Sunday, May 19, 2019

Happy Easter!

He is risen!  He is risen indeed!
Ukranian Easter Eggs!


And by request from my long-time friend, Verga:

Klingon
Krist peplu'ta'
taHbej peplu'ta'

Pronunciation:
H = German ch as in Bach,
apostrophe is a glottal stop
For a longer listing of several languages I refer you here:

Remember, Eastertide lasts until Pentecost Sunday!

It is still Easter season!

This means there is still time for your "Easter duty."

Remembering Fr. Walker

Today, May 19, 2019 is the 7th anniversary of Fr. Walker's ordination. Fr. Walker was gunned down by a robber in their home at the church, Mater Misericordiae (FSSP) in Phoenix, Arizona on June 11, 2014.

Please remember him, his family and the parishners of Mater Misericordiae.

Eternal rest grant unto him, oh Lord and let light perpetual shine upon him. May his soul, and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.

We miss you, Fr. Walker.




Local news story:  on AZ Central.

About a month prior, he was part of my Confirmation during Easter Vigil, April 19, 2014:

Left to right - Fr. Walker, Fr. Terra and Scott Windsor


Jacob Prasch - Questions for Catholics

Questions for Catholics Series:
Prompted by his priest, Scott Windsor responds to James Jacob Prasch (Jacob Prasch) who asks "Five Questions For Catholics" or is it "Thirty-Three Questions For Catholics?"  Prasch, the chief behind Moriel Ministries, is lashing out against Catholicism and is answered in this seven part series:
Part 1 - Should I Believe Mary or the Vatican?
Part 2 - Questions of "Co-"
Part 3 - Purgatory
Part 4 - The Rock 
Part 5 - The Eucharist and John 6
Part 6 - Doctrines of Demons?
Part 7 - Call No Man Father and the Mass



I would also point out, Mr. Prasch's challenge was answered over three years ago, at the time of this posting, and we still have no response from him. He was taken quite ill about the time of the initial responses, which Prasch himself challenged Catholics to engage him as he would like to engage further.  We have heard nothing from him yet, and we trust and pray that he has recovered from the infection which hospitalized him and look forward to his responses.


Saturday, April 27, 2019

Low Sunday

"As the Father has sent Me, I also send you..."


Jesus, speaking to His Apostles, tells them that as the Father sent Him, He also sends them. And the very next line is, "Receive the Holy Ghost... whose sins YOU forgive, they ARE forgiven them..." THIS is why His Apostles, our first bishops, have the authority to forgive sins AND since Jesus sent them to forgive sins - they too must pass on this authority to their successors - our bishops are those successors!  THIS is why our priests, IF they have THIS authority from a valid bishop in succession from the Apostles, can forgive sins at the Sacrament of Reconciliation (aka, the Sacrament of Penance). Those sins THEY do not forgive (are retained) are NOT forgiven ("they are retained"). One who is not of this valid succession has NO AUTHORITY to forgive sins.

THIS is His Divine Mercy, which is what this Sunday is also referred to in the modern lectionary.

The Sunday After Easter is traditionally Low Sunday (Extraordinary Rite).

Some highlights from the Extraordinary Rite:

Introit: 1 Peter 2:2 - "As newborn babies, alleluia, desire the rational mile without guile, alleluia!"
Epistle: 1 John 5:4-10 - "For whatsoever is born of God, overcometh the world: and this is the victory which overcometh the world, our faith. Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God? This is he that came by water and blood, Jesus Christ: not by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit which testifieth, that Christ is the truth.  And there are three who give testimony in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost. And these three are one. And there are three that give testimony on earth: the spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three are one. If we receive the testimony of men, the testimony of God is greater. For this is the testimony of God, which is greater, because he hath testified of his Son. He that believeth in the Son of God, hath the testimony of God in himself. He that believeth not the Son, maketh him a liar: because he believeth not in the testimony which God hath testified of his Son."
The Greater Alleluia: Alleluia, alleluia. On the day of My resurrection, saith the Lord, I will go before you into Galilee. Alleluia. (John 20:26) After eight days, the doors being shut, Jesus stood in the midst of His disciples, and said: Peace be with you. Alleluia.
Gospel: (which is the same for the Ordinary Rite too on this day) John 20:19-31 - "Now when it was late that same day, the first of the week, and the doors were shut, where the disciples were gathered together, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in the midst, and said to them: Peace be to you. And when he had said this, he shewed them his hands and his side. The disciples therefore were glad, when they saw the Lord.
He said therefore to them again: Peace be to you. As the Father hath sent me, I also send you. When he had said this, he breathed on them; and he said to them: Receive ye the Holy Ghost. Whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven them; and whose sins you shall retain, they are retained. Now Thomas, one of the twelve, who is called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came. The other disciples therefore said to him: We have seen the Lord. But he said to them: Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the place of the nails, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe. And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them. Jesus cometh, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said: Peace be to you. Then he saith to Thomas: Put in thy finger hither, and see my hands; and bring hither thy hand, and put it into my side; and be not faithless, but believing. Thomas answered, and said to him: My Lord, and my God.
Jesus saith to him: Because thou hast seen me, Thomas, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and have believed. Many other signs also did Jesus in the sight of his disciples, which are not written in this book. But these are written, that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God: and that believing, you may have life in his name."
Offertory: Matthew 28:2, 5-6 - "An angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and coming, rolled back the stone, and sat upon it. And the angel answering, said to the women: Fear not you; for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here, for he is risen, as he said. Come, and see the place where the Lord was laid."


Friday, April 26, 2019

Friday in the Octave of Easter

For the Octave of Easter (8 days following Easter) each day is considered a solemnity... therefore, today is a....


Your normal Friday penance is lifted because on a solemnity there is no fasting or abstinence!

GENERAL NORMS FOR THE LITURGICAL YEAR

Chapter 1, Title 1, Section III
12. The celebration of the two greatest Solemnities, Easter and the Nativity, is extended over eight days. Each Octave is governed by its own rules.


1983 Code of Canon Law (currently in force)


Can 1250 The penitential days and times in the universal Church are every Friday of the whole year and the season of Lent. 
Can 1251 Abstinence from meat, or from some other food as determined by the Episcopal Conference, is to be observed on all Fridays, unless a solemnity should fall on a Friday. Abstinence and fasting are to be observed on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday.
 
Can 1252 The law of abstinence binds those who have completed their fourteenth year. The law of fasting binds those who have attained their majority, until the beginning of their sixtieth year. Pastors of souls and parents are to ensure that even those who by reason of their age are not bound by the law of fasting and abstinence, are taught the true meaning of penance.

Sunday, April 21, 2019

Happy Easter!


Happy Easter! Today we celebrate the Resurrection of our Lord and Savior! Oh death, where is thy sting? (1 Cor. 15:55-57).

Today is the day which defines us as Christians!  Without the Resurrection, Christianity would be nothing but a fraud. 


HE IS RISEN!

HE IS RISEN, INDEED!

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Palm Sunday

Sorry, I saw this and couldn't resist!  No, Palm Sunday is not a new way of serving dessert! Why do we call this Sunday, Palm Sunday?  This is THE day when Jesus rode into Jerusalem and the people waved palm branches and covered the road into the city with their robes and palms singing "Hosanna in the highest!" When His critics told Him He should have His disciples quiet down and stop with all this, what they considered, disruption - He answered them, "If they remain silent, the very stones would cry out!" (Luke 19:40).
Everyone loves a parade, and while we reflect on this glorious entry into Jerusalem - the Gospel reading for today is the Passion account from Luke (Luke 22:14-23:56)   Sometimes this reading is broken up into a script and read by two to four readers (see this link). It's hard to imagine how we go from this grand entry into the city to four days later the arrest of Jesus on Holy Thursday, His death on Good Friday and then His glorious Resurrection on Easter Sunday.

A point of interest... Riding in on a horse is a sign of glory, pride and victory - yet Jesus rides in on an ass (a donkey, or a colt - the foal of a donkey) as a sign of humility - AND - in fulfillment of the prophecy of Zechariah 9:9! 

Palm Sunday - the LAST WEEK of Lent! Palm Sunday begins Holy Week - the week which changed the world!  No other week in history has had as profound affect on history as Holy Week. Just another thought to meditate upon this week.

So get your palm fronds this Palm Sunday - and save them!  Put them hanging out from behind a picture or crucifix and save them till next year.  Why?  A week or two before next Ash Wednesday you bring them back to church and turn them in - and they are burned to make the ashes for Ash Wednesday!

