Consecrated to the Heart of the Redeemer under the patronage of the Theotokos and Fr. Gerard Manley Hopkins, S.J.

31 December 2012

This Wheel's On Fire

Click here to view sale info for the poster; click here for the readings of the day

Published annually by Liturgy Training Publications, the above poster presents all the seasons and celebrations of the given liturgical year.  Each year the peripheral illustrations vary; in this example we have people at prayer and work throughout the year.  If I am not mistaken, the artists always feature Mary and Jesus in the center; and that’s appropriate, for Jesus is the Heart of our Faith—the Beginning and the End and Everything In Between.  A close second is the Blessed Virgin Mary, duly honored today for her maternal role in the life of God and in our lives.

The roundness of the wheel suggests the cyclic nature of time.  Events repeat, year after year; the word anniversary means the “turning of a year” (so there are no “month anniversaries”; call them monthiversaries if you must).  The roundness of the wheel also suggests the pregnant womb, the maternal tabernacle.  Aaron’s blessing in the Book of Numbers speaks of the graciousness of God, which He bestows in the granting of yet another year of life, or another generation.  With his words Israel’s “protopresbyter” (first priest) invokes God’s Name upon the Israelites; literally, he puts it on them—divinely brands them with a kind of interior tattoo.  Through Mary’s free and conscious consent, God identifies with mankind in a most exterior, visible manner—in the flesh.

By Baptism you and I became adopted daughters and sons—an exalted, unearned status, always courtesy of God’s gracious will.  Just as the Spirit was poured into the womb of Blessed Mary, thus Abba pours Him into our hearts, thereby making them fresh, fragrant, and fruitful.

Mary’s feast at the turn of a year affords us a pregnant pause, to do what Mary did: she “kept all these things, reflecting on them in her heart” (Lk 2:19).  Only when we pay attention to how God reveals Himself in life (though, above all, in Jesus) can we also deliver the Lord in this year’s abundant crop of godly actions, words, and thoughts.

29 December 2012

Holy Family Matters Worth Considering

In the beginning of the rite for baptism of a child, the priest or deacon asks the child’s parents two questions that seem unnecessary.  The second question is, "What do you ask of God's Church for [Junior]?"  Obviously not a haircut or college tuition!  
I don't prompt the answer beforehand.  Some people aren't sure how to respond.  Why are they here?  Family tradition?  The expectations that "this is just what we do"?  To make sure that the kid's OK "if, God forbid, something should happen" (as if God would turn His Face on him or her)?  It's a question worth asking not only in the ritual itself, but before and after the baptism.
The first question is, “What name have you given your child?”  We already know that answer, too; but posing the question reminds us that, in the poetic story of creation (cf. Gen 2:18-20), the man named the animals God made for him.  During the Name Game, the man was seeking a suitable helpmate.  At last a fellow human person was mystically presented and found suitable, and he named her “Eve.”  He named her: the privilege of naming a creature usually suggests some measure of authority over it or care for it.  Authority and care thus characterize the spousal union.

The stories of creation illustrate a marvelous use of words.  The man is named Adam, which originates in the Hebrew ‘adamah, “earth”; Eve comes from [c]hay, “life,” and firstborn Cain is a play on qaniti, “I have produced.”  The woman actually declares, “I have produced a man with the help of the Lord” (4:1).  From man’s beginnings we recognize that children are a gift from God in which parents cooperate.  The Church treats specific questions regarding the conception of children in light of God’s design of sexuality exercised within marriage.  It is far from arbitrary.  The act through which man and woman uniquely are bound together within the marital context provides material for the Creator to work with—the spouses’ own bodies, made fully available to each other and to God.  An offering of the body necessarily includes the soul, and presumes a partnership of the whole of life.  Children have a right to be born into, and nurtured by, a total, faithful, permanent, and generously fruitful partnership.

