TEMPUS PER ANNUM | Year A | Gospel of St. Matthew | Cycle II


Welcome! The digital sacristy has many cabinets. e-Media can be found at the bottom of the blog.

H/T Orbis Catholicus Secundus & CMTV: Edward Pentin - Instrument of the Spirit?

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Kevin Vickers: standing on guard for thee.

Sergeant-at-Arms Kevin Vickers/Canadian Press/Adrian Wyld

God bless Sergeant-at-Arms Kevin Vickers, defender of Parliament, defender of order and good government.

When the islamist terrorist Michael Zehaf-Bibeau sought to unsettle our national government, a man stepped up and ended the threat with decisive force.

Our country owes the Sergeant-at-Arms a great debt of gratitude and respect for defending our elected representatives. He might be the last one to call himself a hero. Nevertheless, Kevin Vickers' bravery represents what is best about Canada and Canadians.

Kevin Vickers: a real sergeant-at-arms.
The word sergeant is derived from the Latin serviens, which means "servant". Other sources have the word originating from Medieval vulgar "Serra Gente" meaning the veteran foot soldier equipped with a long pike who would march on the sides of the infantry company, keeping the men in tight ranks.
The sergeant-at-arms carries the mace, the symbol of the authority of the House, in the daily parade into the House of Commons chamber.—Wikipedia.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Islamist attacks on Canadian soil: pray for the dead and all the families.

For the brave soldiers and their families:

Cpl. Nathan Cirillo of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders
Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent
Eternal rest grant them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them. May they rest in peace.
Father, we give You thanks for the lives and service of Nathan Cirillo and Patrice Vincent. May their families find consolation in the company of family and friends and sympathetic strangers whose care and compassion may be for them a channel of Your grace and peace.
O Holy Spirit, comforter of the afflicted, please be with the families of Nathan and Patrice. May Your presence among them bring them peace. In Jesus' name. Amen.
For the killers and their families:
Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, who murdered Cpl. Nathan Cirillo. 
Susan Bibeau, Michael's mother, who must confront the actions of her son.
Martin “Ahmad” Rouleau, who killed Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent.
Lord Jesus, you command us to love our enemies and pray for our persecutors.
Grant those who have killed our soldiers a swift and merciful judgement.
Be with their families as they attempt to cope with their horrifying and cowardly actions. May their families turn to You, Lord Jesus, for the peace which only You can give. Amen.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper's Message: Source/CBC (corrected by TCS)
"My fellow Canadians: for the second time this week, there has been a brutal and violent attack on our soil.

Today our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of Cpl. Nathan Cirillo of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders. Cpl. Cirillo was killed today — murdered in cold blood — as he provided a ceremonial honour guard at Canada's National War Memorial, that sacred place that pays tribute to those who gave their lives so that we can live in a free, democratic and safe society.

Likewise, our thoughts and prayers remain also with the family and friends of Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent, who was killed earlier this week by an ISIL-inspired terrorist.

Tonight we also pray for the speedy recovery of the others injured in these despicable attacks.

Fellow Canadians, we've also been reminded today of the compassionate and courageous nature of so many Canadians -- like those private citizens and first responders who came to provide aid to Cpl. Cirillo as he fought for his life. 
And of course the members of our security forces, in the RCMP, the City of Ottawa police, and in Parliament, who came quickly and at great risk to themselves to assist those of us who were close to the attack.

Fellow Canadians, in the days to come, we will learn more about the terrorist and any accomplices he may have had. But this week's events are a grim reminder that Canada is not immune to the types of terrorist attacks we have seen elsewhere around the world.

We are also reminded that attacks on our security personnel and on our institutions of governance are by their very nature, attacks on our country, on our values, on our society, on us Canadians as a free and democratic people who embrace human dignity for all.

But let there be no misunderstanding. We will not be intimidated. Canada will never be intimidated. In fact, this will lead us to strengthen our resolve and redouble our efforts and those of our national security agencies to take all necessary steps to identify and counter threats and keep Canada safe here at home, just as it will lead us to strengthen our resolve and redouble our efforts to work with our allies around the world and fight against the terrorist organizations who brutalize those in other countries with the hope of bringing their savagery to our shores. They will have no safe haven.

While today has been without question a difficult day, I have every confidence that Canadians will pull together with the kind of firm solidarity that has seen our country through many challenges.

Together we will remain vigilant against those at home or abroad who wish to harm us. For now, Laureen and Ben and Rachel and I join all Canadians in praying for those touched by today's attack. May God bless them and keep our land glorious and free."

