Tuesday, June 21, 2022

Double Solemnities of the Sacred Heart and Nativity of St John the Baptist

Solemnities of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and St. John the Baptist

This Friday, June 24, 2022 – is a double-solemnity! The Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, Solemnity; The Nativity of St. John the Baptist, Solemnity. This is also the final "Cheeseburger Friday" of this liturgical year.

Cheeseburger Friday This is a great opportunity, for those of you who abstain from meat on ALL FRIDAYS of the year, not just during Lent (per Canon Law 1251) and have friends and family who are aware of your abstinence - and they see you eating a cheeseburger (or steak, or chicken, or pork, etc.) and they question you about it. "Why are you eating meat today, it's Friday!" This opens the door for you to explain the fact that this Friday is not just *A* solemnity, but a *DOUBLE* solemnity - and on *ANY* solemnity it is treated like a Sunday (all Sundays are like "little Easters") and there is no fasting or penance (like abstinence) on Sundays *OR* solemnities. As mentioned earlier, this is the final "Cheeseburger Friday" for this liturgical year.

This may also lead to the discussion of why you abstain from meat on Fridays, throughout the year. Your answer can be "Just like every Sunday is a 'little Easter' - every Friday is like a 'little Good Friday' when we remember the day our Lord died for our sins. Every time we would have had that piece of meat on a Friday, we should make a little meditation on *WHY* we are not eating meat - and it is to recall the Passion and Death of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Now, while it is true - one does not *HAVE* to abstain from meat on all Fridays - *BUT* - you *MUST* do something equivalent, be it abstaining from something else *OR* participating in one of the Corporal Works of Mercy (see below). That said, you should remain consistent in what your regular Friday penance is. Again, this is part of what is said in Canon 1251 of Canon Law (see below). This canon is still in force for all non-Eastern rite Catholics - so we are ALL obliged to obey this under the penalty of mortal sin. 

Since we all HAVE to do this and it must be something equivalent to meat - why not just stick with meat?! Having fish-fries on Fridays is like a Catholic identity! Help bring it back! Share this with your friends!

So what is different about Ash Wednesday and Fridays during Lent as opposed to ALL Fridays throughout the year? On Ash Wednesday and Good Friday during Lent we are to abstain from meat (and it HAS to be abstinence from meat during Lent, no alternatives) AND fast (one full meal plus two smaller snacks which, if combined, do not add up to a full meal). On the rest of the Friday of Lent and Fridays throughout the year it is only abstinence, not fasting. Again, see Canon 1251 (below).



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Monday, June 20, 2022

Pope Francis Resigning - More Likely Now?

 About a year and a half ago I posted speculation of Pope Francis resigning - granted, and openly stated that the claims were "rumors" and a bit questionable and I took a "wait and see" approach. Well, while still not officially announced - Pope Francis' health has been getting more concerning as of late, and according to a TMZ article, he cancelled a planned visit to Africa and also just called in the cardinals he recently appointed (and one could speculate on specifics here, but let's not).

That said, other agencies are saying the resignation of Pope Francis "seems unlikely." Another says, "no one expects the Pope to die or resign anytime soon." Or, "resignation rumors are 'cheap soap opera'," The Boston Pilot says.

Now, the fact that Pope Francis is most often seen in wheelchair can be explained by the fact that he is experiencing severe knee pain, unlike when Pope John Paul II succumbed to a wheelchair as Parkinson's took more and more of a role. 

For now - and again - this observer will continue with the "wait-and-see" approach.

Thursday, June 16, 2022

A Not-So-Ordinary Time


Ordinal Time is Anything BUT Ordinary!

Solemnities of the Catholic Church this year:

  • Sunday, June 12, 2022 – The Most Holy Trinity, Solemnity
  • Thursday, June 16, 2022 – Corpus Christi, Solemnity
  • Friday, June 24, 2022 – The Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, Solemnity; The Nativity of St. John the Baptist, Solemnity
  • Wednesday, June 29, 2022 – Saints Peter and Paul, Solemnity
  • Monday, August 15, 2022 – The Assumption of Mary, Solemnity
  • Wednesday, November 2, 2022 – All Souls’ Day
  • Sunday, November 20, 2022 – Solemnity of Christ the King

Then there are important Feast Days:

  • Thursday, June 23, 2022 - Nativity of St. John the Baptist (Joined to the Most Sacred Heart solemnity)
  • Saturday, August 6, 2022 - The Transfiguration of the Lord
  • Monday, August 22, 2022 - The Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary
  • Wednesday, September 14, 2022 - The Exaltation of the Holy Cross
  • Thursday, September 15, 2022 - Our Lady of Sorrows
  • Friday, October 7, 2022 - Our Lady of the Rosary
  • Tuesday, November 1, 2022 - All Saints Day
  • Monday, November 21, 2022 - The Presentation of the Virgin Mary

Now, these are just the solemnities and important feast days - this list does not include all the memorials to Saints throughout this Ordinal Time. So, you can see we have plenty of beyond-ordinary celebrations during the Season After Pentecost - or Ordinal Time - and this is why it is argued that we should stop calling this period (and the Season After Epiphany too) "Ordinary Time" - for as has been said many times now, this season is ANYTHING BUT ORDINARY!

Yes, these are "counting weeks," hence the name "ordinal" is used, for "ordinal" refers to order, or a counted period of time - such as the weeks after Pentecost. And yes, "ordinary" comes from the same root, but in modern English usage, "ordinary" refers to something common, or nothing special - when there are plenty of special celebrations during Ordinal Time!

If you agree, click on the "SHARE" buttons below and help spread the word and perhaps if enough of us are talking about it, we can see a return to calling these "counting weeks" as "Ordinal Time."



