Monday, February 25, 2008

The rocking pnuemonia and those perfidious Jews

I've been seeing all over the internets where the Pope, for some reason, changed a prayer that is over like, 500 years old. There are several things wrong with this, and I shall point out the things that really grate on me.

As most of you know, this summer Pope Benedict XVI released the Latin Mass from its imagined constraints. Even before this actually happened, the Jews were FREAKING out over a tiny little prayer trad Catholics say on Good Friday.

For their souls.

Even if Muslims prayed for my soul, I would at the very least be thankful.

But not so with the Jews, who always seem to see treachery flung at them from every angle.

So the Jews complained to the Vatican.

So the Pope changed the prayer.

Here is the prayer as it has appeared for centuries:

“Let us pray also for the perfidious Jews: that Almighty God may remove the veil from their hearts so that they too may acknowledge Jesus Christ our Lord. Almighty and eternal God, who dost not exclude from thy mercy even Jewish faithlessness: hear our prayers, which we offer for the blindness of that people; that acknowledging the light of thy Truth, which is Christ, they may be delivered from their darkness. Through the same Lord Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with thee in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, for ever and ever. Amen.”

Here is the new prayer:

Let us also pray for the Jews: That our God and Lord may illuminate their hearts, that they acknowledge Jesus Christ is the Savior of all men. Almighty and eternal God, who want that all men be saved and come to the recognition of the truth, propitiously grant that even as the fullness of the peoples enters Thy Church, all Israel be saved. Through Christ Our Lord. Amen”

So, the Jews are still pissed, because the Pope changed it, but not really. If he really didn’t change it, what was the point?

And why move so quickly? There have been many issues that need revision such as the “pro multis” question and the new translation of the NO missal. These things have taken years.

But piss off the Jews and months later there is a new prayer. Would the Jews have moved as quickly if Catholics had a problem with something in one of their prayers? Or would they have rightly told us to mind our own business? And that their worship is their own, and that they are fee to worship as they please without input from another faith?

And I also think this sets a bad precedence. The Pope shouldn’t be fudging around with the prayers in the Old Missal. There is plenty to change in the new that should be more of a priority. Shouldn’t communion in the hand, women in the sanctuary, and proper liturgical music be in the forefront?

I think we should be more concerned with appeasing God than appeasing his killers.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Plenary Indulgences and You

The church, at her most basic, is all about the salvation of souls. We are saved by Christ's grace, through faith and works which should be done in charity and are inspired by the Holy Ghost.

To that end, we have been given indulgences. What are indulgences you say? My NO catholic friends most likely have not heard of them. The word indulgence has the latin root
indulgentia, to be kind or gentle. An indulgence is a remission of the temporal punishment due to sin, the guilt of which has been forgiven.

Which means you had to have gone to confession and confessed that sin to a priest.
Another foreign concept to be sure to my NO friends.

And there are two distinct kinds of indulgences, partial and plenary.

A partial indulgence is only a partial forgiveness of punishment. It can be 2 weeks less time in Purgatory, a month, a year, or whatever particular amount of time is associated with that indulgence. Some claim the church has done away with specific times, but then again, most NO catholics don't even know they exist. Perhaps someone more knowledgeable than me on this topic can shed some light.

But as for plenary indulgences, they offer the complete removal of punishment due to sin.

But there are terms and conditions.

1) Receive communion (ideally on the same day the indulgenced act is done)
2) Go to confession (within a week before or after the indugenced act)
3) That one pray for the Pope's intentions (usually by saying an Our Father and a Hail Mary)
4) That one be free from all attachment to sin, even venial sin.

Now to the main point of my blog this second Friday of Lent: You can obtain a plenary indulgence every Friday in Lent by saying the following prayer before a Crucifix after receiving Holy Communion. The other usual requirements for a plenary indulgence also apply.

