during which he allowed curial officials — including his incompetent secretary of state, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone — to plunge the church deeper into financial and sexual scandal while they fought their own factional battles. Benedict was too old and too kind to knock heads together.

And more more more where that’s from . . .

A Leo man is promoted to everlasting life

He is Robert L. Hylard, who cashed in at 86 and remained loyal to his school to the end.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pat Hickey tells us about him.

He was

the Kid from VIZ [Visitation parish, 55th Street] who played in Leo’s Marching Band for four years, wrote for and helped edited the school news paper the Oriole, ‘trod the boards’ in every Leo Dramatic production from junior year on, and played lightweight football on the cinders and broken beer bottle glass of Shewbridge Field – the iconic home to Leo High School football, now Amos Alonzo Stagg Elementary.

He is remembered with affection.

The young African American, Mexican and Canaryville Irish kids who now attend Mr. Hylard’s Alma Mater knew him well. Bob Hylard made all of the football home games, most of the away and every Leo High School event that showcased the talents and skills of our young men a huge mark on his calendar.

Leo remains a boys’ school, vigorously supported and operated by its mostly (S. Side) Irishers, a haven of excellence in a rough neighborhood.

More about Leo here.

Pope Francis: ‘Be Courageous, and Go to Confession’

Oh my, is this wonderful, or not?

“Don’t be afraid of confession,” Pope Francis stressed. “When someone is in line for confession, he feels all these things, even shame; but then, when he finishes confessing, he leaves (feeling) free, great, beautiful, forgiven, clean, happy.”

Pope Francis: ‘Be Courageous, and Go to Confession’

The Holy Father spoke of the healing available in the sacrament of reconciliation at his Feb. 19 audience: ‘Forgiveness is not a result of our efforts, but is a gift. It is a gift of the Holy Spirit, who showers us with mercy and grace that pours forth unceasingly from the open heart of Christ, crucified and risen.’

by CATHOLIC NEWS AGENCY 02/19/2014

VATICAN CITY — During his Wednesday audience on Feb. 19, Pope Francis encouraged the pilgrims filling St. Peter’s Square to receive the sacrament of reconciliation.
“Everyone say to himself: ‘When was the last time I went to confession?’ And if it has been a long time, don’t lose another day. Go, the priest will be good. And Jesus, (will be) there, and Jesus is better than the priests. Jesus receives you: He will receive you with so much love.”
“Be courageous, and go to confession,” urged the Pope.
Acknowledging a popular objection to the sacrament, Pope Francis noted, “Someone can say, ‘I confess my sins only to God.’ Yes, you can say to God, ‘Forgive me,’ and say your sins. But our sins are also against our brothers, against the Church. This is is why it is necessary to ask forgiveness of the Church and of our brothers, in the person of the priest.”
“While the celebration of the sacrament is personal, it is rooted in the universality of the Church,” which “accompanies us on the path of conversion,” he explained.
“Forgiveness is not something we can give ourselves,” cautioned the Pope. “One asks forgiveness; one asks it of another person, and in confession, we ask forgiveness from Jesus.”
“Forgiveness is not a result of our efforts, but is a gift. It is a gift of the Holy Spirit, who showers us with mercy and grace that pours forth unceasingly from the open heart of Christ, crucified and risen.”
The Pope went on to recognize that many people feel ashamed at the idea of confessing their sins and might say, “But Father, I am embarrased.”
“Even embarrassment is good. It’s healthy to have a bit of shame. … It does us good, because it makes us more humble.”
“Don’t be afraid of confession,” Pope Francis stressed. “When someone is in line for confession, he feels all these things, even shame; but then, when he finishes confessing, he leaves (feeling) free, great, beautiful, forgiven, clean, happy.”
“The sacrament of reconciliation is a sacrament of healing,” he pointed out.
“When I go to confession, it’s for healing: healing the soul, healing the heart, because of something that I did to make it unwell.”
The Pope pointed to the biblical story of Jesus healing a paralyzed man, which expresses the “profound link” between “forgiveness and healing,” since “the Lord Jesus is revealed at the same time as the physician of soul and body.”
He also recounted the Parable of the Prodigal Son, who sought his father’s forgiveness and was welcomed home with open arms.
“But I say to you,” he stressed to the many pilgrims, “every time we go to confession, God embraces us.”

Ride the South Side with Leo HS pride and Clyde: a Hickey report

Leo HS Morning 2/11/2014 -I Ride With Pride and Clyde By My Side!

Leo+545+AM.JPG

I am blessed with a great life and the opportunity to work for Leo High School. I get to Leo at about 4:45 most days and start the boilers, do some paper work and get the one of the vans ready to pick up between seven and nine guys participating in early morning activities.

My crew is usually Cyde, Chris, TJ, Mick, Joe, Latrell, Caleb, Gaylon, and Sydney. I begin in Englewood at 74th & Normal, go to Grand Crossing at 66th & King Drive, take that beautiful, historic and inspiring Boulevard north to 35th and Dunkin Donuts!

For more more more . . . Take it away, Hickey . . .

Here’s a shocker from the Vatican

VATICAN CITY — Few eyebrows were raised last week when Pope Francis brought the Vatican’s legal system up to date by criminalizing leaks of official information and formalizing laws against sex crimes. But now that the laws have been made public, a closer look revealed that the pope has made it illegal to report sex crimes against children.
 

Psyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyych!!!!!!!

 
It’s a new Onion, with gems such as “Indebted Students Hope to Repay Loans with Obama’s Empty Words” and  “Fox News Calls For End to Black Privilege.”
 
But the atheistic dumbbells at the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science [yes!] face page demonstrated remarkable gullibility even for atheists, taking the Pope Francis news verrrrrry seriously, posting what StrangeNotions.com calls with appropriate irony a “bombshell”:
“According to the new laws, revealing or receiving confidential Vatican information is now punishable by up to two years in prison, while newly defined sex crimes against children carry a sentence of up to twelve years. Because all sex crimes are kept confidential, there is no longer a legal way for Vatican officials to report sex crimes.”
Wow. Not what I expected from people devoted to reason and science. As for the foundation’s friends and readers, the laughable post had 4,584 “likes” and was shared more than 7,804 times on Facebook. A golden moment in systematic skepticism, to be sure.

Prayer meeting question never asked . . .

. . . but dangerously close to being asked:

In a “theology” gathering of 25 or so members of a nearby parish, we were instructed to do some heavy meditating for eight minutes, each of us at a round table for six or eight. I put my head in hands and went to it. Think of nothing but a word you decide on, hang with it for the whole time, avoiding any thoughts or images or whatever, we were advised.

Centering prayer it’s called, but I spotted it pronto for good old Transcendental Meditation of the ’70s, brought to us by the Maharishi Something, who had a spread in Iowa. I took a course in it for a story, which ran with a memorable head shot of me with my eyes closed. An action shot, you know, of a man meditating.

Tonight I went to it and managed a semi-doze that suited me nicely, until the lady in charge, a liturgy associate type, instrumentally gifted and a leader of song, rang a bell, GONG! to tell us to come out of it.

It was at that point that I was inspired by the spirit of my misspent late middle age to lift up my head, turn to the lady bell-ringer, and ask, “For whom does that bell toll?”

God saved me from such a brutal faux pas, sending a good spirit who (gasp!) provided me with a 1950s-style INHIBITION that saved the evening. Wow.

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