I like the way the author of this piece looked beneath the surface of appearance for both the reason and the end, when making his observations and examining his own conceptions.
“The pain I experience with seeing the new pope’s liturgies is probably more the result of his intense joy at all other times. I sense acutely that my desire to serve is much thinner than my affection for a beautiful Mass. And I’m aware that the joy I know is possible through a sacramental encounter with the Lord is not often enough reflected in my life with family and with others.”read more via The Pope’s Painful Liturgies – Ethika Politika.
From a sermon by Saint Bernard, abbot
Let us make haste to our brethren who are awaiting us.
Why should our praise and glorification, or even the celebration of this feast day mean anything to the saints? What do they care about earthly honors when their heavenly Father honors them by fulfilling the faithful promise of the Son? What does our commendation mean to them? The saints have no need of honor from us; neither does our devotion add the slightest thing to what is theirs. Clearly, if we venerate their memory, it serves us, not them. But I tell you, when I think of them, I feel myself inflamed by a tremendous yearning.
Calling the saints to mind inspires, or rather arouses in us, above all else, a longing to enjoy their company, so desirable in itself. We long to share in the citizenship of heaven, to dwell with the spirits of the blessed, to join the assembly of patriarchs, the ranks of the prophets, the council of apostles, the great host of martyrs, the noble company of confessors and the choir of virgins. In short, we long to be united in happiness with all the saints. But our dispositions change. The Church of all the first followers of Christ awaits us, but we do nothing about it. The saints want us to be with them, and we are indifferent. The souls of the just await us, and we ignore them.
Come, brothers, let us at length spur ourselves on. We must rise again with Christ, we must seek the world which is above and set our mind on the things of heaven. Let us long for those who are longing for us, hasten to those who are waiting for us, and ask those who look for our coming to intercede for us. We should not only want to be with the saints, we should also hope to possess their happiness. While we desire to be in their company, we must also earnestly seek to share in their glory. Do not imagine that there is anything harmful in such an ambition as this; there is no danger in setting our hearts on such glory.
When we commemorate the saints we are inflamed with another yearning: that Christ our life may also appear to us as he appeared to them and that we may one day share in his glory. Until then we see him, not as he is, but as he became for our sake. He is our head, crowned, not with glory, but with the thorns of our sins. As members of that head, crowned with thorns, we should be ashamed to live in luxury; his purple robes are a mockery rather than an honor. When Christ comes again, his death shall no longer be proclaimed, and we shall know that we also have died, and that our life is hidden with him. The glorious head of the Church will appear and his glorified members will shine in splendor with him, when he forms this lowly body anew into such glory as belongs to himself, its head.
Therefore, we should aim at attaining this glory with a wholehearted and prudent desire. That we may rightly hope and strive for such blessedness, we must above all seek the prayers of the saints. Thus, what is beyond our own powers to obtain will be granted through their intercession.
All in harmony and one,
Resting on Your strong arm,
Held fast by my desire to know You,
And Your almighty power
To draw the sinner to You
In complete freedom.
My desire: to console You
In the garden of Your sorrow and anguish,
Where You saw all my sins,
And longed to suffer my death.
I love because You love
And awaken hope in me,
Hope that flies in the face of earthly reason
To realms of holiness and joy.
Your grace, showered upon our Race,
By Your Birth,
and by Your Death on the Cross,
Make me welcome.
You bid the Lost come.
Loose all Sin
In clouds of forgiveness
And gracious forgetfulness,
For You remember our sins no more,
Art appeals to the heart on a level that challenges complacency and awakens awe. Hidden in His humility, He in proclaimed by those whose hearts beat with His, and are thus moved to reveal Him in their God- inspired creativity.
My middle name is Concetta. Growing up my mom translated it as “Constance” which I always liked because I felt called to be “constant” in my faith. I think that helped me try harder. This year I looked up “Concetta” and found:
Pronounced: kawn-thep-THYON (Spanish), kawn-sep-SYON (Latin American Spanish)
Means “conception” in Spanish. This name is given in reference to the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary.
What a gift this late in life to find yet another call on my life. I’ve worn the Miraculous Medal since childhood and now I feel a bit closer to the mystery of what God has in mind for me. So I celebrate this day in an even more personal way.
That brings me to the other side of celebration. As I was heading off to Mass for the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception and my Feastday, I was greeted by an icy driveway, and lots of slipping and sliding. Treacherous as the roads and walks were,though, what a delight it was to make it through the church doors and have my heart lifted by the stalwart souls packing the pews. Sacrifice and celebration seem to go hand in hand.
The winds are still blowing outside and now the roads are littered with tumble weed. What joy! Crazy as it my seems, when it costs me a bit, I value the moment all the more.
The Anchoress will catch this first-hand, but for the rest of us, have a look-see:
Writing for newsday.com, John Valenti says, ” More than 1,100 soldiers from the New York National Guard’s Fighting 69th kicked off Manhattan‘s annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade Tuesday morning along Fifth Avenue……With its largest parade contingent ever, the Fighting 69th was led by Ranger Seth Morgulas, 38, of Manhattan, an NYPD mounted contingent, a bagpiper and four formations of troops dressed in Army desert fatigues and black berets adorned with boxwoods — in remembrance of plants worn by unit soldiers for the North back in the Civil War.”
The 69th, first formed in 1849 as the 9th Regiment of the New York State Militia, is an Irish-heritage unit — and has anchored the nation’s best-known St. Patrick’s Day celebration since 1851. Legend in battle dating to the Civil War, where its soldiers harkened a battle cry of “Fág An Bealach” — Gaelic for “Clear the Way” — the contingent from the Fighting 69th this year included 319 soldiers who returned in January from Afghanistan.
St. Patrick’s Day Parade.com: “The parade marches up 5th Avenue, clan by clan, from 44th to 86th streets starting at 11am on St. Patrick’s Day (Tuesday, March 17th)…..The first official parade in the City was held in 1766 by Irishmen in a military unit recruited to serve in the American colonies.”
Update: Old Bishop, New Priest
I’ll be off in a bit to attend the ordination of Jeffrey Steenson. I can only imagine what is going on in his heart and head at this moment. Please say a prayer for Jeff, his family, and his church family, both Anglican and Catholic.
New directions bring mixed blessings for partings are hard. For Jeff, the need to explain his conscientious decision is an integral part of moving forward. “Forward” in God’s grace and plan means continuing to put your hands to the plow and looking back only with gratitude for the gift of the past. Friends, mentors, and teachers, all helped to prepare Jeff for this day. Now is a time of celebration. Now, with the Laying on of Hands, Jeffrey becomes a priest of the Roman Catholic Church. He enters on a new path on the road home. God bless you, soon-to-be, Rev. Fr. Jeffrey Neil Steenson!