Can God work outside of that ideal context?  He certainly does; I don’t have to tell you that.  Not every child is conceived or born in marriage, or by natural means.  Not all spouses exercise fidelity, exclusivity, and openness to new life; not every marriage is marked by mutual respect and affection, all the time.  We are all afflicted by original sin and the resultant tendency to sin: the confusion of the emotions, the clouding of the intellect, and the weakening of the will.  The sad history of the human race testifies to this.  As our pastor's late grandmother used to say, “There’s smoke in every kitchen.”  And yet the cooking continues, as it must, until the last day.

Through the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, salvation came to the human race.  We therefore look to them with gratitude, and strive to imitate their virtues.  Perhaps the primary virtue is perseverance—perseverance in forming children in the ways of purity, kindness, and honesty, and seeking such formation for ourselves in the process.  Another virtue is detachment, “letting go” of the outcome in children’s lives.  With great care we form our children, and in time we must recognize their freedom.  To the consternation of His parents, Jesus' freedom seemed to come early; but with Mary and Joseph’s detachment He proceeded according to His Heavenly Father’s plan.  We recall that the virtuous pursuits of many saints met emphatic opposition from their closest relatives and friends.  How often have poor formation and excessive parental attachment thwarted solid vocations to marriage, consecrated life, or priesthood?  In this and every other respect we can only move forward; so resolve with me today to repent for our sins and to advance joyfully in the Way marked out by the Holy Family.

27 December 2012

The Priests of Newtown

Pray, dear readers, for the souls of all who died in the tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut, and for the consolation and strength of their bereaved loved ones--family, friends, classmates, workmates.

Pray God's mercy upon the assailant.

Pray, too, for the priests pictured above, Fr. Luke Suarez (L) and Msgr. Robert Weiss (R).  They are, respectively, the Assistant Pastor and Pastor of Saint Rose of Lima in Newtown.

I cannot begin to imagine what they are going through, what inner resources they must be summoning in order to serve their community.  As a brother priest I join them in what they and I happen to do each day: offer Our Lord and Savior Jesus to the Father in the Holy Spirit--celebrate the Mass.

This website presents a plea from the sister of Fr. Suarez to send letters of prayerful solidarity to her brother and Msgr. Weiss, which I intend to do.  Even though the plea is over a week old, we all know how comforting it is to be remembered after a week, a month, or a year has passed.

Father Luke Suarez / Msgr. Robert Weiss
Saint Rose of Lima Parish
46 Church Hill Road
Newtown, CT 06470

May the Lord, who alone can bring forth good from unspeakable evil, move the hearts of all to seek Him where He may be found.

Whatever level of fidelity to the Faith persons may exhibit, may this priest or any priest never fail to attend to them in their need.  May ego never impede our service.

Today's feast of Saint John the Apostle and Evangelist reminded me of this verse from the Prologue of his Gospel:

"The light shines in the darkness, 
but the darkness has not overcome it." (Jn 1:5)

24 December 2012

Shining Like the Sun

The meaning of Christmas is well summarized in a patristic aphorism: “The Son of God became a son of man so that the sons of men could become sons of God.”  This pithy saying covers two of the four pivotal mysteries of the Catholic faith, namely Incarnation and Theosis (adoption into divine sonship).  Together with the other two mysteries, Trinity and Paschal Mystery, I call them the "Big 4":

Trinity: God exists outside of time, though in time He revealed Himself to be Persons-in-Relation: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; Lover, Beloved, and Love.

Incarnation: The Father sent the Son into the world in human nature, possessing the human abilities to choose, to understand, and to submit one's emotions toward the higher powers of will and intellect.  

Paschal Mystery: The Son offered Himself and all mankind to the Father in His entire life, though especially in His Passion and Death, which the Father soon honored by raising Him from the dead, glorious and immortal.

Theosis: By the act of faith and baptism, we begin a life of deepening immersion into the Christian mystery, disciplining our wills for goodness, purifying our intellects for truth, and attuning our emotions to beauty.  Through the Word and the Sacraments, we come to participate ever more deeply in the divine life.

Trinity, Incarnation, Paschal Mystery, and Theosis: four aspects of the one mystery of Love.