Some get rather creative with the palm frond folding, take a look at these samples:



Saturday, April 13, 2019

Passion Sunday

OK, I am a bit late in posting this one since Passion Sunday was traditionally LAST Sunday, but according to the new lectionary, Passion and Palm Sunday are now together on the Sunday before Easter.  That being said, as one who prefers the Extraordinary Rite, which still uses the traditional lectionary, I will post this separately from my Palm Sunday entry.

What IS Passion Sunday?

Traditionally, on this Sunday we transfer our thoughts from our own penances to the Passion of Jesus Christ. One of the things we do on this Sunday is cover all our sacred images with purple cloth. The veiling of sacred images removes from our sight the stimuli these bring to mind - and again, allows us to focus on the Passion of the Christ. In our homes and in our churches, these images bring to mind different Saints and their lives as well as various parts of the life of Christ. So seeing them veiled from Passion Sunday through the Easter Vigil (in the church, the veils are removed just as the vigil ends and as the First Mass of Easter begins).

Another way of looking at the veiling of statues, crucifixes and pictures is a sense of mourning, as we mourn the price of our salvation.

An exception to those things veiled... the Stations of the Cross.  These remain unveiled for they are a chief part of the devotions during all of Lent, but especially from Passion Sunday forward to the Easter Vigil.

The fact that in the new lectionary Passion and Palm Sunday are together on Palm Sunday saddens me. Why combine the two? There is a ton of devotional differences between the two Sundays, and well, where Passion Sunday is not observed in its place - the Fifth Sunday of Lent, and the Sunday before Palm Sunday - a rich piece of our heritage is lost.

I also noticed in some churches, they began veiling sacred images on Ash Wednesday. That has a similar meaning - but again, it takes away from Passion Sunday.  Our family still practices covering the sacred images (statues and pictures) around our house on Passion Sunday and they stay there until we return from Easter Vigil, or until just before we leave for Easter Sunday Mass.  Also, another irony I noticed at a church for Palm Sunday - where the only thing sacred which was veiled (throughout Lent) was the tabernacle - and for Palm Sunday the veil was removed!

Let us pray for a return of and to our heritage!  Even if the churches do not do it, we can do it in our homes.

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

A Must See

If you have not seen this video, A Wolf in Sheep's Clothing, you really MUST see it!  They broadcast it periodically on EWTN, and you can purchase a copy (see link below) which I have also done and I loan my copy out to friends and family. If you appreciate what you see in this video, please consider purchasing your own copy too in support of more information like this...



To purchase your own copy of this production, click here or the Amazon link below:


Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Most Chaste Heart


Most Chaste Heart of St. Joseph

Oh, Most Chaste Heart of St. Joseph, wounded by the ingratitude of men, wounded by those who do not understand, and by those who do not accept the Lord as their God and Savior, those who offend you by offending the Heavenly Mother, we pray and consecrate ourselves to your Most Chaste Heart asking for peace and blessing to be given to the world And as reparation for the sins committed against your Heart, we consecrate this day of prayer to you. Oh, Most Chaste Heart of St. Joseph, pray for us and have mercy on us sinners, now, and at the hour of our death, Amen.





Consecration Prayer to the Three Sacred Hearts

Sacred Heart of Jesus,The Three Sacred Hearts
Immaculate Heart of Mary
and Chaste Heart of St. Joseph,
I consecrate to you this day
my mind +, my words +,
my body +, my heart + and soul +,
so that your will be done
through me this day.
Amen.
+Make the Sign of the Cross




Litany to the Most Chaste Heart of St. Joseph

Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.
Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.


God the Father of Heaven
have mercy on us.

God the Son, Redeemer of the World
have mercy on us.

God the Holy Spirit, Illuminator of Souls
have mercy on us.

Holy Trinity, One God
have mercy on us.

Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, 
have mercy on us.

Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us.
Most Chaste Heart of St. Joseph, pray for us.

