Saturday, April 30, 2011

Pope John Paul's Barber

Rome Reports has been posting videos of stories revolving around the Beatification of Pope John Paul. Definitely worth checking out on YouTube. Here's one of them that caught my eye:

Wonder whether he kept any of the Pope's hair? Wouldn't they be 1st class relics?

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Spy Wednesday

Spy Wednesday. Traditionally, the day Judas Iscariot made the deal to reveal a place Jesus could be arrested. Because of it, Judas' made his very name synonymous with betrayal. What do we know about him?

If you go by artists' depictions, then the other 11 Apostles were a bunch of idiots not to see this coming.

One Lord.
Twelve guys.
Eleven halos.
You do the math.

Other artistic depictions show Judas with a tormented scowl, making us thing he had a perpetual sourpuss face that should have made revealing him as the betrayer pretty simple to deduce.

But it couldn't have been that way.

Even though we know him now as the betrayer, Scripture tells us Judas was amongst the twelve first chosen by Jesus to be Apostles. Maybe they all came from different backgrounds, but there had to have been a zeal present in Judas' eyes and heart, just as much as it existed amongst Peter, Andrew, and the others.
This is what I think of (and have thought of in the past) when I run into brother Priests who are bitter, indifferent, angry, or have reduced their vocation as something they "do" in between their dayS off. You look at them and wonder, "They couldn't have been this way when they started!" Though it's hard to believe in some, every Priest started off on ordination day thinking they could make a difference in the world.
Another thought: Scripture tells us that, when Jesus announced at the Last Supper, "One of you is about to betray me", the Apostles all asked the Lord, "Is it I?" That means a few things to me. First, it means that the 12 were a tight group. None of the Apostles could come up with a "short list" of possible betrayers of Jesus, when pushed to do so. They were so perplexed about the betrayer's identity that they even began to question themselves. Maybe the answer comes from Scripture. John tells us that it was only after Judas accepted the morsel handed to him by Jesus that "Satan entered him". It's one thing to think about sinning; it's another to think about it and then to do it.

So what pushed Judas from thinking to doing? Maybe something as simple as jealousy. For some time the Pharisees and Temple officials have been looking for an opportunity to get to Jesus without a crowd around Him. How many of the Apostles might have been approached and propositioned, asked, "What's your price to turn Him over?" But scripture tells us Judas went to the chief Priests, not the other way around. Maybe Judas seemed unable to turn, even to them, so imagine their surprise when he comes to them. Maybe it was all about, "Why did they approach the other Apostles and not make me an offer?"

Whatever the reasons he turned, however unlikely it seemed to the Apostles, Judas' betrayal is key to setting the Passion in motion. Once the Triduum starts, we get so caught up into it that we get swept away by the current before getting much time to think about the causes. These were just my thoughts this morning, before Wednesday morning Mass.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Cantores Pueris

The London Telegraph has a video about the boys' choir that will sing at the upcoming Royal wedding. Click the link and watch a bunch of what must be 5th and 6th graders singing in (brace yourself) Latin. Nowhere in their hands did I see the "Children's Glory & Praise" book (though perhaps they use that for personal devotion).

Could a parish have a boys' choir? Could that pure tone of the pre-Peter Brady voice fill a church with angelic tones? Could a pastor survive the complaints that a choir was excluding girls? Could he endure the inevitable trash talk about "Father has a thing for boys"? One wonders.

Finally, if for no other reason, click on the link to see the boy with what must be the most difficult last name imaginable.

Monday, April 11, 2011

JP2's Feast Date

Rome Reports has reported that the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments has issued a decree, assigning October 22 as the Feast Day for soon-to-be Blessed Pope John Paul II.

I wondered about this. If they followed the tradition of his date of death (April 3), it would be an "inconsistent" feast, only really being able to be celebrated when Easter is extraordinarily early (since the days of Lent, Holy Week, the Triduum, and the Octave of Easter would all take precedence over the commemoration of his feast).

The last line of the video is also interesting. "Until John Paul II is canonized, his memory can only be celebrated in Rome and in Poland".

Saturday, April 09, 2011

Transfer of Pope Blessed Innocent XI

This is one of those times when the internet is great. A ceremony we normally would not have seen, not only because it was in Rome and we're not, but also this would be done after the normal hours when the general public is in the Basilica.

For your information, Innocent XI was Pope from 1676 to 1689, but his body has only been here since 1955, when he was Beatified.

Friday, April 08, 2011

Fr. Michael Manning needs a slap upside the head!

C'mon, Church, we're all thinking it.

If you don't know the story yet, click HERE. Here's a snippet (note the obligatory "blame celibacy" diversion):
Kotowski, 59, recently said that she and Fr. Manning are “kindred spirits and soul mates,” telling the Monterrey Herald that she hopes the news of her relationship with the priest will increase dialogue within the Catholic Church over clerical celibacy.“The reality is that we love the Church, we're committed to the Church, but I'm hoping a dialogue will open up (about) obligatory celibacy, the whole question of celibacy,” she said on April 6. “Is it right for all people?”
Two things stick out to me from the story.
  1. It grinds my gears that the parties involved in these sorts of things always seem to make their case only AFTER they've been discovered. Shades of the Father Alberto Cutié brouhaha.
  2. I would think that, if anything, having a long-term sexual relationship with your second cousin actually SUPPORTS the idea that at least one of you should have made a vow to remain celibate.

Thursday, April 07, 2011

Archbishop Sheehan of Santa Fe

The Archbishop has written a pastoral letter on cohabitation that pulls no punches. Two pages long (no one can complain it's too long to read), he fulfills his role as a teacher of the faith for his flock (as well as the rest of us).

The letter is available by clicking on this LINK, which takes you to the letter as it is available on the archdiocesan website.

The letter has been explained and commented upon by Father Z (who also shows us the rantings of a reporter for the National Catholic Reporter) by clicking on this LINK.

Sunday, April 03, 2011

A peek inside

The Sundays of Lent, I've been trying to follow the advice of Abp. Fulton Sheen, in a talk he gave about preparing a talk. He proposed writing and rewriting the talk until your notes for the talk take up no more than one page (he was able to get his notes for a live, 30-minute TV broadcast down to a piece of paper no bigger than a supermarket receipt).

What does my homily look like from my perspective? Glad you asked.

A Laetare Sunday Haiku

O rose chasuble,
How quickly you come and go.
See you in Advent!

I chose this photo because it shows Pope John Paul in the same exact rose chasuble I own. I bought it in Rome from a place called Galleria Di Arte Sacra, for a church dedication in 1999. When I saw this picture in Life Magazine in 2005, I freaked out.