The prophets were privileged to perceive, however dimly, that something grand was coming to the human race.  Isaiah envisioned it in terms of a wedding: the union of God and Israel cemented a partnership of the entirety of life, marked by fidelity, stability, fruitfulness, sacrifice, and joy.  “’Til death do us part”?  No, not even death could separate the union of divinity and humanity in Christ.  The Incarnation prepares, ultimately, for the Lord’s Passion and Death (the Paschal Mystery), by which the Son frees us from sin and death, and frees us for fidelity, stability, fruitfulness, sacrifice, and joy.

The 20th century boasted of a man named Thomas Merton.  As a charming intellectual Merton knew how to live, yet also felt drawn to know God more deeply.  That desire ultimately led him to a monastery in Kentucky, where he became a prolific writer and champion for non-violence.  Merton became keenly aware of the presence of God in all people and situations, an awareness that fundamentally sprang from his Catholic faith yet was nourished by his encounters with Eastern religions. Trappist monks ordinarily did not leave the monastery, but Merton was permitted to do so for his community’s external business and for his own medical concerns.  While walking the streets of Louisville Merton had a profound realization.  Yes, he may have been a cloistered monk, but he shared with all people the call to spiritual transformation amid the challenges of secular life.  In his work Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander, Merton says:
It is a glorious destiny to be a member of the human race, though it is a race dedicated to many absurdities and one which makes many terrible mistakes: yet with all that, God Himself gloried in becoming a member of the human race.  A member of the human race!  To think that such a commonplace realization should suddenly seem like news that one holds the winning ticket in a cosmic sweepstake.  I have the immense joy of being man, a member of a race in which God Himself became incarnate.  As if the sorrows and stupidities of the human condition could overwhelm me, now I realize what we all are.  And if only everybody could realize this!  But it cannot be explained.  There is no way of telling people that they are all walking around shining like the sun.
Merton goes on to speak of God’s possession of us at our deepest level, where He directs the course of our lives.  “This little point of nothingness and of absolute poverty is the pure glory of God in us.”  The Christmas crèche declares God’s possession of mankind, and our total dependence on His grace that enables us to be agents of transformation, starting within and continuing in unimagined directions.  Renewed by our Savior’s total investment of Self in the human race, we pray that He may renew us as children of Light and Love, and that we may commit to whatever changes will help us to become clearer channels of that Light and Love.

23 December 2012

Open Wide the Gates

On Monday evening and Tuesday morning, churches expect to welcome a great number of people for the celebration of the Lord's Nativity.  Well, a great number of people will come to church; what sort of  welcome they receive will be another matter.

Christmas is a poignant moment for evangelization, for challenge, and encouragement.  Pastors of souls have tried numerous approaches to the loosely-affiliated, the C&Es, whatever sort of label one might smack on them (don't forget the label "child of God" or "disciple"!); but, on the whole, the results seem to be (predictably?) paltry.
There we go, staking our efforts on results again--lapsing, just like many a churchgoer, into an old and unproductive habit!  Perhaps, in our quieter moments, we may discover, as Hopkins did, that "the appealing of the Passion is tenderer in prayer apart" (Wreck of the Deutschland, st. 27).  That is, by referring casual Catholics to the Crucified Lord in our intercessory prayer, we might approach them in a better spirit and lead them back to the altar.
If you are attending Mass on the Vigil or Day of Christmas, these words apply to you:

God's family is the better, richer, fuller for your presence!

I recognize that not all of you attend our parish throughout the year.  Many people are traveling to rejoin their relatives for the Holy Days; others are coming home from college.  Still others practice (or are at least affiliated with) another religion and are joining us for the sake of unity and good will.  Thank you for joining us.

To those who are registered parishioners but who attend Mass sporadically, or only on major Holy Days like this: we are nonetheless delighted to see you, as well; and we certainly would rejoice in your regular return.  Through an honest and thorough self-disclosure in the sacrament of Penance, we will gladly aid your restoration to the Communion of the Catholic Church.  (If Confession is not a current option for you in light of an irregular marital situation, we can talk about that soon.  Call the rectory for an appointment.)  If Confession has preceded your Christmas Communion, then keep coming back!