#Ordinal #OrdinaryTime #extraordinary


Saturday, June 11, 2022

New Bishop of Phoenix in August

Pope Francis has named Auxiliary Bishop John Dolan of San Diego to become the next Bishop of Phoenix, starting in August 2022.

Bishop John Dolan

Cardinal Francis George, 1937-2015

Bp. Dolan has been hailed as an "LGBT-positive priest" back in 2016 by "New Ways Ministry," hereafter NWM (Shine, 2016). The group, NWM, does not represent official Catholic teaching and their founders have been removed from any pastoral work with the LBGT community. The late Cardinal George said of NWM, “I wish to make it clear that, like other groups that claim to be Catholic but deny central aspects of Church teaching, New Ways Ministry has no approval or recognition from the Catholic Church and that they cannot speak on behalf of the Catholic faithful in the United States,” (CNA, 2010).

So, why do I bring this up now? He's not even in the office yet, it was just announced yesterday, so why am I on this topic already? Well, let me just say I am willing to give Bp. Dolan a chance, and I hope and pray he does not stray from official Catholic teaching. He has openly stated that he does not "draw a line in the sand" and prefers open dialog (Long-Garcia, 2022) - so let us pray this is true and while he has compassion for the LBGT community - he also has compassion for those who stand for orthodoxy in Catholic teaching.

That said, I do not oppose the LBGT community and their right to exist as American citizens. However, when it comes to the teaching of the Catholic Church it is quite clear, as stated in the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC):

Tradition has always declared that homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered.  Under no circumstance can they be approved. (Catholic Church, 1997, para. 2357)

Hence, we come to the teaching of "hate the sin, love the sinner" (Clowes, 2020). While we cannot condone homosexual acts as moral, we should approach those prone to same-sex attraction with compassion and support, as the CCC also teaches:

 The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible.  This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial.  They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity.

By virtues of self-mastery that teach them [persons with same-sex attraction] inner freedom, at times by the support of disinterested friendship, by prayer and sacramental grace, they can and should gradually and resolutely approach Christian perfection (Catholic Church, 1997, para. 2358-2359).

"Christian perfection" does not include one who openly or willingly embraces that which is "intrinsically disordered." There can be no doubt that some are attracted to those of the same sex. The mere attraction itself does not constitute sin, only acting upon the attraction can or does.

I am not aware of any glaring opposition to official Catholic teaching - let us hope and pray it never comes to that - and Bp. Dolan will continue to have my support.

I welcome your comments.




Catholic Church. (1997). Catechism of the Catholic Church: Revised in accordance with the official Latin text promulgated by Pope John Paul II (2nd ed.). Washington, D.C.: United States Catholic Conference.

Clowes, B. (2020). What does the Catholic Church teach about homosexuality? Human Life International. https://www.hli.org/resources/catholic-church-on-homosexuality/

CNA, (2010). New Ways Ministry not approved by Catholic Church, Cardinal George states. Catholic News Agency. https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/18668/new-ways-ministry-not-approved-by-catholic-church-cardinal-george-states

Long-Garcia, J.D., (2022). Phoenix’s newly appointed bishop John Dolan ‘likes to dialogue, rather than shut things down’. America, The Jesuit Review. https://www.americamagazine.org/faith/2022/06/10/bishop-john-dolan-appointed-phoenix-243139

Shine, R., (2016). Pope Francis appoints LGBT-positive priest as auxiliary bishop in San Diego. New Ways Ministry. https://www.newwaysministry.org/2017/05/27/pope-francis-appoints-lgbt-positive-priest-as-auxiliary-bishop-in-san-diego/

Monday, June 06, 2022

Shavuot Ends

Today marks the end of Shavuot - the Celebration of Weeks on the Jewish calendar which is directly tied to Passover. We commonly refer to this as "Pentecost" which is "50 Days" (7 weeks) after Passover, or for Christians - Easter. The Jewish Shavuot had as one of its original meanings - the feast of the harvest - the first fruits. Also, in the oral tradition of the Jews Shavuot, being 50 days after the Passover, was celebrated as the day Moses presented the people of Israel with the Torah - or perhaps the 10 Commandments.

The bottom line for Christians is, it was for Shavuot that Jews from all over the world were gathered in Jerusalem. When the Holy Ghost came down upon the Apostles and they began speaking in other tongues, it was in the native tongues of all these people from around the world! They all heard the Apostles speaking in THEIR language!

Thousands would convert to the Catholic Church that day as the Apostles, filled with the courage of the Holy Ghost preached, fearlessly, the Gospel of our Lord, Jesus Christ.

What Is Pentecost?


Sunday, June 05, 2022

Happy Birthday to the Catholic Church!

 It is Pentecost! The birth of the Catholic Church! Come Holy Ghost, Creator blessed, and in our hearts take up Thy rest!

Saturday, June 04, 2022

Scripture of the Week

From my professor:

 Here is some scripture for motivation this week!

"Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong." -1 Corinthians 16:13

I reply:

With this Sunday being Pentecost Sunday, we are reminded of the Holy Ghost descending upon the Apostles, filling them with the courage to speak to the crowds whom they had previously been hiding from. When we stand firm in the faith, we have security in knowing the Holy Ghost is with us too, so we need to be courageous and strong, as St. Paul encourages us.

Thank you for this verse and the encouragement to remain courageous and strong!

As we reflect upon how we spent our Eastertide, now that it is drawing to a close, ponder on what we accomplished, and what we could have done better so that we can be better prepared for next Eastertide. Some of that preparation we need to incorporate into our daily walk as we go into ordinal time. It is all part of the process of becoming more Christlike - or saints.