30 April 2012

Deus Gratia! Summorum Pontificum in the Tallahassee Area

30 APRIL 2012. On this day, the feast day of Saint Pope Pius V, the Summorum Pontificum returned to the eastern half of the Diocese of Pensacola-Tallahassee, after a years long hiatus. Thank you to Archbishop Thomas Wenski for insisting on the reinstitution of the extraordinary form of the Holy Liturgy of the Church, in this mission corner of the Catholic world.

At 7:00 p.m. this evening, Father Hector R. G. Perez Y Robles, STD celebrated a low mass at St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church in Quincy, Florida, returning the oral expression of the the Holy Church's mother tongue to this area for the first time in several years. 

Father Nicholas Schumm, administrator of St Thomas the Apostle, and one of the several wonderful young priests that we have been blessed with in this diocese, was a welcoming and gracious host for the mass, which will be held at least once monthly at the Church. 

Mark your calendars now, the next extraordinary form mass will be 18 June at 7:00 p.m.

29 April 2012

Good Shepherd Sunday

29 April 2012. Today the Church celebrates the fourth Sunday of Easter, or what is commonly referred to as Good Shepherd Sunday. Today's Gospel reading comes from the Gospel of St. John (10:11-18) which provides for us Jesus' self-proclamation as the Good Shepherd.

Although a passage that is often referred to in Christian life (the image of Christ as the Good Shepherd is found in the earliest catacomb artworks), this selection for St. John's Gospel bears repeating.
I am the good shepherd.
A good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.
A hired man, who is not a shepherd
and whose sheep are not his own,
sees a wolf coming and leaves the sheep and runs away,
and the wolf catches and scatters them.
This is because he works for pay and has no concern for the sheep.
I am the good shepherd,
and I know mine and mine know me,
just as the Father knows me and I know the Father;
and I will lay down my life for the sheep.
I have other sheep that do not belong to this fold.
These also I must lead, and they will hear my voice,
and there will be one flock, one shepherd.
This is why the Father loves me,
because I lay down my life in order to take it up again.
No one takes it from me, but I lay it down on my own.
I have power to lay it down, and power to take it up again.
This command I have received from my Father.
I pray to be a sheep who truly knows Christ "just as the Father knows [Jesus] and [He] know[s] the Father." It is this interior life of God--the relationship between Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, existing in perfect unison in the one person of God and in one Divine Will--that Jesus proclaims all of His sheep will share in as they know Him and He knows them.

God help us all to be truly sheep of our Good Shepherd.

Image: Tomb showing Christ as the good shepherd at the central cemetery of Kufstein, middle of the 19th century.

19 April 2012

Seven Years On . . .

19 APRIl 2012. Seven years ago today, in the wake of the sadness following the loss of the great Pope Blessed John Paul II, joy rang out in Vatican City and those momentous words echoed once again through space and time: "Habemus Papam!"

Hoping to have retired, instead Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger was elected by his fellow cardinals and pressed into greater service for the faithful as the universal shepherd of this pilgrim Church on its continuing journey toward sanctification and holiness. Reported by the secular media to be a hardliner that would set the Church back in its relationship with contemporary society, Pope Benedict XVI has instead proven to be a gentle and unifying pastor of the Church. No mere caretaker of the Petrine office, the Holy Father has furthered significant movements towards restoring a truly Catholic identity and witness in the world and opened dialogue and opportunities for change leading to greater Christian unity.

So, pray this day for our Holy Father, Benedict XVI. Pray for his monthly prayer intentions, which will always be posted here at A.S. for reference. Pray for his health. Pray for his ministry. Pray for his strength. Pray for his continued service to our Lord, the Church, and all people of good will.

Pater noster, qui es in caelis:
sanctificetur Nomen Tuum;
adveniat Regnum Tuum;
fiat voluntas Tua,
sicut in caelo, et in terra.
Panem nostrum cotidianum da nobis hodie;
et dimitte nobis debita nostra,
sicut et nos dimittimus debitoribus nostris;
et ne nos inducas in tentationem;
sed libera nos a Malo.

Áve María, grátia pléna, 
Dóminus técum. 
Benedícta tu in muliéribus, 
et benedíctus frúctus véntris túi, Iésus.
Sáncta María, Máter Déi, 
óra pro nóbis peccatóribus, 
nunc et in hóra mórtis nóstrae. 

Gloria Patri, 
et Filio, et Spiritui Sancto,
Sicut erat in principio, 
et nunc, et semper, 
et in saecula saeculorum. 

08 April 2012

Happy Easter

8 APRIL 2012. Alleluia He is risen! May all the world receive His blessing and peace. Our King, the only Son of God the Father, has conquered death for our souls. Never again is there anything to fear, for we have been offered salvation by God's mercy through the passion, death, and resurrection of our Lord, Christ Jesus!

07 April 2012

Holy Saturday

7 APRIL 2012. The world is still and quiet today. Quiet because our Lord is in Hell, searching for the souls of all the just that have lived since the beginning of time, searching for our first parents, searching for all, so He may end the reign of death on earth.

This day the Church waits for the Lord. We await His resurrection. We await His coming. We await the resurrection of the body, by His love and salvific sacrifice, and life everlasting with Him.

IMAGE: By Hans Holbein the Younger (1521-1522)

01 April 2012

Christ the man

1 APRIL 2012. A blessed Palm Sunday to one and all. If your parish was anything like ours this morning, the choir seemed to be a bit better, the crowd seemed to be a bit larger, and subtly you could feel the element of anticipation in the air. The joy of Easter is coming. But, as we begin Holy Week let's gaze upon one element from today's reading of the Passion from the Gospel of Saint Mark.

After the Last Supper, Christ and a few of the Disciples withdraw to the garden of olives to pray. As the Lord falls prostrate in prayer, He agonizes:

"Abba, Father, all things are possible to you. Take this cup away from me, but not what I will but what you will."

Jesus, true God and true man, knows the pain of the passion that is to come. He knows that he will be crucified and die a painful and humiliating death by human standards.And, knowing this, He prays to the Father in the most tender and intimate of words--Abba--and asks that the Father take away the passion from Him. In today's language, the prayer might say: "Please Dad, if only there is some way I can avoid this . . . ."

But the Divine Will reigns perfectly in Christ as He is God and in full communion with the Father and Holy Spirit. So, our Lord's prayer in the Garden of Olives is not merely a cry to avoid the pain to come; it is a true submission to the will of the Father. "[B]ut not what I will but what you will." Again, in today's words: "But, I will always be obedient to you Dad."

This account of Christ's prayer gives us a very real sense of Christ the man--in fear and trembling praying to avoid the pain of the passion and crucifixion that He knows is coming, but it also gives us the truest picture of Christ's divinity--His complete docility to the Will of God reigning in Him without regard for the physical--the human--consequences.

I wish everyone a truly blessed Holy Week.