Prayer before a Crucifix
(Latin and English versions)

En ego, o bone et dulcíssime Iesu, ante conspéctum tuum génibus me provólvo,
ac máximo ánimi adóre te oro atque obtéstor, ut meum in cor vívidos fídei, spei, et caritátis sensus, atque veram peccatórum meórum pæniténtiam, eáque emendándi firmíssimam voluntátem velis imprímere; dum magno ánimi afféctu et dolóre
tua quinque vúlnera mecum ipse consídero ac mente contémplor, illud præ óculis habens, quod iam in ore ponébat tuo David prophéta de te, o bone Iesu: Fodóderunt manus meas et pedes meos: dinumeravérunt ómnia ossa mea.

Behold, O kind and most sweet Jesus, I cast myself upon my knees in Thy sight,
and with the most fervent desire of my soul I pray and beseech Thee
that Thou wouldst impress upon my heart lively sentiments of Faith, Hope, and Charity, with true repentance for my sins, and a firm purpose of amendment,
whilst with deep affection and grief of soul I ponder within myself and mentally contemplate Thy five most precious Wounds; having before my eyes the words which David in prophecy spoke concerning Thyself, O good Jesus: “They have pierced my hands and feet; they have numbered all my bones.”

So my point? During Lent, follow the rules I outlined above, and partake of the forgiveness of Christ.

One day, you'll be glad you did.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Broken Faith

There's a bit of trouble for Bishop Martino and the Diocese of Scranton.

It seems that after the highly publicized and lamented restructuring of the catholic schools, we still can't seem to focus on what's important.

The students.

You see, in the past the diocesan schools only had a union in selected schools, for whatever reason.

Not ALL schools. Selected schools.

Now, with the restructuring, which closed some schools and consolidated others, the diocese decided to not deal with a union at all. They asked the teachers who wanted positions in the new school system to apply for them. Those that were hired were given a 3% pay raise and full benefits.

That's a pretty good deal from a school system that had no idea how many former and new students would enroll.

Then the teachers got greedy.

The union officials, who have no jobs if there is no union by the way, went on a rampage. They demanded to be able to bargain on behalf of the teachers. They insisted that the teachers needed representation, and that they were the ones for the job.

They held prayer vigils outside the cathedral, they have enlisted every newspaper in their fight, and they continue attempt to force their will on the diocese.

From today's edition of the Citizen's Voice:

"We want to let parents know the bishop has broken faith with the teachers … and broken faith with the students and parents as well,” said James Lynch, union vice president.

Can someone please explain to me how by not wanting a union, the church has "broken faith" with students and parents? It is the teachers that have broken the faith with the students. The parish priests have no idea how the children are being prepared for the sacraments. The curriculum for first communion and confirmation are unclear. Calls to the schools have been fruitless. There are no answers to be had it seems. First communions and confirmations diocese wide may have to be canceled for the first time in the history of diocese, if it is not taken care of quickly.

It is the union that is causing problems, the teachers accepted contracts without the union, got raises without the union, but now they want a union?

And to top it off, the union officials are calling for parents not to give money to their parishes, but to "catholic" charities instead. "
That way, people can still tithe, but “not support a church that condones this type of treatment,” Lynch said Wednesday. In the advertisement, (the union took out in local newspapers) the union also addresses a possible work stoppage that would be a “last resort” if the diocese does not let teachers vote on union membership."

I hate to tell the union this, but a tithe is not the same as a charitable contribution. A tithe is meant for the support of clergy and the parish, so what they are really asking is for people to turn their backs on the church which provides them with so much, just so that a few people can keep their jobs in the union.

And a work stoppage? If I were the Bishop, I would fire them all.

What has happened to obedience? It would seem to me that the ones with the "broken faith" are the union officials, and the teachers and people that support them.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Welcome to my new blog!

Howdy ho neighbors!

I'm giddy to have a real blog now published on the web, and I welcome you, my first readers!

How did you find me?

Please leave me a comment. That would make me happy.