Sunday, June 28, 2009

Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

What kind of faith do you have? Is it the faith of Jairus, who seeks out Jesus Christ to heal his ailing daughter? The faith of the woman with the 12-year hemorrhage, without assets and long suffering at the hands of doctors? The faith of the apostles, who stand by in awe of Jesus? The faith of the mourners, ridiculing Jesus for His asking for faith? Or perhaps the faith of the daughter of Jairus - dead and apparently lifeless? It seems that no matter the type of faith, Jesus Christ can bring healing. With a strong faith, we are to ask for the healing that we need, like the woman who dares to reach out to touch Jesus' clothing. We are also to ask Jesus to help those who are lying in their faith's deathbeds. May the Lord speak the word that will rouse all of us, allowing us to respond to His voice!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

A Random Thought

In the first reading of the Mass this weekend, we hear:

God did not make death,
nor does he rejoice in the destruction of the living.

Contrast that with the recent news story of the Episcopal priest who stated that God rejoices in abortion.:

Pregnancy-loss prayers, new church calendar proposed
From The Rev. Nina Churchman • Denver, Colorado, Jun 20, 2009
After reading the 3 June article, "Pregnancy-loss Prayers", I found the text for Rachel's Tears online and was sickened to discover that the rite for abortion is couched wholly in terms of sin and transgression. The Episcopal Church, by resolution, has long held that women have the freedom to choose an abortion. It is not considered a sin. That this new rite begins with the words, "I seek God's forgiveness..." and includes "God rejoices that you have come seeking God's merciful forgiveness..." is contrary to the resolution. Women should be able to mourn the loss of an aborted fetus without having to confess anything. God, unlike what the liturgy states, also rejoices that women facing unplanned pregnancies have the freedom to carefully choose the best option - birth, adoption or abortion - for themselves and their families. No woman makes this decision lightly or frivolously. But each needs the non-judgmental and non-coercive support of her faith community to make the best decision for her circumstances.
The wording of this liturgy focuses solely on guilt and sin instead of the grief and healing that may accompany a very difficult but appropriate decision to terminate a pregnancy. If anyone is paying attention at the General Convention, this rite should not be approved.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

A priest as a slave

Continuing his reflections on the year of the Priest, Pope Benedict spoke during his Wednesday Audience that the priest is a slave of Christ, who became a slave for us... From Zenit:

Dear brothers and sisters,

Last Friday, June 19, the solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the day traditionally dedicated to pray for the sanctification of priests, I had the joy of inaugurating the Year for Priests. The year was proclaimed on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the "birth into eternal life" of the Curé d'Ars, St. Jean-Baptiste Marie Vianney. Entering into the Vatican basilica for the celebration of vespers, almost as a first symbolic gesture, I paused in the Choir Chapel to venerate the relic of this saintly pastor of souls: his heart. Why a Year for Priests? Why particularly in memory of the holy Curé d'Ars, who apparently did nothing extraordinary?

Divine Providence has ordained that this personage would be placed beside that of St. Paul. As the Pauline Year is concluding, a year which was dedicated to the Apostle of the Gentiles, the epitome of an extraordinary evangelizer who made various mission trips to spread the Gospel, this new jubilee year invites us to gaze upon a poor farmer turned humble pastor, who carried out his pastoral service in a small town.

If the two saints are quite different insofar as the life experiences that marked them -- one traveled from region to region to announce the Gospel; the other remained in his little parish, welcoming thousands and thousands of faithful -- there is nevertheless something fundamental that unites them: It is their total identification with their ministry, their communion with Christ. This brought St. Paul to say: "Yet I live, no longer I, but Christ lives in me" (Galatians 2:20). St. John Vianney liked to repeat: "If we had faith, we would see God hidden in the priest like a light behind glass, like wine mixed with water."

The objective of this Year for Priests, as I wrote in the letter sent to priests for this occasion, is to support that struggle of every priest "toward spiritual perfection, on which the effectiveness of his ministry primarily depends." It is to help priests first of all -- and with them all of God's people -- to rediscover and reinvigorate their awareness of the extraordinary and indispensable gift of grace that the ordained ministry is for he who receives it, for the whole Church, and for the world, which would be lost without the real presence of Christ.