Chaste Heart of Joseph, sanctified in the womb,
Chaste Heart of Joseph, graced with holy reasoning,
Chaste Heart of Joseph, graced with charity,
Chaste Heart of Joseph, son of David,
Chaste Heart of Joseph, who knew much anxiety and sorrow,
Chaste Heart of Joseph, who communed with angels in dreams,
Chaste Heart of Joseph, protector of the Blessed Virgin Mary,
Chaste Heart of Joseph, guardian of Christ,

Chaste Heart of Joseph, companion of joyful hearts,
Chaste Heart of Joseph, help of husbands and fathers,
Chaste Heart of Joseph, health of the sick,
Chaste Heart of Joseph, father to orphans,
Chaste Heart of Joseph, united to the Hearts of Jesus and Mary,
Chaste Heart of Joseph, beloved servant of God,
Chaste Heart of Joseph, heart of workers,
Chaste Heart of Joseph, most obedient to God’s Will,
Chaste Heart of Joseph, filled with holy love,
Chaste Heart of Joseph, most innocent,
Chaste Heart of Joseph, most faithful,
Chaste Heart of Joseph, most hopeful,
Chaste Heart of Joseph, most joyful,
Chaste Heart of Joseph, most humble,

Chaste Heart of Joseph, help of Christians,
Chaste Heart of Joseph, refuge of sinners,
Chaste Heart of Joseph, terror of demons,
Chaste Heart of Joseph, defender against lies and heresies,
Chaste Heart of Joseph, friend of the angels,
Chaste Heart of Joseph, consoler of the dying,

Heart of St. Joseph, Prince of Patriarchs,
Heart of St. Joseph, Prince of Confessors,
Heart of St. Joseph, Prince of All Saints,
Heart of St. Joseph, Prince of the Church,

Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, spare us O Lord.

Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, graciously hear us, O Lord.

Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.

Pray for us, O Most Chaste Heart of Joseph, that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

O God, who by Your power and love did fashion and form the Heart of St. Joseph to be in likeness to the Hearts of Jesus and Mary, grant, we beg You, that what of ourselves we cannot possibly obtain may, through the Most Chaste Heart of Joseph, be granted to us by Thee who livest and reignest, God forever and ever. + Amen.

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Second Sunday of Lent

Lent is our season of Exodus. The Hebrews spent 40 years in the desert with Moses before they could enter into the Promised Land. Jesus spent 40 days fasting in the desert before He entered into Holy Week - His Passion and death - and our redemption. We spend 40 days in penance in remembrance of our Lord and His 40 days of preparation for the jubilation of Palm Sunday, the trials of Holy Week and the glory of His Resurrection on Easter Sunday. 

The readings for the Second Sunday in Lent include the Transfiguration of our Lord. Jesus went up on the mountain with Peter, James and John and while there they were joined by Moses and Elijah, each of whom had their own Exodus as well. Of course we know of the Exodus of Moses from the Book of Exodus, which he wrote. When Moses went up on the mountain and saw God, the glory of God was reflected in his face that his face shown bright (Exodus 34:29-35) so bright that Aaron and the others could not look upon it. This radiance was just the reflection of God - but when Jesus went upon the mount and the Transfiguration took place, His face radiated and so did His clothes - not in reflection, but as the source of the Light (Luke 9:29). They saw Jesus speaking with Moses and Elijah and then a voice from Heaven stated, "This is My beloved Son, in Whom I am well pleased" (Luke 9:35). The Apostles with Him fell to the ground and when they looked up, Moses and Elijah were gone.  Elijah's Exodus was a bit different, as he did not experience death, but was just taken into Heaven (2 Kings 2:11). Moses was at the mount to represent the Law, Elijah was there to represent the Prophets. They were there with Jesus to show the fulfillment of the Law and the Prophets in Jesus, the Christ. 

So as Lent proceeds we are reminded of this glorious event of Transfiguration - with God revealing Himself through His Son as a reminder that He is the Light of the World. As our struggles through this life proceed and as we travel through Lent offering up our little sacrifice(s) as a constant reminder through this season of what Jesus went through for us - we are assured of the Resurrection and the Promise.

This year the Feast of St. Patrick also falls on this Sunday, but his feast day is superseded by the Second Sunday of Lent. I will conclude this entry with an Irish prayer:

May God give you...
For every storm, a rainbow,
For every tear, a smile,
For every care, a promise,
And a blessing in each trial.
For every problem life sends,
A faithful friend to share,
For every sigh, a sweet song,
And an answer for each prayer.

Saturday, March 09, 2019

First Sunday of Lent


Lent began last Wednesday, which of course was Ash Wednesday. It is traditional to do penance during Lent, or "give up something" for Lent. While this practice is not a requirement, it is a very pious and can be very healthy, both spiritually and physically - depending on what you "gave up." So, how are you doing so far? I know, it has been less that a week, but sometimes those first few days are the hardest. Be of good cheer! Even if you "messed up" already, don't give up! Remember, it is not a requirement - and remember WHY you are doing it!

