Sunday, March 31, 2013

He is Risen - Alleluia!

Let all the world rejoice!

Pax et bonum

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Pope Francis and the rubrics

You knew it was going to happen: Pope Francis is coming under attack. It's just interesting that the first serious shots are coming from the orthodox/right.

There has been some sniping at how he's been going against the norm in number of ways. But when he washed the feet of females - including a Muslim one - on Holy Thursday, some folks got "incensed."

I don't know all the norms about whose feet should be washed - the sticklers note it should only be male feet, but I've also seen some people argue that it depends on which set of rules, interpretation, etc.

Okay, to be honest, I've been irked at the way that interpretation argument has been used to excuse repeated rubric roughing in my own diocese. But I also think some rules are more important than others. After all, there is that "the Sabbath is made for man, not man for the Sabbath" observation that someone once made. So I had no problem with altar girls, or holding hands at the Our Father, to cite two examples.

I also wondered when he was elected if he was going to exhibit some of the traits I've seen at Hispanic liturgies. There's often a looser interpretation of the rules and more spontaneity. I've seen signs of that in what he does.

Now this foot thing.

And what happens if he starts saying some other things are perfectly fine. Like liturgical dance (admittedly, one of my peeves)? Or religious rock/folk/jazz music? What if - gasp - he says the guitar is a legitimate liturgical instrument?

Is Pope Francis going to get the treatment Cardinal Dolan got after he arrived in New York and disappointed the folks who thought he was going to clean house?

It remains to be seen just what Pope Francis will do with some significant issues.

It also remains to be seen if some folks will give him a chance, or will just settle back into a more-Catholic-than-the-pope mode of operation.

I just hope he says no to liturgical dance!

Pax et bonum

Holy Saturday haiku

Holy Saturday:
the tabernacle's empty
but God is still here

Holy Saturday -
praying at Planned Parenthood
for the emptied wombs

Pax et bonum

Friday, March 29, 2013

Stations for Life (2013)

Good Friday 2013 marked the 25th year that pro-lifers in Rochester have staged the Stations of the Cross in Reparation for Abortion.

Although abortion is cited in the name of the event, the day focuses on all the life issues, with concerns raised about issues like economic justice, euthanasia, poverty, imprisonment, and many more.

This year, roughly 225 people took part in the actual march. It war preceded by a prayer service in the packed chapel of McQuaid Jesuit High School where the people prayed, sang

and listened to the stirring words of Deacon Larry Feasel.

Deacon Feasel noted that all people suffer - children, teens, college students, adults and seniors - and that all their suffering can be offered up to join that of Jesus: "We raise you up, all of the pain, all of the sacrifice, we unite with his."

He reminded those on the chapel of the foot washing that went on the night before, observing that today those who pray and march for life "wash the feet of the culture of death, the culture of violence, (and witness)  to the primacy of life."

Following the prayers, the marchers gathered  in front of the school

and then processed down the street, praying the Stations and the Divine Mercy Chaplet.

The march ended in front of the office of a doctor who performs abortions. There, participants finished the stations, then prayed over the office and for the doctor, his staff, and all the women and children victimized by his practice.

Pax et bonum

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Jesus of "The Bible" - Buddy Jesus??

Roma Downey may send Andrew, the Angel of Death, to visit me for saying this ...

... but there are scenes in which the smiling Jesus of The Bible series reminds me of Buddy Jesus.

Pax et bonum

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Spring has sprung!

Here it is in sunny western New York - all the snow and storms are to the east. I feel bad for those folks, they've been getting hit again and again, but we seem to have been spared for the past couple of years. Climate change?

I'm thinking too of Pope Francis. Pope Benedict was - is - a good man, but it seems as if spring has sprung in the Church. The left, the Church bashers, the CINOs, the media are all unsettled. They keep trying to find ways to attack, to tear Pope Francis down, but they haven't found one yet. Maybe they'll resort to old tactics and just make stuff up.

As for me, I'm waiting to see what he does and how he does it.

Pax et bonum

Friday, March 15, 2013

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Pope Francis making the right moves

The more I learn about Pope Francis, the more I like him. His actions so far have been just right. Riding eh subway (above) says a lot about him. Choosing the name of St. Francis of Assisi also helps!

I see the MSM is already trying to dig up dirt, but so far their efforts have proven weak. I imagine if he stats to speak out on issues some of folks in the media will try to bring him down.

I've seen a few images of him smiling. I hope we see more such images.

Pax et bonum

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Pope Francis

Guess I really am a follower of Francis now!

