Saturday, January 31, 2009
"The fact that God permits physical and even moral evil is a mystery that God illuminates by his Son Jesus Christ who died and rose to vanquish evil. Faith gives us the certainty that God would not permit an evil if he did not cause a good to come from that very evil, by ways that we shall fully know only in eternal life." (CCC 324)
Worse than physical evil is the moral evil whereby man misuses the gift of free will and chooses to disobey God. This evil we call sin.
"Man, enticed by the Evil One, abused his freedom at the very beginning of history. He succumbed to temptation and did what was evil. He still desires the good, but his nature bears the wound of original sin. He is now inclined to evil and subject to error:
'Man is divided in himself. As a result, the whole life of men, both individual and social, shows itself to be a struggle, and a dramatic one, between good and evil, between light and darkness.' " (CCC 1707)
Christ is anointed, He is "the Holy One" in whom the holiness of God is found in its fullness, for He is "anointed with the Holy Spirit and with power". He is man's only hope in the struggle against evil. In Him only are we made holy through His power to cast out evil.
"Jesus' messianic consecration reveals his divine mission, 'for the name "Christ" implies "he who anointed," "he who was anointed" and "the very anointing with which he was anointed." The one who anointed is the Father, the one who was anointed is the Son, and he was anointed with the Spirit who is the anointing.'(St. Irenaeus, Adv. haeres., 3, 18, 3:PG 7 / 1, 934.)
"His eternal messianic consecration was revealed during the time of his earthly life at the moment of his baptism by John, when 'God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power,' 'that he might be revealed to Israel' (Acts 10:38; Jn 1:31) as its Messiah. His works and words will manifest him as 'the Holy One of God.' " (Mark 1:24; John 6:69; Acts 3:14) (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 438.)
Meeting Christ in the Liturgy offers a reflection for the Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time.
(Art: Jesus Expels Demons, Stephen Sly.)
Friday, January 30, 2009
Thursday, January 29, 2009
Good afternoon Father,
Kudos to Msgr. Joseph Schaedel for his witty letter to his parishioners! I laughed out loud when he encouraged us to go get therapy if we were upset the Sign of Peace was omitted. Quite the opposite for me a couple of years ago, I was needing therapy when a local priest MADE us cross the center aisle and hold hands with everyone during the sign of peace. LOL.
Father Cusick, I just found your blog and found it refreshing. Keep up the good work.
Thank you, Laura, for visiting and please do so often.
Our readers are welcome to send comments and questions anytime to: mcitl DOT blogspot DOT com AT gmail DOT com.
Monday, January 26, 2009
For more info about the US Bishops' postcard campaign to defeat passage of the Freedom of Choice (to kill) Act, please visit the website for the National Campaign for a Human Life Amendment. There you can download and print postcards to send to your Representatives and Senators in Washington, DC. Names and addresses of your representatives to the US Congress can usually be found in the front section of the latest edition of your local phone book.
Thank you for inaugurating the Kingdom of Christ by being agents of the Gospel of Life!
(Photos by MCITL.)
Saturday, January 24, 2009
In our liturgical life this Sunday we celebrate the "inauguration" - of the Kingdom.
" 'Now after John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying :"The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent, and believe in the gospel." '(Mark 1:14-15) 'To carry out the will of the Father Christ inaugurated the kingdom of heaven on earth.' (Lumen Gentium 3) Now the Father's will is 'to raise up men to share in his own divine life.' (LG 2) He does this by gathering men around his Son Jesus Christ. This gathering is the Church, 'on earth the seed and beginning of that kingdom.' (Lumen Gentium 5)" (CCC 541)
The constant work, "leitourgos", which Christ has ordained for the Church is the liturgy. This work makes the kingdom present for the renewal and conversion of Christians and of all mankind.
"Within the Church Christ calls all men to conversion, as the unfolding and growth of baptismal grace. "Jesus calls to conversion. This call is an essential part of the proclamation of the kingdom (Mark 1:14-15). In the Church's preaching this call is addressed first to those who do not yet know Christ and his Gospel. Also, Baptism is the principal place for the first and fundamental conversion. It is by faith in the Gospel and by Baptism (Acts 2:38) that one renounces evil and gains salvation, that is, the forgiveness of all sins and the gift of new life." (CCC 1427)
Meeting Christ in the Liturgy offers a reflection for the Third Sunday in Ordinary Time.
(Art: Duccio di Buoninsegna, The Calling of the Apostles Peter and Andrew, 1308/1311. Samuel H. Kress Collection 1939.1.141, National Gallery of Art.)
Friday, January 23, 2009
In mourning on this day, on which Our Lord died on His holy Cross, for the unborn children now at risk through President Obama's act authorizing funding for the murder of these children abroad. The cult of death advances...
Read more here.
Thursday, January 22, 2009
Please pray today for all who "March for Life" in Washington, D.C., and elsewhere around our nation, that their efforts may lead to a day soon when every human life will be protected as sacred, made by God in His image and likeness, from the moment of conception until natural death, in all its stages and conditions.
(Photo: Hands of seven week old child from Priests for Life.)