My first edition of this post neglected to recognize the very people who don't tend to seek recognition, viz., the faithful who attend Mass every Lord's Day and Holy Day of Obligation.  I thank you for your joyful fidelity to the Holy Mysteries, and beg your tolerance and patience during the Christmas celebrations.  Join me in thanking the Christ Child for everyone who will be worshipping alongside you.  I know I don't have to tell you this, but here goes: when you come to Mass, take note of someone near you whom you don't recognize, and introduce yourself.  At the very least, offer an inviting smile and handshake.  Your witness to them will be more convincing than mine.

In any case, when we look out from the Celebrant's chair, we will not be presiding upon a throne of contempt.  But we do not shrink from the commandment of God to "keep holy the Sabbath day" (Ex 20:8-11; Dt 5:12-15); nor from the exhortation in Hebrews: "We should not stay away from our assembly, as is the custom of some, but encourage one another, and this all the more as you see the day drawing near" (10:25).

In Scripture, the "day" normally refers to the "Day of the Lord," the consummation of all things, the ushering-in of God's Kingdom, the visitation of His judgment.  Recent threats of this day have passed without delivery, but our personal "day" likely will come first; and this is no threat!  Kinder, gentler motives for returning to Mass may be out there, but it's too late at night for me to search them out.  Perhaps you would be moved, for the moment, by the final movement of Ralph Vaughan Williams' Hodie.  This link provides the words; a university chorus provides the performance.

Let a famous English poet and English composer speak of the Wedding Feast of the Lamb into which we are mystically inserted at every offering of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

But when of old the sons of morning sung,
While the Creator great
His constellations set,
And the well-balanced world on hinges hung,
And cast the dark foundations deep,
And bid the weltering waves their oozy channel keep.
Yea, truth and justice then
Will down return to men,
Orbed in a rainbow; and, like glories wearing,
Mercy will sit between,
Throned in celestial sheen,
With radiant feet the tissued clouds down steering;
And heaven, as at some festival,
Will open wide the gates of her high palace hall.

(Adaptation taken from "On the Morning of Christ's Nativity," by John Milton)

22 December 2012


A recent post from Whispers in the Loggia features Pope Benedict's recent talk on two themes that are profoundly affecting the Church and the world.  Often branded his "State of the Church Address," in truth it is his annual address to the members of the Roman Curia.

This year's two concerns are: the crisis of family life and the nature of authentic dialogue.

Pope Benedict found it necessary to address the first topic in light of the relativization of the structure of the family, the decrease in commitment, and the reduction of sexuality to the self-directed choice(s) of "gender."  Affirming the given duality of the human person as male and female, we affirm the mind and will of the Creator.  Denial of the male-female duality leads to the denial of the objective nature of the family as man-woman-child.  The child becomes a "right" that can be fulfilled however one wishes.

Regarding the second matter, His Holiness acknowledges the need for mutual openness to each other's stance, while reminding parties-in-dialogue that they are searching together for truth, with which religion is vitally concerned.  The Christian, he says, can be "supremely confident, yes, fundamentally certain, that he can venture freely into the open sea of the truth, without having to fear for his Christian identity."

Now the Pope did begin his speech with several positives from the year, even as his encouraging observations led him to treat the areas of concern.  Benedict is always encouraged by the enthusiasm of young people.  It is no wonder that he constantly addresses the issues he does, because their current direction will threaten the human community.

Catholics and people everywhere must answer whether this is the disgruntled discourse of an old man lamenting the tempora and the mores, or the Vicar of Christ bringing the Gospel to bear on people's free and conscientious choices.  The process of answering this question engages our faith and reason alike.  "When the Son of Man comes, will he find faith upon the earth?" (Lk 18:8).  Will He find reason?

21 December 2012

Now What?

Suffer me, patient reader, to add my own post-apocalyptic post to the playlist.

Having been spared the consummation of all things (as faithful believer and steadfast skeptic alike suspected), it'll be time for work soon; there's school today.  The community of Sandy Hook Elementary School does not yet have school, I reckon; and lest its tragedy become just another for the archives, we want to preserve the best part of the apocalyptic conversation: viz., the thread of personal repentance and reconciliation "before time runs out."