Why Do We Do Penance for Lent?

Simply stated, Jesus did a forty (40) day penance (fasting) prior to Palm Sunday. He knew what the next week (Holy Week, as we now call it) would hold in store for Him. We all know what He went through - FOR US - so remembering not only the forty days Jesus "offered up" - but also His Passion and death on the Cross, THIS is why we have "offered up" a small sacrifice, or penance, for the forty days of Lent. Each time we would have had that cup of coffee or drank that soda or ate that chocolate or ate that red meat, etc. we should bring our thoughts, even if just for a moment, upon the penance and suffering Christ went through on our behalf. When you would have had that donut at breakfast time just say "Thank you, Jesus!" and do or have something else. 

No Meat on Fridays!

Yes, no meat at all on Fridays during Lent (Ash Wednesday too but that has past now). This penance (something offered up) is a practice which ALL Catholics MUST do during Lent. Keeping in mind, ALL Fridays throughout the year we are still required to do penance (or an act of charity) and prior to 1966 that Friday penance HAD to be abstinence from meat. Now it doesn't HAVE to be meat, but it has to be SOMETHING and while it doesn't HAVE to be meat, it CAN be! So, if you HAVE to do something on EVERY FRIDAY THROUGHOUT THE YEAR, why not hold to the traditional penance of abstaining from meat? As mentioned earlier, it CAN be an act of charity, but one should exercise caution in selecting this because it is not something you do every-so-often, but EVERY Friday. Say your act of charity is to visit a nursing home and talk with the residents, fine, but be sure you do it EVERY FRIDAY! "For every Friday is like a "little Good Friday." If you're not being consistent with what you choose - then are you really picking something which you will offer up ALL Fridays throughout the year?

Is There an Exception to the Every Friday Rule?

Yes! IF a solemnity falls on a Friday then there is no fasting or abstinence requirement for a solemnity is like a Sunday, which is a celebratory day in remembrance of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. Every Sunday is like a "little Easter," Likewise, whatever it is you have offered up for Lent you do not need to offer it up on Sundays (and shouldn't) because in celebrating your "little Easter" every week you should not be suffering.

Have a Great Lent!

Our Eastern brethren begin Lent this Sunday (they don''t do Ash Wednesday) and their Lenten penance is far more strict than typically observed in the Latin Church, more on that in a later posting. For all Christians, please have a great Lent and remember WHY we "offer up" what we do during this season.

AMDG

Saturday, March 02, 2019

Quinquagesima Sunday

Today marks 50 days until Easter Sunday.  Lent begins this Wednesday. Have you given thought as to what you will be offering up for your Lenten penance?  While it is not an absolute requirement, beyond the mandated days of fasting and abstinence (Ash Wednesday and all Fridays during Lent) it is a wholesome practice to offer something up during Lent - and when you would have partaken in that which you have given up, let your thoughts focus even more intently on what Jesus offered up for you.

Forty days of Lent, beginning on Ash Wednesday (and not counting Sundays, for all Sundays, even during Lent, are not days of fasting - but feast days) until Easter Sunday. On these days we are reminded of the 40 days Jesus spent fasting in the wilderness before He entered into His Passion. Remember Him as you do penance this Lent.


Epistle: 1 Cor. 13:1-13 The greatest of these is love.
Gospel: Luke 18:31-43 Receive thy sight!
[Extraordinary Rite]

Thursday, February 28, 2019

Added the Canons of the Council of Trullo

THE 102 CANONS OF The COUNCIL OF TRULLO - 692 AD (Orthodox)

   This council is also known as the Quinisext Council. It was held at Constantinople under Justinian II. Trullo/Quinisext was only attended by Eastern bishops and is not recognized by the West/Latin Church. 

This addition was made to the Church Councils page (see navigation at top of this blog or click here).


Wednesday, February 27, 2019

To Intinct or Not to Intinct?

That is the question!  Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to dip the Sacred Host into the Precious Blood in reminiscence of His Suffering for our outrageous fortune; or to take the Body and Blood separately... Okay, enough Shakespearean word-play... The question of intinction, the Eastern practice of dipping the Body (bread) into the Blood (wine) for distribution to the faithful is a worthy question. The traditional practice of the Latin Rite of the Catholic Church is to distribute the two separately. What does Scripture say?

