Our Lady and Sheen

West Virginia… bastion of orthodoxy?

NewLiturgicalMovement has a great post regarding the spreading of the Cannons Regular of New Jerusalem to West Virginia!  Check it out here.

January 31, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Rite – Movie Review Monday

“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.” – 1 Peter 5:8

The first time I ever knew that I did not know anything was the time, after hearing him speak of demonic possession, I told a new priest that, “It’d be cool to see an exorcism!”  His face turned ashen, he looked at me, and assured me that I should pray never to see one.  From that moment on, I had really only ever been with a priest when he blessed a room in which a friend had been experiencing super-natural things.

I have never seen a horror movie in a theater, nor had I seen a “suspenseful” movie, but following confession on Friday I felt as though I must see this movie.  The priest informed me that he believed that this movie would bring many to the faith, and so I decided to see it with one of my movie going friends last night.

The movie was not horribly scary, though there were a couple of scenes that made me jump almost out of my seat.  The story however was very deep and pointed out the flaws that the adversary can use against us… especially our unbelief.

It’s hard to speak about this movie in more depth, other than to say that I would recommend it.  It is not The Godfather, but perhaps the deeper search for God the Father, along with the Son and the Holy Spirit, will have more of an impact than just the academy awards can give.  For a more in depth review, please check out NCRegister’s review of the movie here.

Saint Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle, be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and do thou oh prince of the heavenly host, through the power of God, cast into hell satan, and all evil spirits who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls.

January 31, 2011 Posted by | Movie Review Monday | , , | Leave a comment

A confession

I have a confession.

I enjoy contemporary Christian music.

(For the most part, and usually not during the Mass.)

There is one song though that I particularly love and it is not by a Catholic artist, but might be one of the most true songs I’ve ever heard.

Matt Redman’s “Blessed be your name” is far from being just a feel good song, although it certainly makes me feel good most of the time.  When it’s sung at praise and worship sessions or played on the radio I feel my soul lifted as I sing, “Blessed be your name in the land that is plentiful, where your streams of abundance flow,” because sometimes I forget to when life is good!  It’s silly moments like that when I realize how sometimes I take God’s love for granted, and I really smile.

The next verse really gets me smiling though, and it makes me feel as if the song was written as a prayer like the St. Michael prayer, because it praises the Lord, “When I’m found in the desert place, though I walk through the wilderness,” and I find myself realizing that the Lord, God almighty, gives us everything for our own benefit.  He is not a God that requires us to capitulate our free will and accept that he will force upon us any amount of suffering that he chooses.  Rather, the Lord blesses us with trials and tribulations so as to refine us as gold.  This beautiful purest gold of our soul is worth any trivial pain in this life.

In fact, a few verses later we find ourselves praising God “on the road marked with suffering, though there’s pain in the offering.”  I would say that the Lord’s name is blessed by us even more because he allows us to have pain in the offering.  As I was sitting in Mass today I realized that most of the people there enjoy a pretty cushy life by the world’s standards (and I most definitely do).  I found myself wondering how many would be in the church today if we were a violently persecuted Church once again.  I know that it would be a hard decision for me, though I pray that God would give me the grace to suffer for Truth.

I digress.   This song reminds us to “offer it up.”

“Blessed are they who suffer persecution for the sake of justice, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

January 31, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | 2 Comments

Happy Feast of St. Francis De Sales… again!

This morning I had the opportunity to serve at a low Mass in the extraordinary form.  In the “Old” Calendar today, as opposed to last Monday, is the feast of St. Francis De Sales, the great saint of the poor.

Early this week I had seen, “Do not wish to be anything but what you are, and try to be that perfectly,” which was inspiring to me.   I struggle, like we all should, to attain a life of heroic virtue and saintly attitudes, and fail one less time than I will hopefully succeed.  But always as the great saint also reminds us, “Do not lose courage in considering your own imperfections.”