Undoubtedly, the historical and social conditions in which the Curé d'Ars lived have changed, and it is justifiable to ask oneself how it's possible for priests living in a globalized society to imitate him in the way he identified himself with his ministry. In a world in which the customary outlook on life comprehends less and less the sacred, and in its place "useful" becomes the only important category, the catholic -- and even ecclesial -- idea of the priesthood can run the risk of being emptied of the esteem that is natural to it.

It is not by chance that as much in theological environments as in concrete pastoral practice and the formation of the clergy, a contrast -- even an opposition -- is made between two distinct concepts of the priesthood. Some years ago, I noted in this regard that there is "on the one hand a social-functional understanding that defines the essence of the priesthood with the concept of 'service': service to the community in the fulfillment of a function. … On the other hand, there is the sacramental-ontological understanding, which naturally does not deny the servicial character of the priesthood, but sees it anchored in the being of the minister and considers that this being is determined by a gift called sacrament, given by the Lord through the mediation of the Church" (Joseph Ratzinger, Ministry and Life of the Priest, in Principles of Catholic Theology).

The terminological mutation of the word "priesthood" toward a meaning of "service, ministry, assignment" is as well a sign of this distinct understanding. The primacy of the Eucharist is linked to the sacramental-ontological conception, in the binomial "priest-sacrifice," while to the other [conception] would correspond the primacy of the word and service to the proclamation.

Considered carefully, these are not two opposing understandings, and the tension that nevertheless exists between them should be resolved from within. Thus the decree "Presbyterorum Ordinis" from the Second Vatican Council affirms: "Through the apostolic proclamation of the Gospel, the People of God are called together and assembled. All belonging to this people … can offer themselves as 'a sacrifice, living, holy, pleasing to God' (Rom 12:1). Through the ministry of the priests, the spiritual sacrifice of the faithful is made perfect in union with the sacrifice of Christ. He is the only mediator who in the name of the whole Church is offered sacramentally in the Eucharist and in an unbloody manner until the Lord himself comes" (No. 2).

We then ask ourselves, "What exactly does it mean, for priests, to evangelize? What is the so-called primacy of proclamation?" Jesus speaks of the proclamation of the Kingdom of God as the true objective for his coming to the world, and his proclamation is not just a "discourse." It includes, at the same time, his actions: His signs and miracles indicate that the Kingdom is now present in the world, which in the end coincides with himself. In this sense, one must recall that even in this idea of the "primacy" of proclamation, word and sign are inseparable.

Christian proclamation does not proclaim "words," but the Word, and the proclamation coincides with the very person of Christ, ontologically open to the relationship with the Father and obedient to his will. Therefore, authentic service to the Word requires from the priest that he strains toward a deep abnegation of himself, until being able to say with the Apostle, "It is not I who lives, but Christ who lives in me."

The priest cannot consider himself "lord" of the word, but rather its servant. He is not the word, but rather, as John the Baptist proclaimed, (precisely today we celebrate the birth of John the Baptist), he is the "voice" of the Word: "A voice of one crying out in the desert: 'Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his paths'" (Mark 1:3).

Now then, to be the "voice" of the Word doesn't constitute for the priest a merely functional element. On the contrary, it presupposes a substantial "losing oneself" in Christ, participating in his mystery of death and resurrection with all of oneself: intelligence, liberty, will, and the offering of one's own body as a living sacrifice (cf. Romans 12:1-2). Only participation in the sacrifice of Christ, in his kenosis, makes the proclamation authentic! And this is the path that should be walked with Christ to the point of saying with him to the Father: Let it be done, "not what I will but what you will" (Mark 14:36). The proclamation, therefore, always implies as well the sacrifice of oneself, the condition so that the proclamation can be authentic and effective.