Of the four Gospels, three of them actually spell out the form to be used in the celebration of Eucharist. Matt. 26:26-28; Mark 14:22-24 and Luke 22:19-20 are the specific verses which command the process of consecrating and distributing the Eucharist. The Gospel of John does not spell it out, but does describe the identifying of Judas as the one who would betray Him in John 13:21-27, which Matthew and Mark also include BEFORE the Eucharist in Matt. 26:21-25 and Mark 14:18-21.  Some point to John 13:26-27 for a reference to intinction, but again - according to Matthew and Mark, that "dipping" took place BEFORE the institution of the Eucharist, which John does not record.

When discussing a similar topic with an Orthodox priest (a discussion on leavened v. unleavened bread) he stated " there's a reason the Orthodox do NOT change what we have been commanded to do in the Eucharist." He condescendingly adds,  "The west loves novelty, though." It would seem it is the Orthodox who have introduced novelty to the institution of the Sacrament of sacraments, not the west here.

Personally, I do not have a problem with intinction. It is a fine and pious practice of our Eastern brethren.





Monday, February 25, 2019

Bread or Unleavened Bread?


I was reading through Facebook today, and a posting from an Orthodox priest, Fr. John Peck (Peck, 2018) came up and drew my attention. The subject being whether the Eucharist should be of unleavened bread or just bread. The article   Many of the facts in that article come from a discussion board (Antonios, 2007), which Fr. Peck also cites. The main point being made by Fr. Peck's article is that in Greek there are specific words for unleavened bread, "azymos," and for bread it is "artos." The points in Scripture which refer to the Eucharist use the word "artos."
That being said, at the Last Supper - the first Eucharist - Jesus was celebrating Passover with the Apostles - and it would have been unleavened bread (azymos) used, regardless of how the writers of the Scripture translated it.

The point of leavened or unleavened bread became a theological sticking point between East and West. Eastern Orthodoxy stood firmly on "artos" - or regular bread, while the Latin Church stood just as firmly on unleavened bread, or "azymos." A derogatory slang used by the Orthodox for the Latins was (is?) "Azymites," for the used unleavened bread (Peck, 2018).  In the Eastern Rites of the Catholic Church, they too use "artos" - or regular/daily bread.

In the humble opinion of this blogger, to draw line in the sand over this was a bit too much. Whether it is azymos or artos, when Jesus holds up the host and declares "This IS My body" - it IS His body! I speak in present tense on purpose because when the priest consecrates the Eucharist, it is not merely he standing there, but Christ Himself, and is why when he declares, "this IS My body," it is truly the body of Christ, not that of the priest - but I digress. My point is, let us not be divided over this! In the Latin Rite of the Catholic Church the valid form for the host is unleavened bread (azymos). By the same token, for the Eastern Rites within that very same Catholic Church, the valid form is regular or daily bread (artos). These rites co-exist just fine, as should both Catholics and Orthodox. We should focus on how much we are alike and not squabble over minor distinctions, like this. There are good reasons and valid arguments on both sides of the leavened/unleavened debate.

References

Peck, J. (2018, March 10). Eucharistic Bread: Leavened or Unleavened? · All Saints of North America Orthodox Church · Phoenix, Arizona. Retrieved from https://arizonaorthodox.com/eucharistic-bread-leavened-unleavened/?fbclid=IwAR25IXUEvfdQ_gdFBdAppBV5Psvims30KZXlQDDnbUJS9kmxWsqKu70EkNA

Antonios. (2007). Leavened bread for communion. Discussion Board: Manchos.net. http://www.monachos.net/conversation/topic/1728-leavened-bread-for-communion/



Sexagesima Sunday

Sexagesima Sunday is the second Sunday before Lent and eight Sundays before Easter. "The name was already known to the Fourth Council of Orléans in 541" (Mershman, 1912). The name literally means "60" as in 60 days before Easter - which is not literally accurate. The name was likely taken (and same for Septuagesima Sunday) based upon the literally accurate Quinquagesima (50) which is actually 49 days before Easter, 50 if you count Easter Sunday (Richert, 2018). Traditionally, this marked the start of preparation for the season of Lent, which begins on Ash Wednesday.