Ottawa: Attack on Ceremonial Guard Soldier

Shortly before 10am Ottawa local time, a soldier standing guard at the War Memorial was shot. Reports vary, but at least one gunman is responsible for the vicious attack on the soldier. Additional shots were fired as the gunman or gunmen entered the Centre Block of Parliament.

Individuals, among them parliamentarians, via twitter are saying one gunman has been killed and that police are pursing at least one additional suspect. The suspect's or suspects' car was found on the street near the Memorial.

Please pray for the guardsman, members of parliament, our emergency, police and security forces as they deal with this barbaric attack on our national government. Pray, too, that any additional perpetrators of these violent crimes be rapidly brought to justice.

This latest attack follows an attack on two soldiers by Ahmad (Martin Couture-)Rouleau, a 25 year old radicalized convert to Islam whose passport was seized earlier by authorities. One soldier died after being run down by Rouleau who was driving. Rouleau was shot and killed by police. Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney said the deliberate attack was "clearly linked to terrorist ideology".—Ottawa AFP.

Pray for the souls of these misguided men responsible for these cruel attacks. Pray, too, that any others considering the use of violence to further their goals may come to their senses. May the Holy Spirit speak to these individuals and, barring their choice of peace over violence, confuse the enemies of peace so that their efforts may be thwarted and law abiding citizens may live peacefully without being threatened by terrorists.

May God bless our security and intelligence services with sharp minds so they may identify any additional threats and anticipate any potential attacks in the future.

Update: mainstream media report one gunman shot dead. Additional gunshots have been reported at or near the Chateau Laurier.

Mining the Reports of the Working Groups: Synod of Bishops

Click HERE to visit the reports of the Working Groups of the Synod of Bishops. These reports, in English, French, Italian and Spanish, for the most part reject the Kasperian gambit.

Gallicus B 
Moderator: Em.mo Card. Christoph SCHÖNBORN, O.P.
Relator: S.E. Mons. André LÉONARD

We have reiterated our respect and welcome homosexuals, and have denounced the unjust and often violent discrimination they have suffered and still suffer at times, including, alas, in the Church. But that does not mean that the Church must legitimize homosexual practices, much less recognize, as do some states, a so-called homosexual "marriage". Instead, we denounce all maneuvers of certain international organizations to impose on poor countries laws establishing a so-called homosexual "marriage" through financial blackmail.
Anglicus A
Moderator: Em.mo Card. Raymond Leo BURKE
Relator: S.E. Mons. John Atcherley DEW

We know that the final Synod document gives us a wonderful opportunity to influence the prevailing culture and for the Church to present the way of Jesus Christ who is "The Way, the Truth and the Life" (John 14). Our amendments have tried to show that living as disciples of Jesus Christ, with all the challenges that brings is the life that leads to true joy and human happiness.

For example, where the Relatio appeared to be suggesting that sex outside of marriage may be permissible, or that cohabitation may be permissible, we have attempted to show why such lifestyles do not lead to human fulfillment. At the same time, we want to acknowledge that there are seeds of truth and goodness found in the persons involved, and through dedicated pastoral care these can be appreciated and developed. We believe that if we imply that certain life-styles are acceptable, then concerned and worried parents could very easily say "Why are we trying so hard to encourage our sons and daughters to live the Gospel and embrace Church teaching?"

We did not recommend the admission to the sacraments of divorced and re-married people, but we included a very positive and much –needed appreciation of union with Christ through other means.
Anglicus B 
Moderator: Em.mo Card. Wilfrid Fox NAPIER, O.F.M.
Relator: S.E. Mons. Diarmuid MARTIN

Many in the group felt that a young person reading the Relatio would if anything become even less enthusiastic about undertaking the challenging vocation of Christian matrimony. The Synod Report - and the Message - should direct itself towards young people, to help them understand and be attracted by the Christian vision of marriage and the family, in a world in which they are exposed to many contradictory visions.