Alter Christus, the priest is profoundly united to the Word of the Father, who in incarnating himself, has taken the form of a slave, has made himself a slave (cf. Philippians 2:5-11). The priest is a slave of Christ in the sense that his existence, ontologically configured to Christ, takes on an essentially relational character: He is in Christ, through Christ, and with Christ at the service of man. Precisely because he belongs to Christ, the priest is radically at the service of all people: He is the minister of their salvation, of their happiness, of their authentic liberation -- maturing, in this progressive taking up of the will of Christ, in prayer, in this "remaining heart to heart" with him. This is therefore the essential condition of all proclamation, which implies participation in the sacramental offering of the Eucharist and docile obedience to the Church.

The holy Curé d'Ars often repeated with tears in his eyes: "What a frightening thing to be a priest!" And he added: "How we ought to pity a priest who celebrates Mass as if he were engaged in something routine. How wretched is a priest without interior life!"

May this Year of the Priest bring all priests to identify themselves totally with Jesus, crucified and risen, so that in imitation of St. John the Baptist, we are willing to "decrease" so that he increases; so that, following the example of the Curé d'Ars, they constantly and deeply understand the responsibility of their mission, which is sign and presence of the infinite mercy of God. Let us entrust to the Virgin, Mother of the Church, this Year for Priests just begun and all the priests of the world.

[Translation by ZENIT]

[The Holy Father then addressed the people in several languages. In English, he said:]

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Last Friday, the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus – a day traditionally devoted to prayer for the sanctification of priests – marked the beginning of the Year for Priests commemorating the sesquicentennial of the death of the Curé of Ars, Saint John Mary Vianney, patron of parish priests. The Pauline Year now ending and the current Year for Priests invite us to consider how the Apostle Paul and the humble Curé of Ars both identified themselves completely with their ministry, striving to live in constant communion with Christ. May this Year for Priests help all priests to grow towards the spiritual perfection essential to the effectiveness of their ministry, and enable the faithful to appreciate more fully the great gift of grace which the priesthood is: for priests themselves, for the Church and for our world. Configured to Christ in the sacrament of Holy Orders, the priest is called to become an alter Christus, "another Christ". His personal union with the Lord must thus unify every aspect of his life and activity. During this Year for Priests, let us entrust all priests to Mary, Mother of the Church, and pray that they will grow in fidelity to their mission to be living signs of Christ’s presence and infinite mercy.

I offer a warm welcome to the English-speaking visitors present at today’s Audience, especially those from Norway, Sweden, Malawi, South Africa, Indonesia and the United States. My particular greeting goes to the Catholic educators participating in the annual Rome Seminar sponsored by the Lay Centre at Foyer Unitas. I also greet the many student groups present. Upon all of you I invoke God’s blessings of joy and peace!

Year of the Priest Website

The Congregation for the Clergy has created a website with documents, biographies, and other items for the Year of the Priest.

Purpose for the Year for Priests

The Pope recently stated his reasons for the Year for Priests, as reported by Zenit


VATICAN CITY, 24 JUN 2009 (VIS) - During today's general audience, held in St. Peter's Square, the Pope focused his remarks on the Year for Priests which he inaugurated last Friday, Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and day of prayer for the sanctification of the clergy, and which is intended to mark the 150th anniversary of the death of St. John Mary Vianney.

"Why a Year for Priests?" the Pope asked. "And why should it recall the holy 'Cure of Ars' who apparently did nothing out of the ordinary?"

The Holy Father went on to explain how "Divine Providence ordained that the figure [of St. John May Vianney] should be associated with that of St. Paul" because, "although the two saints followed very different life paths, ... these exists nonetheless a fundamental factor that unites them: their total identification with their ministry, their communion with Christ".

"The aim of this Year for Priests", he went on, "is to support each priest's struggle towards spiritual perfection, 'upon which the effectiveness of his ministry particularly depends', and to help priests, and with them the entire People of God, to rediscover and revive an awareness of the extraordinary and indispensable gift of Grace which the ordained ministry represents, for the person who receives it, for the entire Church, and for the world which would be lost without the real presence of Christ".

"Although the historical and social conditions in which the 'Cure of Ars' worked have changed, it is right to ask how priests can imitate him by identifying themselves with their ministry in modern globalised societies", said the Pope.