References
Mershman, F. (1912). Sexagesima. In The Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. Retrieved from New Advent: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/13747a.htm

Richert, S. (2018). What are Septuagesima, Sexagesima, and Quinquagesima Sundays?  ThoughtCo. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/what-is-septuagesima-sunday-542437

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Septuagesima Sunday

Why do we call this Sunday, Septuagesima Sunday? Because in the very early days of the Church (as recorded in the First Council at Orleans, 511 AD), some pious Christian congregations began fasting 70 days before Easter.
In the Extraordinary Rite, the vestments have gone back to purple, like in Advent and Lent, because these are days of penance. Unlike the obligatory Lenten penance, during Septuagesima (as well as Sexagesima and Quinquagesima and Quadragesima) this is a period of devotional penance. Extra penance is not required, but is recommended. As such, these penances help get one "into the spirit" of Lent - which begins on Ash Wednesday.

The traditional readings for today are 1 Corinthians 9:24-10:5 - The prize of salvation is compared to running in a race - and we are taught to run as to win that race. And the Gospel is from Matthew 20:1-16 with the parable of the workers being sent into the vineyard to do work for the price of a denarius (or penny). Some of the workers, the owner found at the beginning of the day, but he kept going out and finding more workers. Finally, during the last hour he found still more - and told them to go into the field and they would be given a fair wage. When the day was ended the owner said to his foreman to bring in the workers and pay them from the last ones in to the first - and each one was given the same reward for their work. Those who had been there all day resented the fact that those who came in at the end of the day received the same payment as they did. The owner simply told them that they were not cheated, he paid them what they agreed upon and who are they to question the generosity of the owner?  If he chooses to be charitable to those who only worked an hour, sobeit, they had no right to complain. The analogy here can be that even those who convert to Christ on their deathbed will receive the same reward as those who have been living a faithful life their whole life - eternal life is eternal life!

Under the new lectionary this Sunday is called "The Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time." For those who have been reading this blog for a while, you know how I feel about calling this period of time "Ordinary," when it is anything BUT "ordinary." The term "ordinary" comes from the same root as "ordinal" which means "counting." Traditionally speaking then, this would be the Sixth Sunday after Epiphany - because we are "counting" the weeks after the great Feast of Epiphany. Later in the year then we "count" the weeks after Pentecost, which takes us to the end of the liturgical year - and the new year begins with Advent. In the new lectionary the remembrance of Pentecost is all but forgotten and the "ordinary" days continue their "counting" from where we left off prior to Lent. 

Monday, February 11, 2019

Who I Am To God

Yesterday my wife and I went to the Byzantine church in Gilbert, Az - St. Thomas. The sermon was on the parable of the Pharisee and the Publican (Tax Collector) [from Luke 18:9-14]. The Ukrainian pastor taught on who we are to God; are we the Pharisee, who boasts only of his own praises - or the Tax Collector, who would not even raise his eyes to Heaven in his humility saying "Oh God, be merciful to me a sinner." 

9 And to some who trusted in themselves as just, and despised others, he spoke also this parable:
10 Two men went up into the temple to pray: the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican.
11 The Pharisee standing, prayed thus with himself: O God, I give thee thanks that I am not as the rest of men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, as also is this publican.
12 I fast twice in a week: I give tithes of all that I possess.
13 And the publican, standing afar off, would not so much as lift up his eyes towards heaven; but struck his breast, saying: O God, be merciful to me a sinner.
14 I say to you, this man went down into his house justified rather than the other: because every one that exalteth himself, shall be humbled: and he that humbleth himself, shall be exalted. [DRB]
How do we approach God in prayer and confession?  Do we truly come to Him in humility?  When we confess our sins, do we have a true resolve to never commit the sin again? What steps have we taken to remove the near occasion of sin?  If you're not taking steps to remove the near occasion of sin - your confession may be invalid! How sincere are you in your promise to never commit that sin again if you continue to keep yourself in the face of the temptation of that near occasion?  

Thoughts to consider...


Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Christmas is ALMOST over!


Yes, it is STILL Christmastide!  The Season of Christmas lasts until Candlemas - which is February 2nd. This is the Feast of the Presentation of Our Lord and is also the Feast of the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary (not that she needed purification - but she needed to fulfill the law). It is 40 days after the birth of our Lord.