It was felt that in the current situation of widespread cultural confusion about marriage and the family and the human suffering that this can bring, there is an urgent need for leadership in today's world and that such clear leadership can only come from the Church. Such leadership is an urgent part of the Church's service to contemporary society and a failure to give such witness would be to fail humanity.
Anglicus C 
Moderator: S.E. Mons. Joseph Edward KURTZ
Relator: S.E. Mons. Stephen BRISLIN 
Marriage is a gift of God to man, a blessing given by him for the well-being of his creatures, made in his image. From the beginning God ordained that it is not good for man to live alone and so he created for him a helpmate, one equal to him, that they may live in relational complementarity. This gift, this mystery of attraction and love between man and woman, was recognized from earliest times as coming from God. In the New Testament, the relationship between man and woman is deepened and explained even more fully and as mirroring the relationship between Christ and his Body, the Church. Through the centuries, the Church has built on this Biblical teaching in order to teach and assist Christians to live and appreciate marital life as God intended it to be lived and appreciated; she has also strived to protect the meaning and mystery of marriage, safeguarding the treasure of which we are stewards, so that it will not be trivialized or seen as a mere human institution separated from God's will and his love. The gift of self in marriage, which in some way manifests the self-giving of Jesus Christ to his people, reaches its fullest expression in sexual intercourse, where the couple express their total giving of self to other, emotionally, physically and spiritually, and not as a selfish self-gratification. It is in such self-giving that we become more human and more Christ-like. It is important that the Scriptural foundation for marriage, as well as the teaching found in Tradition, be made clear in the document from its beginning in order to build the framework for the issues to be discussed.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Tinkerer, Trifler, Presbyter, Priest: liturgical deviations

1630s, from Late Latin deviatus,
past participle of deviare "to turn out of the way"

How does one respond to a priest who:
  1. contrary to what the rubrics dictate and permit, routinely omits from the Mass or severely truncates the Penitential Rite?
  2. routinely breaks the host at the words "At the time he was betrayed and entered willingly into his Passion, he took bread and, giving thanks, broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying... ."
  3. instead of using the new translation of the consecratory prayers, routinely uses the former paraphrase version (1973 ICEL translation)?
  4. instead of the new translation of the Per Ipsum, routinely uses the former paraphrase version?
  5. for no good reason, habitually does not wear the appropriate vestments to celebrate Mass?
Does one:
  1. say nothing and tolerate the deviations and go with the low bar approach: "Oh well, at least the Mass is still valid."
  2. request a conversation with the priest to share one's concerns?
  3. send the priest an email of concern?
  4. leave for the priest an "FYI" memo in a conspicuous location?
  5. consult with another priest to seek his advice as to how to proceed?
  6. when a priest obstinately refuses to abide by the rubrics, report his actions to the Bishop?
Questions for priests and bishops who should know better:
  • By what authority are you making changes to the Mass?
  • Is there any wonder why the average person in the pew flees a parish when a priest cannot or will not pray the Mass with care and attention?
  • Is it any wonder that members of parish liturgy committees consider themselves above the liturgical law when their pastor acts like he is above the law?
  • Why must the faithful be subjected to the whimsy of priests who, for whatever reason—e.g., bad seminary formation, personal bias, ignorance—, abandon the script that Holy Mother Church has given for the Mass?
  • Why must the faithful be placed in the awkward position of having to remind priests that they should not mess with the Mass?
Priests need to know that when they celebrate the Mass by "saying the black and doing the red", the Mass "speaks" for itself. I.e., when the Mass is celebrated faithfully, God's voice is not obscured and the people can hear Him more clearly than when the Mass is made into mere entertainment or reflects the misguided agenda of an individual tinkering priest.

A) General norms 
1. Regulation of the sacred liturgy depends solely on the authority of the Church, that is, on the Apostolic See and, as laws may determine, on the bishop.
2. In virtue of power conceded by the law, the regulation of the liturgy within certain defined limits belongs also to various kinds of competent territorial bodies of bishops legitimately established.
3. Therefore no other person, even if he be a priest, may add, remove, or change anything in the liturgy on his own authority.
I. From apologist Jimmy Akin at Catholic.com/Catholic Answers:
When my priest is saying the words of consecration and he gets to the words "He broke the bread, gave it to his disciples, and said . . . " he breaks the host in two on the word "broke." Should he be doing this?
No, he should not. The breaking of the host is known as the "fraction," and there is a special place for it in the Mass—namely, in the Fraction Rite, which occurs after the Sign of Peace and immediately before the Communion Rite.
Since the Church has a specific place in the liturgy for the fraction, to perform it at another time subverts the role of the Fraction Rite and must not be done.
Further, the rubrics in the Sacramentary tie the meaning of the Fraction Rite to the commingling, where a piece of the host is placed in the chalice. The symbolism of this is commonly explained today as representing the resurrection of Christ, the reuniting of his Body and Blood. 
The rubrics of the Mass link the meaning of the fraction to the commingling, stating: 
"Meanwhile, [the priest] takes the host and breaks it over the paten. He places a small piece in the chalice, saying inaudibly: ‘May this mingling of the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ bring eternal life to us who receive it.’"
Since nothing else is said—either in the rubrics or the prayers—about the breaking of the host, its primary purpose in the current order of Mass seems to be to obtain a piece of the host for use in the commingling. Any other meaning attached to the fraction that precedes the commingling would be secondary. 
If one breaks the host on the words "He broke the bread," it would have a different primary meaning—either a reference Jesus’ breaking the bread for his disciples to partake or to the breaking of his body on the cross or both. Thus it would amount to adding a new rite to the Mass, which cannot be done (refer to Sacrosanctum Concilium 22).
Snapping a host in two on the word "broke" is also dangerous. It is done so quickly and carelessly that excessive particles are likely to result and possibly be scattered. Priests who do it may think that they are heightening the symbolism of the Mass, but they are actually detracting from it as well as giving scandal to many of the faithful.
II. And there is this counsel from the horse's mouth, so-to-speak:

ROME, 26 OCT. 2004 (ZENIT)
Answered by Father Edward McNamara, professor of liturgy at the Regina Apostolorum Pontifical University.
Q: The pastor of my parish breaks the bread into two pieces prior to consecrating the bread into the precious Body of Christ. Then he holds the two pieces of bread, one in one hand, one in the other. Then he spreads his hands wide apart, and as he pronounces the words of consecration, he brings his hand together, and touches the two consecrated hosts at the lower end. I always understood that the bread is not to be broken till after the Lamb of God is announced. This is a source of concern and very disturbing to some of the members of our parish. — E.F., Scottsdale, Arizona
A: This theme is succinctly addressed in the instruction "Redemptionis Sacramentum," No. 55:
"In some places there has existed an abuse by which the Priest breaks the host at the time of the consecration in the Holy Mass. This abuse is contrary to the tradition of the Church. It is reprobated and is to be corrected with haste."
It is hard to be much clearer than that.

This abuse seems to have arisen from a literal and somewhat dramatic interpretation of the words of the institution narrative of the consecration "He took the bread, broke it ..."

This might be a symptom related to our televised society where the visual image predominates over the deeper meaning. And so, some priests, often in good faith, have been led to adopt in a more dramatic or even theatrical mode while celebrating the Mass.

Thus, some see themselves almost as acting out the role of Christ by imitating his words and gestures.

This phenomenon, however, may also be indicative of a lack of formation and of a defective understanding of the priest's ministerial role as acting "in persona Christi" and the theological content of the words of consecration as form of the sacrament.

Of course, if one were to be totally consistent with this view, then Communion would logically have to be distributed immediately after pronouncing the words "gave it to his disciples," etc.

As far as I know, this has never been attempted.

In a way, the other parts of the Eucharistic Prayer explicate what is contained within the institution narrative as the summit of Christ's paschal mystery of his death and resurrection, the center of salvation history.

During the course of the celebration each element of the consecration is rendered clearer and in a way is also made present.

During the offertory the Church takes the bread and wine and offers up thanks and praise to the Father.

Before the consecration the Church also calls upon the Holy Spirit to intervene just as he did in Christ's incarnation and throughout his life.

The prayer which immediately follows the consecration, often called the "Anamnesis," because it begins with a phrase such as "Father, calling to mind his death and resurrection ..." is, in a way, the Mass defining itself by explaining what is meant by Christ's command to the apostles to "do this in memory of me."

This prayer shows that the priest, in the consecration, is saying and doing more than just repeating Christ's words and gestures.

What is called to mind and made present throughout history is Christ's death resurrection and ascension into glory.

The command to "do this" also means imitating in our lives the attitudes of the loving and total self-giving which Christ demonstrated in his sacrifice.

After this the Eucharistic Prayers generally invoke the Holy Spirit once more so that we may obtain the fruits of the celebration, above all to be united in charity and to intercede along with Christ for all those, living and dead, who need our prayer. This is done so that the overall purpose of the Eucharist is achieved when we are united with the saints in heaven.

Finally, in the doxology, we recognize that all that is done through, with and in Christ in union with the Holy Spirit, is done for the Father's honor and glory just as Christ constantly offered all to the Father.

This might seem to be a digression away from the main point of the question. But I wish to show that unless the Eucharistic Prayer is complete, the full meaning of the gesture involved in breaking and giving is truncated and not fully grasped.

The gesture is not the breaking and giving of a piece of bread but of the Lord's Body sacrificed yet risen and ascended into glory.

It is not partaking of a simple meal, but of Christ's eternal sacrifice from which springs our salvation.
+ + +

So then, dear priests, stop tinkering with the Liturgy and give us the Mass undefiled.—TCS.