"In a world in which the common view of life leaves ever less space for the sacred, in place of which 'functionality' becomes the only decisive category, the Catholic concept of priesthood could risk losing its due regard, sometimes even in the ecclesial conscience".

The Holy Father identified two conceptions of the priesthood, "which do not in fact contradict one another". On the one hand "a social-functional conception which identifies the essence of priesthood with the concept of 'service'. ... On the other hand there is a sacramental-ontological conception" which sees priestly ministry "as determined by a gift called Sacrament, granted by the Lord through the mediation of the Church".

"What", the Pope asked, "does it mean for priests to evangelise? In what does the primacy of announcement exist? ... Announcement coincides with the person of Christ", he said, "a priest cannot consider himself as 'master' of the Word, but as its servant".

"Only participation in Christ's sacrifice, in His 'chenosi', [Note: This means kenosis or self-emptying]... and docile obedience to the Church ... makes announcement authentic. ... Priests are Christ's servants, in the sense that their existence, ontologically configured to Him, have an essentially relational character. The priest is in Christ, for Christ and with Christ at the service of humankind. Precisely because he belongs to Christ, the priest is radically at the service of man".

Benedict XVI concluded by expressing the hope that "the Year for Priests may lead all the clergy to identify themselves completely with Christ Who died and rose again, so that, imitating St. John the Baptist, they may be ready 'to diminish' that He may grow; and that, following the example of the 'Cure of Ars', they may be constantly and profoundly aware of their mission, which is both sign and presence of the infinite mercy of God".
AG/YEAR FOR PRIESTS/...VIS 090624 (580)

Monday, June 22, 2009

Facebook items

If you use Facebook, you can view a new photo album of the Young Men's Discipleship camp. I also set my user name to fr.todd.petersen.

Tips toward vocations recruitment

The National Catholic Register posted an article How to Get More Priests by Tom Hoopes. He asked Dioceses that seemed effective 6 questions, and they all were answered yes. The questions were:

1. Is the Eucharist the center of vocation efforts?

2. Is the diocese unabashed about personally inviting men to be priests?

3. Is the seminary faithful to the magisterium of the Church?

4. Are there many strong and faithful families to draw from?

5. Do young men know and interact with priests?

6. Did young people in the area go to World Youth Day?

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time

What drives us? That is the question that ought to be on our minds and hearts this weekend. St. Paul tells us he is compelled by the love of Christ, while the disciples were driven by fear. Certainly, the squall would have been terrible, but they should have already understood that Jesus was the Christ, the Savior of the world. God the Father would not allow Him to die this way. The disciples lacked the trust that Jesus displayed - He was asleep in the middle of the storm, in a sinking boat that was rolling with the wakes. The love of Christ ought to be what drives us. This phrase, in Greek, is most interesting. It could be understood as our love for Christ, Christ's love for us, Christ's love for the Father, or Christ's love for St. Paul's audience (the Corinthians), by extension the Church. Truthfully, it is all four. We are moved to love Christ as a response of His love for us, and for the Church, that He loves the Father. Our vocation is the way we live out this love. So do we follow Him with love, or do we avoid Him out of fear?

Friday, June 19, 2009

Pope's Letter on Year for Priests

The Pope's Letter on Year for Priests was released yesterday. Absolutely beautiful!

Thought from St. John Vianney

What does Jesus Christ do in the Eucharist? It is God who, as our Savior, offers himself each day for us to his Father's justice. If you are in difficulties and sorrows, he will comfort and relieve you. If you are sick, he will either cure you or give you strength to suffer so as to merit Heaven. If the devil, the world, and the flesh are making war upon you, he will give you the weapons with which to fight, to resist, and to win victory. If you are poor, he will enrich you with all sorts of riches for time and eternity. Let us open the door of his sacred and adorable Heart, and be wrapped about for an instant by the flames of his love, and we shall see what a God who loves us can do. O my God, who shall be able to comprehend?

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Litany of the Sacred Heart

In honor of the start of the Year for priests, I post the Litany of the Sacred Heart:

Litany of the Sacred Heart

Lord, have mercy ... ... Lord, have mercy
Christ, have mercy ... ... Christ, have mercy
Lord, have mercy ... ... Lord, have mercy

Christ, hear us ... ... Christ, hear us
Christ, graciously hear us. ... ... Christ, graciously hear us.