So. let me get it in at least one more time this season:

MERRY CHRISTMAS!






Something else is observed on this day... it has to do with a groundhog named  Punxsutawney Phil. The Pennsylvania Dutch legend has it - if Phil sees his shadow there will be 6 more weeks of Winter; if he does not see his shadow - it will be an early Spring (weather-wise).

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Tattoos and Leviticus


Someone I know mentioned he was considering getting a tattoo and I didn't say anything except Leviticus 19:28. I didn't quote it, I just cited it and said nothing else.  The response I got follows in green and my further response follows...
Ok, thanks for that verse in Leviticus, but just curious, did you read the entire chapter?  
Yes, I have read the whole chapter - and I do not find it lacking.
And to carry it a step further, it says not to wear clothes made of two different materials and not to eat meat with blood in it. So are you saying that we need to wear only pure cotton or pure leather type clothes?  Most clothing is a blend nowadays and that means no more steak or burgers or pork, ect. They all have blood. There are many laws that we as humans break in this one chapter. 
It is not really fair to pull the examples you have made out of context.  There are at least 38 rules or laws mentioned in Leviticus 19.

The law about not mixing materials has a couple different answers. According to My Jewish Learning the main reason for difference in clothing was primarily for the Jewish identity, to not do as the Gentiles did. "The ancient rabbis taught that maintaining their distinctive dress in Egypt was one of the reasons the Jews were worthy of being rescued from servitude" (MJL, 2003).

"Shatnez" is what this is called... and that is the sewing together of linen and wool. I found a couple reasons for not sewing these together.  One reason is that one will shrink and the other will not - so stitching them together will ruin the garment. Another reason, which doesn't really state the reason except that the Torah says it, is that because it is in the Torah - Jews cannot do it - "we can never truly understand the entire reason for this Mitzvah" (Being Jewish, 2017). Again, according to Being Jewish, one can where linen and wool at the same time, so long as they are not sewn together (2017).
 
Now, to the subject of eating meat without the blood drained... 
Well, first off - during the slaughtering of an animal the "life-blood" is drained off. The "red liquid" you see coming from, say a steak, is not blood!  That red liquid is mostly water and myoglobin.
Myoglobin is a protein that stores oxygen in muscle cells, very similar to its cousin, hemoglobin, that stores oxygen in red blood cells.  This is necessary for muscles which need immediate oxygen for energy during frequent, continual usage.  Myoglobin is highly pigmented, specifically red; so the more myoglobin, the redder the meat will look and the darker it will get when you cook it (Hiskey, 2016).
So steak and pork, etc. are not against Leviticus 19.
Not necessarily giving an excuse, more so looking for a explanation of how to look at this chapter in its entirety. Then we can talk about other things, like women not speaking in church, how are so many women pastors? Or even lead Worship? Just was saying I was thinking about getting a tattoo, not that I was.
Well again, there are at least 38 rules or laws in Leviticus 19 - most of them I am sure you support whole-heartedly, like do not slander (Lev. 19:16); do not steal (Lev. 19:11); etc., etc. The point is that Leviticus 19:28 clearly says we are not to mark our bodies, period. 
And did you ever speak to (name withheld) about tattoos? All of her kids have them and she has wanted one too. And (name withheld) has 3, how does someone who never knew about this verse go about the fact that they already have them? Many questions...
To be culpable of a sin you must be aware that it is a sin - and then have gone forward with it anyway with full knowledge and forethought. Consider the woman caught in adultery - she likely even knew it was a sin, but Jesus did not condemn her - he forgave her and then told her to "go and sin no more." (John 8:1-11) Having a tattoo prior to knowing God's Word says not to get one does not keep one out of Heaven. 

Some argue that the modern form of tattooing is not addressed in Lev. 19:28 - but as for me - knowing what this verse says, I could not get a tattoo.

References:

Being Jewish. (2017, December 18). Clothing Mixtures: The Commandment of Shatnez. Retrieved from http://www.beingjewish.com/mitzvos/shatnez.html 

Hiskey, D. (2016, March 04). The Red Juice in Raw Red Meat is Not Blood. Retrieved from http://www.todayifoundout.com/index.php/2010/04/the-red-juice-in-raw-red-meat-is-not-blood/ 
 
MJL. (2003, September 25). Jewish Clothing. Retrieved from https://www.myjewishlearning.com/article/jewish-clothing/