Saturday, January 17, 2009
John the Baptist cries out to us: "Behold the Lamb". He calls us to commit ourselves to the Gospel, making disciples by spreading his message to those who can hear us.
The Church teaches that the faithful cannot be silenced, that the impulse to spread the Gospel, to proclaim Christ as Messiah, is not an option but, rather, an obligation. The Church is not "catholic", not universal, if the Church is not also missionary.
" 'Having been divinely sent to the nations that she might be 'the universal sacrament of salvation,' the Church, in obedience to the command of her founder and because it is demanded by her own essential universality, strives to preach the Gospel to all men': 'Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and Lo, I am with you always, until the close of the age.' (Matthew 28:19-20) " (Catechism of the Catholic Church 849)
Meeting Christ in the Liturgy offers a reflection for the Second Sunday in Ordinary Time.
(Art: Lippo Memmi, Saint John the Baptist, probably c. 1325, Samuel H. Kress Collection, National Gallery of Art.)
Nota bene: Recess for retreat. Prayers, please. +mcitl
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
pours forth -
flooding in smile the face of a child.
Abundance of grace, flowers upon breeze's breath,
embracing, perfumed beauty, all:
Reaching out to you and me,
erasing distance, space and time.
Meet Christ, even we,
through this Love, His sign,
across the globe from clime to clime.
Feet, skip lightly upon your path,
sharing one smile, one grace,
forward in joy with her.
Hope thus abounds.
"But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of him." 2 Cor 2: 14
(Photo: Thanks to The Pilgrim's Way.)
Monday, January 12, 2009
1. He won't use the Bible.
2. He won't mention Christ.
Gene - I can't top that: you said it best.
I'll say nothing at all.
(Allison Kraus sings "You Say it Best".)
Sunday, January 11, 2009
I am a 10 year old boy and I leave (sic) in Italy. I have been praying for you since my father told me about your tumor.
On January 7th I could not fall asleep because I was praying for you. I hope you can be cured in the best possible way.
I am your friend even if you do not know me.
By(sic) from Amedeo"
Saturday, January 10, 2009
"Through Baptism the Christian is sacramentally assimilated to Jesus, who in his own baptism anticipates his death and resurrection. The Christian must enter into this mystery of humble self-abasement and repentance, go down into the water with Jesus in order to rise with him, be reborn of water and the Spirit so as to become the Father's beloved son in the Son and 'walk in newness of life' (Rom 6:4)" (CCC 537)
Meeting Christ in the Liturgy offers a reflection for the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord.
(Photo: Stained glass by Edward Burne-Jones, thanks to Fisheaters. )
Friday, January 9, 2009
...is not like the others.
One of these things just doesn't belong.
Can you tell which thing is not like the others
By the time I finish my song?
Did you guess which thing was not like the others?
Did you guess which thing just doesn't belong?
If you guessed this one is not like the others,
Then you're absolutely...right!"
(Thanks to Rorate Caeli for photo and more on the Neocatechumenal Way.)
The leper was made clean because he entered into a living conversation with the Lord, engaged in heart, mind and voice with the living presence of the Divine Person Jesus Christ, Incarnate God, the source of life and healing.
In the Liturgy of the Word, "proclamation is primary". Putting aside distractions, we are called to be present in the same way as the leper was to the Lord who heals us of the alienation of sin, the loss of His presence through grace.
This we are able to walk away from our encounter with Him, as the leper did, rejoicing and proclaiming His Name and His presence, in the world and in us, through the grace of the Eucharist.
May God be praised.
(Art: Healing of the Lepers at Capernaum, Guérison des lépreux à Capernaum, James Tissot, French, 1836-1902, Brooklyn Museum of Art.)
Wednesday, January 7, 2009
Tuesday, January 6, 2009
My wish for you
I wish you not a path devoid of clouds, nor a life on a bed of roses,
Not that you might never need regret,
nor that you should never feel pain.
No, that is not my wish for you.
My wish for you is:
That you might be brave in times of trial,
when others lay crosses upon your shoulders.
When mountains must be climbed and chasms are to be crossed,
When hope can scarce shine through.
That every gift God gave you might grow with you
and let you give your gift of joy to all who care for you.
That you may always have a friend who is worth that name,
whom you can trust and who helps you in times of sadness,
Who will defy the storms of daily life at your side.
One more wish I have for you:
That in every hour of joy and pain you may feel God close to you.
This is my wish for you and for all who care for you.
This is my hope for you now and forever.
-- anonymous Irish blessing read today in Saint Peter's chapel at memorial Mass for Father Canice Treacy, b. 14 May 1928, d. 06 Jan 2003, Ordained 08 Jun 1952.
(Photo: Round Tower circa 700-1000 beside St Canice's Cathedral, Kilkenny, Ireland by planetware.com.)
Monday, January 5, 2009
Chris: Mark my words, the Holy Spirit will win and the Catholic Church will ordain women before I die (I’m 20)
RBRown: Your comment is the religious version of: I’ve invested all my money with Bernie Madoff.