God the Father in Heaven, ... ... have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world,
God, the Holy Spirit,
Holy Trinity, One God,

Heart of Jesus, Son of the Eternal Father, ... have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, formed by the Holy Spirit in the womb of the Virgin Mother,
Heart of Jesus, one with the Word of God,
Heart of Jesus, infinite in Majesty,
Heart of Jesus, holy temple of God,
Heart of Jesus, tabernacle of the Most High,
Heart of Jesus, House of God and Gate of Heaven,

Heart of Jesus, aflame with love for us,
Heart of Jesus, source of justice and love,
Heart of Jesus, full of goodness and love,
Heart of Jesus, well-spring of all virtue,
Heart of Jesus, worthy of all praise,
Heart of Jesus, king and center of all hearts,
Heart of Jesus, treasure-house of wisdom and knowledge,
Heart of Jesus, in whom dwells there dwells the fullness of God,
Heart of Jesus, in whom the Father was well pleased,
Heart of Jesus, from whose fullness we have all received,
Heart of Jesus, desire of the eternal hills,
Heart of Jesus, patient and full of mercy,
Heart of Jesus, Generous to all who turn to you,

Heart of Jesus, fountain of life and holiness,
Heart of Jesus, atonement for our sins,
Heart of Jesus, overwhelmed with insults,
Heart of Jesus, broken for our sins,
Heart of Jesus, obedient even to death,
Heart of Jesus, pierced by a lance,
Heart of Jesus, source of all consolation,
Heart of Jesus, our life and resurrection,
Heart of Jesus, our peace and our reconciliation,
Heart of Jesus, victim of our sins
Heart of Jesus, salvation of all who trust in you,
Heart of Jesus, hope of those who die in you,
Heart of Jesus, delight of all the Saints,

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, O Lord.

V. Jesus, meek and humble of heart. Make our hearts like to Thine.

Let us pray;
We rejoice in the gifts of love
We have received from the heart of Jesus your son.
Open our hearts to share his life
And continue to bless us with his love.
We ask this in the name of Jesus the Lord. Amen.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Prayer for Vocations

The Curé d'Ars Prayer Group has a page with a Vocations Prayer through the intercession of St. John Vianney:

A Prayer for Vocations
Through the intercession of St. John Vianney

O God our Father, You promised "I will appoint shepherds for My sheep who will shepherd them so that they need no longer fear and tremble: and none shall be missing." (Jer. 23:4-5). Hear the prayers of Your flock. Through the intercession of Your beloved priest, Saint John Vianney, we beg You to call to the sacramental priesthood generous men who will desire nothing more than to serve You in imitation of Your Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, our High Priest.

And after You call them, we pray that You sustain the doubtful, console the discouraged, and strengthen the weak as they start the long and demanding preparation for the priesthood.

Mary, Mother of priests, and example of faithful, humble, and joyful acceptance of God's will, help all those who are called to the priesthood to open their ears and hearts to the gentle call of the Holy Spirit.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Who Is A Priest?

Ignatius Insight has reprinted an article Who Is A Priest? by Fr. Benedict Ashley, O.P. At quick reading, seems to be thorough and yet concise at the same time.

To preach well is to...

Insight Scoop posted an article about a book by Fr. Peter John Cameron, O.P., Why Preach: Encountering Christ in God's Word. The article stresses that a preachers task is speaking of the vocation of all men. They quote Pope Benedict, "The aim of preaching is to tell man who is and what he must do to be himself. Its intention is to disclose to him the truth about himself, that is, what he can base his life on and what he can die for."

Monday, June 15, 2009

Logos Bible Software for Catholics

Logos Software has released software for Catholic users. See their Logos Bible Software Blog. For more information, check out their Product Guide - Catholic Resources page, too.

I have used their software in the past (on PC's) while in seminary. It was easy to use and had great sources for Scripture studies. They recently released a Mac Version of the software platform. As I have and use a Mac, I have not used the Mac version, and am looking at purchasing in the future (but which version?).

