Saints have prayed prayers,
Prayers hanging over Time,
Still being answered:
“God protect Your Church.”
“God spare Your People.”
“God forgive Sin.”
“God make holy.”
“God preserve and enlighten.”
Prayers that never end
Prayers forever answered.
by Joann Nelander
Looking at the Sun
Last evening, I saw the sun in a surprising way. Looking at the sun directly, it appeared to have a silvery and ” cool” disc over its center, which would normally be ” hot”and bright and would force my eyes to instinctively close or my eyes to look away. I watched it for some time in wonder and amazement, seeing soft red rays around its silvery core.
To me, it is mysterious. I mean, I do not know how I could gaze at it quite comfortably, watching the rays seem to spread out around it’s cool center.. I watched it for some time wondering at the occurrence, the ability to look upon it, and wondering why I was seeing it. I have seen this at other times in the past, often on a Church feast day, like the Feast of the Transfiguration, or the Feast of the Holy Innocents.
I write about it because I don’t know what it means but accept it as a gift, a grace. I have been wanting to write about grace and supernatural grace but I can’t seem to put what I understand of them into words, at least, into my words. So, like looking at the sun, I shall simply gaze on them a while more.
Here’s Father Cory Sticha on the topic:
I’ve been thinking more and more about my concerns around giving special blessings to children at Mass. There are a number of people here who are continuing to express concern because of my stance on not blessing children in the communion line. To be clear, this is a position taken not out of spite, but out of a respect for the liturgy and for the documents of the Second Vatican Council. In paragraph 22, Sacrosanctum Concilium states, “Therefore no other person, even if he be a priest, may add, remove, or change anything in the liturgy on his own authority.” A priest does not have the authority to add a blessing to the liturgy for anyone, because a priest does not have the authority to add anything to the liturgy. It doesn’t matter if other priests go beyond their authority and do it in disobedience. In my mind, it is inappropriate, and I will not. Period.”Read More:
“Earlier this month Americans United for Separation of Church and State sent out 84,000 letters to church leaders to warn them against speaking about politics from the pulpit according to IRS tax-exempt restrictions. Responses so far have not been so enthusiastic.
AU says they attempted to be “respectful” in their reminder and claim they are merely trying to protect organizations’ tax exempt status. In a blog post the group’s assistant director of communications, Simon Brown, explained that they only want churches to “follow the rules” and “stay out of partisan politics”:
“We merely want houses of worship to follow the rules, stay out of partisan politics and keep their tax exemption. And when we explain to clergy what the law requires, we do so in a respectful way.”
Despite their “respectful” tone, the church and state watchdog told The Blaze that they’ve already received about 45 fiery responses, and expect more in the days to come.
One church sent back AU’s letter with the simple statement “Drop Dead” written in marker across it. Another response was a brief letter, addressed to the executive director of the group, which concluded by asking to be removed from his mailing list and saying he could take his “solicitude regarding our legal well-being” and “shove it up your fat white a__.”
Here are two shots of the messages (via The Blaze):
HOLY SATURDAY – The body of Jesus is in the tomb but His soul is among the dead to announce the kingdom. The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear it will Live (John 5:25). Consider what it must have been like for the dead in Limbo ( the "hell" of the Apostles’ Creed) to awaken to the voice of Jesus! Meanwhile The Disciples, heartbroken at the death of Jesus, observed the Jewish Sabbath in sorrow. They had forgotten the promise of Jesus that He would rise. We cannot forget His promise. We cannot forget.
We spend this day in quite reflection, weeping at the tomb of our Lord. Fasting and abstinence are recommended, but are not of obligation.
This night in our parish after sundown, at 8:30 pm, we gather for the Great Easter Vigil where we will experience Jesus rising from the dead. (Our Lord rose from the dead during this most blessed of nights, for the Gospels tell us that the faithful women went to the tomb very early in the morning, while it was still dark, and the tomb was already empty. That is why the Great Mass of Easter takes place at night.) We gather in darkness and light the Easter fire which reminds us that Jesus is light in the darkness. He is the light of the world. We attentively listen to Bible stories describing God’s saving work of the past. Suddenly, the church lights are lit and the Gloria is sung as we celebrate the moment of Christ’s resurrection. He Lives! As a Church we sing Alleluia for the first time in forty days. In the joy of the resurrection we then celebrate the Sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist for our Catechumens who have prepared many months for this night. Do everything you can to be present on this evening and invite friends and family to join. Our Vigil ushers in an Easter joy that never ends!
Of course the Easter Vigil fulfills the Sunday obligation – it is THE Great Mass of Easter (in fact, until the 5th century, it was the only Mass of Easter.)
Yes, the Easter Vigil is long (in our parish, about two and a half hours), but it is very beautiful. We keep it "moving right along", and it has beautiful music.
A blessed and joyful celebration of Easter to you all!
Msgr. Douglas A. Raun
St. Thomas Aquinas Parish
1502 Sara, Rio Rancho, NM