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ON THE TRANSCENDENTALS OF BEING | We are not just material beings, but spiritual persons with a need for meaning, purpose, and fulfillment that transcends the visible confines of this world. This longing for transcendence is a longing for truth, goodness, and beauty. Truth, goodness, and beauty are called the transcendentals of being, because they are aspects of being. Everything in existence has these transcendentals to some extent. God, of course, as the source of all truth, goodness, and beauty, has these transcendentals to an infinite degree. Oftentimes, he draws us to himself primarily through one of these transcendentals. St. Augustine, who was drawn to beauty in all its creaturely forms, found the ultimate beauty he was seeking in God, his creator, the beauty “ever ancient, ever new.”―Sister Gabriella Yi, O.P.

CREDO UT INTELLIGAM | We become Catholics not actually knowing a great deal about the Faith and keep finding ourselves suddenly realizing, ‘Oh, that’s it. That’s why the Church teaches this.’ Acceptance comes first, then practice, then understanding.―David Mills.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

The Universal Prayer: rite and wrong.

What it is.
What it isn't.
What it should be.
69. In the Universal Prayer or Prayer of the Faithful, the people respond in some sense to the Word of God which they have received in faith and, exercising the office of their baptismal Priesthood, offer prayers to God for the salvation of all. It is desirable that there usually be such a form of prayer in Masses celebrated with the people, so that petitions may be offered for holy Church, for those who govern with authority over us, for those weighed down by various needs, for all humanity, and for the salvation of the whole world.
70. The series of intentions is usually to be:
a) for the needs of the Church;
b) for public authorities and the salvation of the whole world;
c) for those burdened by any kind of difficulty;
d) for the local community.
Nevertheless, in any particular celebration, such as a Confirmation, a Marriage, or at a Funeral, the series of intentions may be concerned more closely with the particular occasion.
71. It is for the Priest Celebrant to regulate this prayer from the chair. He himself begins it with a brief introduction, by which he calls upon the faithful to pray, and likewise he concludes it with an oration. The intentions announced should be sober, be composed with a wise liberty and in few words, and they should be expressive of the prayer of the entire community.
They are announced from the ambo or from another suitable place, by the Deacon or by a cantor, a reader, or one of the lay faithful.
The people, for their part, stand and give expression to their prayer either by an invocation said in common after each intention or by praying in silence.
After the recitation of the Symbol or creed, the priest, standing at the chair with his hands joined, by means of a brief address calls upon the faithful to participate in the universal prayer. then the cantor, the reader, or another person announces the intentions from the ambo or from some other suitable place while facing the people. the latter take their part by replying in supplication. at the very end, the priest, with hands extended, concludes the petitions with a prayer.
After the recitation of the Symbol or creed, the priest, standing at the chair with his hands joined, by means of a brief address calls upon the faithful to participate in the universal prayer. then the cantor, the reader, or another person announces the intentions from the ambo or from some other suitable place while facing the people. the latter take their part by replying in supplication. at the very end, the priest, with hands extended, concludes the petitions with a prayer.
From the ambo only the readings, the responsorial psalm, and the easter proclamation (Exsultet) are to be proclaimed; likewise it may be used for giving the homily and for announcing the intentions of the universal prayer. the dignity of the ambo requires that only a minister of the word should stand at it.
(USCCBGeneral Instruction of the Roman Missal, nos. 69–71, 138, 309
Other names for the Universal Prayer (UP)
  • Prayer of the Faithful (POTF)
  • Bidding Prayers
  • General Intercessions or Prayers of General Intercession
The Prayer of the Faithful, or Universal Prayer—which happens at the conclusion of the Credo and provides a bridge of sorts to the Offertory, that chapter within the Mass when our offerings or sacrifices (gifts... symbols of our self offering, and prayers are "collected" by the priest and presented at the altar where Christ unites our offerings/sacrifices to His one sacrifice of Calvary) is typically introduced with an awkward phrase by the priest. The Prayer is often handled with the grace of a drunken uncle attempting to give the toast to the bride at a wedding reception.

Too often the intercessory prayers are more weak attempts to promote a human agenda. The offense is not mitigated by capping the prayer with 'Not our will but God's will be done'.

A "prayer" that is, at best, a cheap slogan or an appeal to people's pocketbooks veiling an attempt to shame people into giving up their cash cannot be reclaimed by tacking on a weak deferential nod to God.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Pope and Russian Patriarch in Cuba: links


Russian Orthodox Church | Department for External Church Relations 
https://mospat.ru/en/
Holy See | Centro Televisivo Vaticano | Activities of the Holy Father
http://w2.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/events/event.dir.html/content/vaticanevents/en/2016/2/12/francescokirill.html
Pope Francis' Friday Itinerary

(CNS) Here is the Pope's updated schedule as released by the Vatican. Times listed are local, with Eastern Standard Time in parenthesis when it is different from local time:
Friday, Feb. 12 (Rome, Havana, Mexico City)
  • 7:45am (1:45am ET) — departs from Rome's Fiumicino airport.
  • 2pm (11am PDT) — arrives at Jose Marti International Airport in Havana.
  • 2:15pm — Private meeting with Patriarch Kirill.
  • 4:30pm — Signing of a joint declaration. Speeches by Patriarch and by Pope.
  • 5:30pm — Pope departs from Havana airport for Mexico City.

Let us pray, Catholics and Orthodox, for the healing of the Church. The world desperately needs a united witness to Jesus Christ. May all souls be docile to the agenda of the Holy Spirit so that "all may be one" (St. John 17:21) according to the design that Jesus wills for His Church.

Pray for unity. Pray for our persecuted brothers and sisters in the Middle East, Africa and around the world.

Circle of Strife: Germany—immigrant on immigrant violence.

The naive policies of the regressive left continue to blind populations to serious injustice and its cause. As if the horrendous persecution they experienced in their homelands isn't enough, Christian and Yezidi immigrants are suffering a second round of persecution in western host countries.
http://www.breitbart.com/london/2016/02/11/christians-homosexuals-women-fleeing-asylum-centres-in-germany/ 
In Stuttgart a case of abuse toward an Assyrian Christian by a Muslim roommate led to a petition for separate housing that was signed by over 17,000 people online. The petition, organised by the Central Oriental Christians, asked the City of Stuttgart to, “please accommodate the displaced Christians in Stuttgart-Neugereut and keep them from further distress and persecution to which they are exposed in a decentralised accommodation.”
The matter was brought to the city and a separate asylum centre for 30 Christians was approved by the council. Spokesman for Stuttgart Sven Matis told the paper that after speaking to the district assistant they would be able to approve accommodation for the 30 Christians in Neugereut by the end of April.
Martin Lessenthin, CEO of the International Society for Human Rights also commented on the systematic persecutions of Christians all across German asylum homes. He said it was common to see both Christians and Yazidis subject to torment and beatings and while it is not desirable to accommodate migrants separately, it may be inevitable for the safety of the minorities.
Pray for the persecuted; pray for their persecutors.

In Flüchtlingsheimen kommt es oft zu schweren Konflikten zwischen verschiedenen Gruppen. Frauen, Christen und Homosexuelle werden besonders oft attackiert – und nun zum Teil gesondert untergebracht.
In refugee camps, there are often serious conflicts between different groups. Women, Christians and homosexuals are, in particular, attacked often - and are now, in part, housed separately.

It is rather odd when you deny the possibility of divorce that you are denounced as Pharisees when the Pharisees permitted divorce. Jesus called them hard-hearted for not defending the truth of marriage.—The Curt Jester [link].