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Feast of Corpus Christi

The feast of Corpus Christi allows us the time to remember the importance of the Blessed Sacrament, the Eucharist. Because we formally celebrate the Institution of the Eucharist on Holy Thursday, a day marked by not only the gift of the Eucharist and the example of love in Jesus' washing of feet, but a day mired in betrayal and denial, the Church gives us this day to remember. In some parts of the world, it is still celebrated on the Thursday after Trinity Sunday, but in our country, we celebrate it this weekend.

As Pope John Paul II stated, every Mass is a cosmic event, that we gather with the angels and saints of all time and places. Vatican II's document Lumen Gentium, states that the Eucharist is the source and summit of our Christian lives. It is a foretaste of the eternal banquet of the Lord, and therefore also the impetus to live our lives in such a way that we can be there! Every Eucharistic encounter is a call to holiness. We hear Christ calling us, leading us as He did the saints who have gone before us.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Eucharist and Vocations

Just a thought from Ecclesia de Eucharistia:

¶ 31. If the Eucharist is the centre and summit of the Church's life, it is likewise the centre and summit of priestly ministry. For this reason, with a heart filled with gratitude to our Lord Jesus Christ, I repeat that the Eucharist “is the principal and central raison d'être of the sacrament of priesthood, which effectively came into being at the moment of the institution of the Eucharist”.

Priests are engaged in a wide variety of pastoral activities. If we also consider the social and cultural conditions of the modern world it is easy to understand how priests face the very real risk of losing their focus amid such a great number of different tasks. The Second Vatican Council saw in pastoral charity the bond which gives unity to the priest's life and work. This, the Council adds, “flows mainly from the Eucharistic Sacrifice, which is therefore the centre and root of the whole priestly life”. We can understand, then, how important it is for the spiritual life of the priest, as well as for the good of the Church and the world, that priests follow the Council's recommendation to celebrate the Eucharist daily: “for even if the faithful are unable to be present, it is an act of Christ and the Church”. In this way priests will be able to counteract the daily tensions which lead to a lack of focus and they will find in the Eucharistic Sacrifice – the true centre of their lives and ministry – the spiritual strength needed to deal with their different pastoral responsibilities. Their daily activity will thus become truly Eucharistic.

The centrality of the Eucharist in the life and ministry of priests is the basis of its centrality in the pastoral promotion of priestly vocations. It is in the Eucharist that prayer for vocations is most closely united to the prayer of Christ the Eternal High Priest. At the same time the diligence of priests in carrying out their Eucharistic ministry, together with the conscious, active and fruitful participation of the faithful in the Eucharist, provides young men with a powerful example and incentive for responding generously to God's call. Often it is the example of a priest's fervent pastoral charity which the Lord uses to sow and to bring to fruition in a young man's heart the seed of a priestly calling.

Sequence for Corpus Christi

For our prayer, I offer you the Sequence for Corpus Christi, written by St. Thomas Aquinas.

Sion, lift thy voice and sing;
Praise thy Savior and thy King;
Praise with hymns thy Shepherd true:
Dare thy most to praise Him well;
For He doth all praise excel;
None can ever reach His due.
Special theme of praise is thine,
That true living Bread divine,
That life-giving flesh adored,
Which the brethren twelve received,
As most faithfully believed,
At the Supper of the Lord.

Let the chant be loud and high;
Sweet and tranquil be the joy
Felt to-day in every breast;
On this festival divine
Which recounts the origin
Of the glorious Eucharist.

At this table of the King,
Our new Paschal offering
Brings to end the olden rite;
Here, for empty shadows fled,
Is reality instead;
Here, instead of darkness, light.

His own act, at supper seated,
Christ ordained to be repeated,
In His memory divine;
Wherefore now, with adoration,
We the Host of our salvation
Consecrate from bread and wine.

Hear what holy Church maintaineth,
That the bread its substance changeth
Into Flesh, the wine to Blood.
Doth it pass thy comprehending?
Faith, the law of sight transcending,
Leaps to things not understood.