These quotes seemed very inspiring in that this week I have been having a lot of confession related issues, especially embarrassment from repeat visitors to the ‘box.’ (I know, I know, “What, do you want whole new sins?”)  Then today I saw my friend Christine pointing me over to NCRegister’s posting on a new Apple app that has received an imprimatur here… which led me to the Mea Culpa app…. which brought us to the moral of the story:

“Confession heals, confession justifies, confession grants pardon of sin. All hope consists in confession. In confession there is a chance for mercy. Believe it firmly. Do not doubt, do not hesitate, never despair of the mercy of God. Hope and have confidence in confession.” –St. Isidore of Seville

In the words of Fr. Corapi, I hope that I am “not preaching to the choir, but rather, confirming the brethren!”

January 29, 2011 Posted by | Feast, Sacramental Saturday | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Epiphany in a strange land

Like the Magi of long ago, I find myself away from “home” for the Epiphany. I visited St. Margaret’s Parish, which I usually attend for the Traditional Latin Mass, and today for an amazingly done ordinary form Mass. This is a great model of a parish, with many lay apostolates in the bulletin, such as the Legion of Mary (it is only missing my brother Knights!).

I walked in half an hour before Mass to see a good number of the faithful gathered around the tabernacle praying the Holy Rosary, and about 20 in line for penance. As the church filled up, with around 300 or so parishioners, I noticed a few things about our Catholic faith.

First, as I looked around I noticed that there were huge young Catholic families. It was amazing to see this one family of 7 kids looking to range from 2-11, all quietly attentive, praying, and taking up the whole pew!

Second, I noticed that there were so many women in chapel veils. Also, many women without. All of them co-existing and natural, and showing the beauty of God’s creation.

Third, my friends know that I think there are two types of people, 1) those who believe that the Eucharist is the source and summit of our Christian life at the Mass. 2) Those who are ok with that, but also want doughnuts. This parish had a tent outside (beautiful Southern California weather)and most everyone stayed around and enjoyed them, children playing around, and socializing. It was good to see such family activities in a somber environment, without liturgical dancers and “childrens liturgy.”

Have a great Epiphany!

Update:

I forgot to include the best part of the homily of Rev. Fr. Wallace. He discussed the men we call the Wise Men, who were for all intents and purposes, astrologers. Those who look to the stars to discover the future and the interconnectivity of human “destiny.” Their practice in the occult, even for the good, brought them only to Herod. It was not until the evil king consulted Theologians and men of prayer that the path to Bethlehem was revealed.

Indeed, the Magi found the child Jesus, and, as the Gospel tells us, went home along another path. Their lives had been changed, and so they symbolically and literally left a different way than they came. As, Fr. Wallace concluded, he brought mention to the understanding that this new path that the Magi had taken would take maybe 30 years, and the realization would occur on a hill not so far from Bethlehem.

January 2, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , | 1 Comment

The Year of Our Lord 2011

To all my readers, Happy New Year!

I hope that this recently beginning year has been good for you so far, and I pray that God will bless you and your family throughout the entire year.

To begin I have a small story. The other night I was at a pre-new year’s eve party and was discussing my plans for the future. One of the women I was speaking with informed me that she would be so happy if her son was a priest. My immediate response, without thinking, was, “Wellm pray a rosary every day for that!” She informed me that she really doesn’t pray the rosary often because she preferred to just “talk to God casually.” This is, of course, noble in its own way, but it got me to thinking about the power of prayer.

I was thinking that it was very hard for people to trust in God sometimes with their prayers. We often throw prayers up out of obligation or sometimes we don’t know why. This year, I have decided to entrust fully in the Lord a very deep desire of mine. I am going to begin to pray a rosary every day for it, and then trust in God’s providence. Of course, I request all of your prayers for endurance in this matter. This is not a resolution, its part of my duties as a Catholic gentleman, and indeed as a Christian. This posting is just meant as a reminder of the power of prayer and the virtue of Hope in the Lord.

Happy Solemnity of Mary Mother of God!

January 1, 2011 Posted by | Random Stuff | , , , , | Leave a comment