Going forward, I would fain declare the death of the cliche "going forward," even while contemplating a strategy for...going forward--for continuing to live, not only suspire.  That sort of living is as evangelical as it is contemplative, centrifugal and centripetal.  "Deep calls to deep in the roar of your torrents" (Ps 42:8).  There is no end to the profound Love that continually draws man into Himself, where we discover the true self and its appropriate action plan.  Being creatures of time and space--creatures that need reminding and reorientation--we have to resist the impulse to swim to safety (contrary to Ms. McGovern's dated ditty).  We must stay in the ocean to keep getting caught in Love's riptide.

"Heavens, Father, you sound waterlogged!  What are you trying to say?"

The passing of the Alleged Last Day is no free pass.  We haven't gotten away with anything.  Divine Mercy will bide His time, but we must perceive our need for Him and respond promptly.

"God is like a mother who carries her child in her arms by the edge of a precipice. While she is seeking all the time to keep him from danger, he is doing his best to get into it." (St. Jean-Marie Vianney)

19 December 2012

Just To Have Something To Say

Between now and the Day of the Lord's Nativity I do not suspect I will be posting much.  The past few weeks, during which I took a five-day hiatus for retreat, have been challenging my motives and aspirations for writing this blog.

Some of my readers and many of my friends know that I have long been afflicted with the demon of comparison, which has been described as "judging my insides by what I see on the outsides of others."  The layers of fantasy are legion: there's the other person in himself, then there's what they project for others to see, then there's my perception of what they are projecting--and then I measure myself (as far as I know me) by that perception!  Between CMZ as he really is, and XYZ as he really is, there is a great chasm, which no one has been able to cross from one side to the other.

The Catholic blogosphere has a number of "superbloggers": many erudite and prolific, often scintillating and controversial, frequently read and evaluated.  I hold them in great esteem.  Right now I don't think I am capable of that level of commentary and analysis of what's going on in the Church, the culture, or my soul.  I'm not sure that I can or want to spend the necessary time or energy to approximate that level.  My skin isn't very thick- and that seems more important with every read and post.  I read not only to acquire edifying content, but to enhance my writing skills.  I read good stuff to become gooder.

Whether or not I continue to use the electronic medium for evangelization, inspiration, and amusement, I intend to remain a priest in good standing to serve as long and as well as possible.  Now as a child of my time I must concede that there's no place like the Internet.  Well used, it is a channel of truth, justice, mercy, peace, delight, and other divine things.  Responsible Internet usage requires a level of discipline that I have chosen to pursue.  It has not been perfect (I am typing at 0100 EST), but neither is the rest of me.  And yet you keep reading--all dozen or so of you.

And I keep writing.

Why don't you listen to this, just to get a sense of where I am right now:

As always for a faithful celibate, references to any sort of romantic relationship can be viewed in the "fuller sense" of the divine-human relationship, or, in this particular context, to Dame Success.  There is no drama to be extracted from the Rev'd Blogger's choice of video.  It's a good song.

16 December 2012

Sober Joy

Father George Rutler writes of the joy that characterizes the life of the Christian--particularly of the Right-Believer who embraces disciplines and hardships, yet whose devotion purifies self-consumption and encourages pure fun.

The Christian life is not meant to be a "valley of tears"; while I say this, I learned that phrase first from the Hail, Holy Queen, the time-honored prayer that most people know from the end of the Rosary.  Everyone has difficulties, but the disciple strives to contextualize his in the Heart of Christ and to draw Therefrom the peace and strength needed to remain of maximal service.

15 December 2012

Reflections on Sandy Hook

I was away from news sources for most of the day, and heard of the Sandy Hook (CT) Elementary School tragedy only a couple of hours ago--and this over conversation at a wedding rehearsal dinner, nearing the end of a week that has witnessed much loss of life.