Thanks to Fr Z at WDTPRS for this item from the combox at his blog and for his clarification on the subject discussed in the above repartee: "Let us all keep firmly in mind that the Church cannot and will not ever ordain women. Those who cling to this idea are deluding themselves. Those who push the agenda are harming the Church and endangering their souls and those of others."
Saturday, January 3, 2009
Readers are invited to visit Breviarium Romanum to view photos of the Extraordinary Form celebration of the liturgy for the Feast of Saint John the Apostle this New Year aboard the US Navy aircraft carrier USS THEODORE ROOSEVELT (CVN-71).
(Photo of banner by US Navy at official USS THEODORE ROOSEVELT website.)
Friday, January 2, 2009
Some people have asked me about the Sign of Peace. They note that in most cases we omit the line, 'Let us offer each other the Sign of Peace … ' during Masses in the Ordinary Form. Dozens of people have thanked for me this. One person inquired as to why. No one complained. And, the fact is that everyone is always free to 'offer the Sign of Peace' to their neighbor.
Here is the 'why' part: Like many things in the celebration of Mass in the Ordinary Form, the Sign of Peace is optional. Several things are optional in 'the English Mass.' Other optional things are the ringing of the bells by the altar servers, the use of the paten at Holy Communion, girls serving as altar servers, the priest facing the congregation, extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion, even using a language other than Latin.
All of these things — and even more — are optional. They always have been. Yet, as we all know, some of these things have been pushed down our throats as if they had been the dying wishes of Christ written down by an apostolic liturgy committee on Calvary. Not so! And our current Holy Father, Benedict XVI, is finally helping us sort these things out.
From the beginning of the renewal of the Sacred Liturgy, some people have simply never liked the Sign of Peace — or at least the Sign of Peace where it was placed during Mass. It’s a grand thought: making peace with our neighbors before we approach the altar for Holy Communion. Yet, too often it turns into a free-for-all disturbing the solemnity of the moments just before receiving Holy Communion. Some people resemble politicians in heat prior to Election Day.
A few people object to the Sign of Peace for health reasons. They watch their fellow worshippers cough or blow noses into their hands during Mass; then offer the same hands to shake at the Sign of Peace. In some places, where a flu or virus epidemic has been rampant diocesan officials have asked priests to eliminate the Sign of Peace for obvious reasons until health officials gave the green light.
Personally, I don’t have strong feelings one way or the other. When I learned how to offer Mass in the seminary, we were taught to offer the Sign of Peace. No big deal. However, over the years, I began to see how it could get out of hand. I also began to omit it at daily Masses when the crowd was sparse and spread all over. If they were so interested in offering a sign of peace or friendship to another, I reasoned that they should have been willing to sit within twenty feet of one another.
At the moment, the whole concept of the Sign of Peace and if or where it should be situated during the Mass is under study at the Vatican. They will likely make a revision. So, I thought: Heck, if the pope is not sure where and when it should be part of the Mass, who am I to worry about it?
If the priest-celebrant does not say, 'Let us offer each other the Sign of Peace,' feel free to offer that sign of peace to those around you if you wish. No one says you cannot. If this causes you undue anxiety, sleepless nights, or a loss of Faith, I know a couple good therapists.
I feel sorry for those reading this pastor’s letter who expected a theological treatise on the true meaning of Christmas and the Incarnation. No, it’s just the usual ramblings of the old monsignor at the Italian Parish. Please excuse his attempts at being witty. And, yes, he does have a serious thought from time to time.
(Msgr. Joseph Schaedel, of the Archdiocese of Indianapolis, in the Christmas bulletin to his parishioners at Holy Rosary Church. Photo of Father Magiera, FSSP, and altarboys at Holy Rosary Church.)
Thursday, January 1, 2009
To all of our readers and visitors of 2008, thank you for the gift of reaching a visitor count of 15K last year. This little blog started in the midst of an Iraq deployment in 2007 with a prayer that the Lord lead us "through fire and through water" and that He did, "bringing us relief" with a return home one year ago this month.
The many thousands of well-wishers and visitors of those first days were never counted and their numbers are known only to God. We praise and worship Him, who "makes all things new", and implore Him for rich blessings for all friends and visitors of MCITL in the New Year of 2009.
"Holy Mary, Mother of God: With Elizabeth we marvel, 'And why is this granted me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?' Because she gives us Jesus, her son, Mary is Mother of God and our mother; we can entrust all our cares and petitions to her: she prays for us as she prayed for herself: 'Let it be to me according to your word.' By entrusting ourselves to her prayer, we abandon ourselves to the will of God together with her: 'Thy will be done.'
"Pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death: By asking Mary to pray for us, we acknowledge ourselves to be poor sinners and we address ourselves to the 'Mother of Mercy,' the All-Holy One. We give ourselves over to her now, in the Today of our lives. And our trust broadens further, already at the present moment, to surrender 'the hour of our death' wholly to her care. May she be there as she was at her son's death on the cross. May she welcome us as our mother at the hour of our passing to lead us to her son, Jesus, in paradise." (CCC 2677)
(Art: Bartolome Estaban Murillo, Holy Family.)