Here in outward signs are hidden
Priceless things, to sense forbidden;
Signs, not things, are all we see:-
Flesh from bread, and Blood from wine;
Yet is Christ, in either sign,
All entire confessed to be.

They too who of Him partake
Sever not, nor rend, nor break,
But entire their Lord receive.
Whether one or thousands eat,
All receive the selfsame meat,
Nor the less for others leave.

Both the wicked and the good
Eat of this celestial Food;
But with ends how opposite!
Here 'tis life; and there 'tis death;
The same, yet issuing to each
In a difference infinite.

Nor a single doubt retain,
When they break the Host in twain,
But that in each part remains
What was in the whole before;
Since the simple sign alone
Suffers change in state or form,
The Signified remaining One
And the Same forevermore

Lo! upon the Altar lies,
Hidden deep from human eyes,
Angels' Bread from Paradise
Made the food of mortal man:
Children's meat to dogs denied;
In old types foresignified;
In the manna from the skies,
In Isaac, and the Paschal Lamb.

Jesu! Shepherd of the sheep!
Thy true flock in safety keep.
Living Bread! Thy life supply;
Strengthen us, or else we die;
Fill us with celestial grace:
Thou, who feedest us below!
Source of all we have or know!
Grant that with Thy Saints above,
Sitting at the Feast of Love,
We may see Thee face to face. Amen

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Year of the New Priest

Tim Drake has written an article for the National Catholic Register entitled Year of the New Priest. It's worth a read, too.

Heart of a Priest

The National Catholic Register (always a great read!) has a wonderful article on Heart of a Priest by Joseph Pronechen, reflecting on the priesthood in the light of the Sacred Heart and Year of the Priest.

"The day is a perfect reminder to renew this devotion to Jesus, while also remembering the “special sons” of his Sacred Heart."

Msgr. Stuart Swetland says, “We see that in the tenderness and mercy embodied in Jesus’ heart... He also reveals to us how we can be and should be, especially how we are to be tender and merciful to others.”

Jesus makes our vocation clear. “We see both the divine and human aspects,” says Msgr. Swetland. “We see God’s mercy shining through and God’s call for us to be merciful.”

The priest acts “in persona Christi to reveal the merciful love of the Father through the sacrament of reconciliation, through the Eucharist... In his pastoral zeal, he reveals God’s mercy.”

It’s the Year of the Priest. Have you commended to the Sacred Heart a priest close to your heart lately?

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Vocations Views New Edition

I just posted the Vocations Views - Current Edition online. Either Option click to download or click to read online.

Trinity Sunday

This weekend, we celebrate the key doctrine of our Christian Faith: The Trinity. We are monotheistic - we believe in only one God. But our God is three Persons. Three persons perfectly united in one substance or existence. The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are all God. Jesus Christ reveals Himself as God, and reveals the Father and the Spirit. These names are not simple names of modes - how God is revealed - but names of persons, and their internal relationship. It is not sufficient, as the Church has reminded us, to replace the 'traditional' names with other such Creator, Redeemer, Sanctifier (to avoid 'patriarchal' language) because these reduce the Persons to activity, and when One Person is active, all members of the Trinity are active in their own way! The Father begets the Son eternally, and the Son is eternally begotten (but not made or created), and the Spirit proceeds from them both eternally. In love, they are one existence, three persons perfectly united.

This feast reminds us that God invites us into communion - we are created in the image and likeness of God. May we follow the example of the Trinity in loving others, and respond to His call in lives of service.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Boys' Summer Camp

We are pleased to be offering a summer camp for boys again this year. Fr. Timmerman and I are the directors. Held at the Youth Center south of Renville, it will begin at 9:30 am on the 18th of June and end on the 19th at 5 pm. Space is limited.

We have taken as our theme "Sword of the Spirit", and will focus on the year of St. Paul, and introduce the year for priests (which actually begins on the second day of camp. It will include prayers to the Sacred Heart, Mass, Liturgy of the Hours, and lots of play and good, solid conversation about our faith and what it means to be a true man.

Get the application here. You also need The Code of Conduct and medical forms.

New Seminarian List

Our new Summer Edition of Seminarians is up... Click here to load, or Option-Click to download.