Summarily after leaving the dinner I proceeded to check my Facebook news feed.  Ever the sea of punditry, it featured calls for prayers, calls for gun control, calls for armament, calls to hug and appreciate one's loved ones (especially the children), calls for moral responsibility, and calls for vengeance.


I am reminded that I named this blog "The Shipwrack-Harvest" in view of a nautical mishap that caused the death of many, but that very well may have prompted the repentance and conversion of some; an event that convinced a priest-poet to consecrate his fellow Englishmen to Mary, the Immaculate Conception, as the wreck happened on 7 December, the day before that solemn feast.  Just as a dying nun's cries to Christ "got the Word out there" at a sorely-needed moment, perhaps Our Lady might invite the nation to return to her Son's Church.  The shipwrack of bodies upon the shores of Kent might become a harvest of souls upon the shores of Heaven.

Jesus spoke on one occasion of a massacre and a collapsed tower that ended the lives of numerous unsuspecting folk, without apparent regard for their virtue or vice (cf. Lk 13:1-5).  The commonly drawn lesson from that passage is the universal call to repentance, irrespective of one's perceived position vis-a-vis God, others, or self.

I will devote no space here to analysis or judgment, except to reiterate the Lord's invitation to repentance.  Not to improve upon the Lord, I will further amplify it into a call for:

  1. Daily review of self, and prompt attendance to the personally-committed offenses that one recognizes therein
  2. Regular conscious placing of self in the Presence of God, seeking to better dispose oneself to serving Him in others
  3. Allowing one's relationship with God to unfold in all available service opportunities (generous deeds, words, and thoughts)
Whether the Sandy Hook tragedy would have happened or not, the above program is worth practicing.

Regardless of one's belief in, or concern for, God, there is the fundamental acknowledgment of: (1) the fact of one's own existence; (2) the fact that one did not bring it about by him/herself; (3) the opportunities that one has to make something beautiful and meaningful of that existence; and (4)  the constant awareness that our choices-for good or ill-have consequences.  In the absence of this, we're in a sad state...and we soon "find ourselves" making such a state for untold others.  As an ardent theist and a Catholic priest, I place all immediately concerned parties in the Sandy Hook shooting--and the lot of us--in the hands of One who has made a Life of bringing good out of evil.

+ + + + +

And, to break the previous promise of no analysis or judgment, I reiterate a comment made to someone who is at a loss as to how to explain these sad realities to her children:

Somehow we continue to have responsibilities that do not disappear in the face of what seems a constant stream of tragedy and strain. At first hearing it we explode and express, and then life goes on. We think it scandalous that it should, when for these people (and the others who've preceded them, and the others who'll follow) it doesn't. But it does. And, Christ, we might not change!

13 December 2012


BATTER my heart, three person'd God; for, you
As yet but knocke, breathe, shine, and seeke to mend;
That I may rise, and stand, o'erthrow mee,'and bend
Your force, to breake, blowe, burn and make me new.
I, like an usurpt towne, to'another due,         5
Labour to'admit you, but Oh, to no end,
Reason your viceroy in mee, mee should defend,
But is captiv'd, and proves weake or untrue.
Yet dearely'I love you,'and would be loved faine,
But am betroth'd unto your enemie:  10
Divorce mee,'untie, or breake that knot againe;
Take mee to you, imprison mee, for I
Except you'enthrall mee, never shall be free,
Nor ever chast, except you ravish mee.

"Way back" in the early-mid '70s, the editors of the Liturgy of the Hours saw fit to include a dozen or so poems in each of the four volumes.  Most of the poems are by Catholics (e.g. Chaucer, Hopkins) or other high-church authors sympathetic to Catholicism (e.g. John Donne, George Herbert).

I suspect that the revised version, whenever it is released, will contain nothing of the sort, deeming these poems an appendix worth removing.  'Twould be a shame.

Now that I use to pray the LOH, I rarely consult the paper volumes.  (In this and other respects I'm a child of my age.)  But my encounter with the poems was seminal in the development of my spiritual sense.  They told my story.

The above, for example, turned me on to Donne and his metaphysical poems.  For those whose own twisted mind is their chief assailant, I would fain (!) offer "Batter my heart," which expresses Donne's own struggle with God.