Pax et bonum

Monday, March 11, 2013

Two deaths: Call me petty ....

Jennifer McKenna Morbelli, a young Catholic woman from New York state, died due to a botched late-term abortion in Maryland. Apparently she was 33 weeks pregnant, and tests showed some sort of fetal anomaly - not specified - so she decided to kill her child.

Her husband and her Catholic parents supported her in this decision, and even accompanied her.

To kill her baby.

Her funeral was a Catholic one.

Maybe she repented of her decision to kill her child before she herself died.

That's between her and God.

Did her husband and parents receive Communion at her funeral Mass with clear consciences after supporting her decision to kill her child?

Maybe they confessed their mortal sins before the Mass.

But all this bothers me.

She was described as a good person.

Who chose to try to kill her baby.

Her family were all Catholics.

Who chose to support the killing of her child.

I can't judge her soul - or theirs. But the whole business just keeps gnawing away at me.

Call me petty. Judgmental. Hard.

But they chose to try to kill a child.

If they had understood and followed the teachings of their Catholic faith, Morbelli would likely still be alive. Depending on the nature of the anomalies, that child might still be alive. Maybe the family would have faced some challenges, but two victims of abortion and the world's skewed and shallow thinking would still be alive.

Instead, a woman and her child are dead, a husband has lost his wife and child, two parents lost a daughter and a grandchild. And from all the accounts, these Catholics don't seem to understand that what they were doing was a mortal sin.

Maybe they did. Maybe they will.

God forgive them.

God forgive me.

Pax et bonum

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Cardinal Sean: Okay, so I'm going to mention the conclave

I'm seeing more and more people mention Cardinal Sean O'Malley of Boston as a possible American candidate for Pope (along with Cardinal Dolan of  New York.) Of the two, I actually think Cardinal O'Malley has the better (though still slim) chance. He's been a Cardinal longer, and what he has done in Boston might be appreciated by cardinals from other nations who see a need for cleaning up the abuse crisis and communicating with the world better about it. He has talked about the need for curial reform - and he's young enough perhaps to do it. He's openly pro-lfe. He speaks Spanish and Portuguese - especially important in the Church today. People find his simplicity - wearing his brown Franciscan robes, living simply -  appealing.

We'll see. The conclave starts Tuesday. This morning at Planned Parenthood I said to fellow praying pro-lifers that maybe by next Saturday when we pray again we'll have  a new pope.

A pro-life Franciscan would be nice.

And maybe the Church needs another Franciscan to help rebuild it.

Pax et bonum

Thursday, March 7, 2013

There's nothing about the conclave in this

Today a student asked what a billiken was.

This is one.

There's even "The Billiken Rag."

Pax et bonum

Sunday, March 3, 2013

40 Days by Matt Maher (my band's version)

Pax et bonum

Snow and ice

I went out this morning at 5:30 a.m. - a crazy fellow, I'd already walked the dog and gone to the corner gas station/mini mart to pick up the Sunday paper - to clean off the wife's car. It's been sitting in the driveway; she's still weeks away from driving after her rotator cuff surgery.

I tried to brush off the snow. No deal; ice had built up in the week since I last drove it. I started chipping at the ice. It was thick. Then I got an idea. I turned the car on with the heater blasting, and sat in the driver's seat reading some section of the newspaper.

I read about the various government impasses at the nation, state, and local levels. I read with amusement the newspaper editorial lamenting the impasses - caused by people the newspaper had endorsed. I read about the city school board that had imposed strict attendance rules for students - even as the meeting attendance rates of its own members all failed to meet the standards they set for students. I read an article about spending gaps between wealthy school districts and poor school districts - and thought: I've been reading articles exactly like this since I began reading newspapers decades ago, all suggesting the same sorts of solutions, few if any of which will be tried. I read about the gun control debate and the slogans spouted by both sides. I read about a dispute over a low/moderate income housing project being proposed for a wealthy suburb. I read about yet another rally to end violence in the city at which people mouthed platitudes and hugged, but did not mention any realistic ways to address the underlying issues of poverty and broken families and more that help to lead to that violence.

After 15 minutes or so of sitting in the car I got out and managed to get all of the now softened and melted snow and ice off. Success.

Then I thought about what I had been reading in the car.

Seems there's lots of snow and ice in the world. Too bad there isn't a convenient moral/ethical/social heater we can just use to blast away at it all and make solving problems a little easier.

I guess we'll just have to keep chipping away.

Pax et bonum