Monday, August 30, 2010

No One Who Prays is Ever Alone

Fr. Patrick Peyton

Once in awhile I log on to Archbishop Dolan's blog to see what he has to day, and today I found the following gem. It's worth the read.

Ah, it’s true: those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer –thank you, Nat King Cole –are coming into the station. Soon, all we’ll have are memories.

One stands out for me. I was on the Jersey Shore, at the Villa Saint Joseph, in company with priests. At supper I had quietly admired one of them, now retired, and listened as he joined in swapping stories about past assignments and colorful incidents from priestly life. It was clear to me that this particular priest had worked hard for over fifty-five years –poor parishes, teaching, caring for the sick. He was an example of a senior priest who had “been in the trenches” and served Jesus and His Church faithfully.

Later that evening I sat alone up on the second-floor porch and enjoyed the sea-breeze. I also smiled as I watched the married couples and families walk along the boardwalk, and had to admit to myself that it sure would be nice to have a wife, kids, or grandkids here with me. Not that I was regretting my priestly celibacy, mind you, because I wouldn’t trade it for the world. I guess I was just imagining “what-if …”

And then I saw the old priest below me on the front porch. He, too, was all alone. He, too, was looking at the couples and families walking-by. And I felt sorry for him. This priest, who had given it his all as a generous, committed priest, there all-by-himself in a rocker on the front porch.

Down I went. Yet, as I approached, I saw his lips moving, as if he were in conversation with a friend; his eyes were closed, although he was not asleep, because the rocker was moving; he hardly looked lonely at all, because there was a smile there …

Then I saw the rosary in his hand, and the breviary (the book of daily readings and prayers, mostly from the Bible, which we priests promise to pray daily) open on his lap … and I realized he was enjoying the best company of all.

I went back upstairs and finished my cigar.

And recalled what Pope Benedict XVI had observed earlier in the summer when he had begun his own vacation, “No one who prays is ever alone.”

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Ongoing Conversation

Recently someone posted a comment on a post from some time ago (click here to view origional post) which said,

Thank you, I thought this a good and direct sermon in general, but I believe you stated our voting responsibility very poorly (just after the 8 minute mark):

“But since we don’t live in a perfect world, and there’s no such thing as a politician that perfectly reflects the Church’s teaching on life, well then we must choose the lesser of two evils. We must support candidates who most closely reflect the truth about abortion.”

This comes across more like Republican Party propaganda than authentic Church teaching. We must never choose evil. (I understand that we may vote for a candidate in spite of his or her advocacy of evil policies as long as we continue to work against those policies, but that’s not what you said.) Since the 2010 elections are almost upon us, rather than carrying on here, I ask that you create a new post on the topic so we can carry on the discussion on the home page.

Have at it.

Friday, August 27, 2010

How Many Hours a Day Do You Pray?

Emphasis added:

Rome, Italy, Aug 26, 2010 / 05:46 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- The Archpriest of
St. Peter's Basilica remembered at Mass on Thursday how a promise he made to Mother Teresa 40 years ago preserved his vocation.
She taught him that without prayer, charity cannot exist.

Cardinal Comastri presided over the Eucharistic celebration at Rome's San Lorenzo in Damaso Church, which had a very welcoming feel with the presence of more than 100 Missionaries of Charity sisters, over 20 concelebrating priests, local government leaders and a very diverse collection of faithful.

Church-goers were pleasantly surprised by the presence of newly-arrived prefect of the Congregation for Bishops, Cardinal Marc Ouellet, who also concelebrated and read a message from the Pope at the beginning of Mass.

In a homily which emphasized that love is the foundation of our existence, Cardinal Comastri remembered a personal encounter he had with the Missionaries of Charity's founder when he was just a young priest.

His first contact with Mother Teresa came when he mailed her a letter just after he was ordained a priest. Her "unexpected" response was especially striking, he recalled, because it was written on "very poor paper, in a very poor envelope."

At a later date, Cardinal Comastri sought her out when she was visiting Rome to thank her for the answer. When he found her, she asked him a question that left him "a little embarrassed."

"How many hours do you pray a day?" she asked.

In 1969-70, he recalled, the Church was in a time of "dispute," so thinking that it was "near heroism, then-Father Comastri explained to her that he said daily Mass in addition to praying the Liturgy of the Hours and the Rosary.”

To this, she responded flatly, "That's not enough.”

"Love cannot be lived minimally," she said, and then asked him to promise to do half an hour of adoration every day.

"I promised," said Cardinal Comastri, "and today I can say that this saved my priesthood."

Trying to defend his case at the time, he told Mother Teresa that he thought she was going to ask him how much charity he did. She answered him, "And do you think if I didn't pray I would be able to love the poor? It's Jesus that puts love in my heart when I pray."

She helped the poor, but it was "always Jesus' love," the saintly sister told him.

Then, Mother told him something that he would never forget: she told him to read Scripture.

Through Jesus' teachings, she said, we are reminded that "without God we're too poor to help the poor.” This, she explained, "is why so much assistance falls into the void. It doesn't change anything, it doesn't contribute anything because it doesn't bring love and it isn't born of prayer."

Concluding, Cardinal Comastri said, "Through this little woman ... we are reminded that charity is the apostolate of the Church and that charity is only born if we pray."

Guess I need to get to work...

Biretta tip to Fr. Z.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Indulgence Alert

From the famous Fr. Z (emphasis added by me):

St. Francis, as you know, repaired three chapels. The third was popularly called the Portiuncula or the Little Portion, dedicated to St. Mary of the Angels. It is now enclosed in a sanctuary at Assisi.

The friars came to live at the Little Portion in early 1211. It became the “motherhouse” of the Franciscans. This is where St. Clare came to the friars to make her vows during the night following Palm Sunday in 1212 and where Sister Death came to Francis on 3 October 1226.

Because of the favors from God obtained at the Portiuncula, St. Francis requested the Pope to grant remission of sins to all who came there. The privilege extends beyond the Portiuncula to others churches, especially held by Franciscans, throughout the world.

A plenary indulgence is a mighty tool for works of mercy and weapon in our ongoing spiritual warfare. A plenary indulgence is the remission, through the merits of Christ and the saints, through the Church, of all temporal punishment due to sin already forgiven.

To obtain the Portiuncula plenary indulgence, a person must visit the Chapel of Our Lady of the Angels at Assisi, or a Franciscan sanctuary, or one’s parish church, with the intention of honoring Our Lady of the Angels. Then perform the work of reciting the Creed and Our Father and pray for the Pope’s designated intentions. You should be free, at least intentionally, of attachment to venial and mortal sin, and truly repentant. Make your sacramental confession 8 days before or after. Participate at assist at Mass and receive Holy Communion 8 days before or after.