Most of us in the state Donne describes are "so close," yet we still hesitate to admit God into our hearts.   As I was recently reminded, God is not a concept to be understood or "figured out," but a Community of Persons to be loved.  And God, a la Richard Marx (no relation to Karl), is right here waiting for us, but He cannot and would not trump a Vagrant Beloved's free will in the process.

It's hard to imagine God as "crazy in love" with us, but He's told us as much.  Over the years I have objected that my own sins and faults have erected an insuperable barrier for God, and that there is no way that the Father-and-Son Reunion will come to pass.  Oh, I haven't actually claimed that, explicitly, but I've prayed and thought that way sometimes.

Here's Donne, speaking from within the context of one who believes and loves God--here he is declaring that the Enemy has captured him and that God must invade, indeed ravish him, for unification to occur.  A tad dramatic, but hey, he's a poet!

The Psalmist was a poet, too, and he would resort to rather sudden turns of thought.  Take Psalm 139, that great anthem to Providence: after limning for lines and lines about how God knows when I rest and when I rise, marks when I walk or lie down, how I was wonderfully made and all, in a trice he spews  invective: "If only you would destroy the wicked, O God, and the bloodthirsty would depart from me!  Deceitfully they invoke your name; your foes swear faithless oaths.  Do I not hate, Lord, those who hate you?  Those who rise against you, do I not loathe?  With fierce hatred I hate them, enemies I count as my own" (19-22).  Did his medication wear off?

After all this, I really have to go to the hospital.  To see parishioners.  To get out of my own head and be of service.  Right now this bald head is being told by the Head of State to "tear down that wall."  He sure as heaven didn't put it up.

12 December 2012

You Think You've Flown Before

A priest friend of mine from the Diocese of Gallup (NM) was "sure" that Pope Benedict XVI issued his first Tweet on this day because it is the anniversary of his ordination to the transitional diaconate.

Sorry, Fr. Matt, I don't think so.

I am equally sure that he arranged to issue his first under-140-character pronouncements on the anniversary of the birth of Francis Albert Sinatra.

I am even more equally sure that Sinatra arranged to enter the Big "Big House" on the day I graduated college seminary (14 May 1998).

While attending a friend's wedding* in SoCal the following August, we were driving through Palm Springs when it occurred to me that Frank was buried there.  Ah--there's a cemetery!  Could we check it out?  Sure enough...

We stopped to say a Pater and an Ave, and maybe a Gloria Patri, and then continued our sightseeing.

"The Best is Yet to Come."  Great choice.

I'd call that the swingin'est plug for the Resurrection Life out there.  With most good love songs (written before the 1980s-90s), their "fuller sense" can be understood in reference to the divine-human relationship.

"You think you've flown before, but baby, you ain't left the ground.  Wait 'til you're locked in My embrace, / Wait 'til I draw you near / You think you've seen that sunshine place / Ain't nothin' like it here."  "The best is yet to come / come the Day (yom YHWH) you're Mine."

Lest we forget the most lasting significance of this day, behold the Guadalupana, our sneak preview into the Resurrection Life.

The Blessed Mother so disposed herself to divine beckoning that she has appeared all over the world in order to reinforce the Gospel.  Her imprimatur on Juan Diego's tilma depicts the "woman clothed with the sun" (Rev 12:1), bound with the cloth that indicated pregnancy.  Mary thus demonstrated the sanctity of human life, declared the death of human sacrifice, and facilitated the conversion of Mexico.

+ + + + +

Last and least, tap a microphone in honor of "World Sound-Check Day."

When the luna is placed into the monstrance, the "On the Air" sign illuminates.^

Spell out the date (not the YYYY version), and all will be made plain.

*The best man, whose wedding I witnessed last month, shares Sinatra's birthday.  To quote a song that Sinatra never covered, "Small World"!
^Andy Rooney Alert: Did you ever notice that a search for free "Old School Microphone" images shows almost as many tattoos of such as actuals?  O tempora! O mores!