Tuesday, September 29, 2009

My book goes to Washington, DC!

The book store at the National Basilica Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, DC, placed an order for 50 copies of Praying the Mass: The Prayers of the People.  Look for it to be on the shelves in a couple of weeks!

Support a Catholic Speaker!

This is from Matthew Warner's blog, Fallible Blogma:
I thought it would be really cool if we could do a joint promotion effort of a lot of the great Catholic speakers out there and the many Catholic blogs.  Introducing…Support a Catholic Speaker Month.

The goal is to create a rising Catholic tide on the internet that lifts all boats (websites, speakers, and all those who participate).  This giant, sudden influx of catholic material and interlinking between Catholic websites should get some attention and raise awareness about all of these great Catholic speakers while also promoting the many wonderful Catholic blogs out there that perhaps you haven’t heard of yet either.

The primary goal of our Favorite Catholic Speakers Poll of 2009 was not to find out who is better than somebody else.  It was to raise awareness about the many Catholic Speakers out there and to support them.  They are all sharing the same, one Truth.  And as talented and effective as the top favorites are at doing what they do, we need many more like them if we’re going to reach everyone.

That’s precisely the motivation for Support a Catholic Speaker Month.

How it works:
  1. If you have a blog or website, just request a speaker from the list below by emailing me here: speaker [@] fallibleblogma [DOT] com.  Please include your requested speaker and your blog/website (you don’t have to have a fancy, popular blog – just a desire to help the Catholic community).
  2. Next, simply write a short (at least a few paragraphs) post about your speaker. Link back to this page on FallibleBlogma.com and link to the speaker’s own website. Let me know when it’s up and I will link to your post from this post so people can find it on your blog and read it!
  3. The tidal wave of Catholic links and posts then flood the web raising awareness and promoting hundreds of Catholic speakers and blogs in the month of October.
To see the list of speakers, go to Matthew's post.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Chant photos

Here's a link to my Facebook photo album of the CMAA Gregorian chant pilgrimage I attended at the National Basilica Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, DC, this past weekend.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Book Update

My book is now on Amazon.com!  In a few weeks, I'm going to be contacting people who've bought my book asking for them to consider writing a review for Amazon's web site.

I've already sold 20 copies, and I made a lot of great contacts at the Gregorian chant pilgrimage in DC this weekend.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Very warm words from Fr. Finigan on Praying the Mass

Read the whole review:
The introductory chapter includes a refreshingly sound and balanced understanding of participation in the Sacred Liturgy and the whole book could justifiably be regarded as a significant contribution to the genuine renewal of the Liturgy promoted by Pope Benedict. ... As a resource for lay people, this book deserves a place on the book list for courses, training sessions and websites devoted to such preparation.


Tonight I begin as a catechist for 6th-graders, who will be learning about salvation history. We're starting at the beginning (Genesis 1, the creation) rather than where their textbook starts (with Abram in Genesis 11).

As soon as I get home from that, I'll be stopping back home for a few minutes to pack and say good-bye to my wife, and then it's down to Maryland. I'm staying at my sister's house for two nights while I attend the CMAA Gregorian Chant Pilgrimage at the National Shrine in Washington, DC. I wanted to have copies of my book with me, but I placed the order too late, so it won't arrive at my sister's house until sometime next week. When I won't be there. Darn. (I'll get them from her shortly thereafter. I also ordered a shipment to my address.)

I very much want to have copies by next Saturday, so that I can give one to Jeff Cavins. I also need to have copies by the following Friday, when I go to visit some clergy out in Pennsylvania, as well as my friend Russ Rentler. (Hopefully, I'll be attending his CD release concert.)

I'm so happy that already in its first day, people have bought my book. That tells me that there is demand for this sort of thing. Thanks be to God for that!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Praying the Mass now in print

My first book, Praying the Mass: The Prayers of the People, is available for purchase! It's not on Amazon.com yet (that'll take a few days still) but you can buy it through CreateSpace.com, which is Amazon's Print-on-Demand division.

Faith and Works: What did Jesus say?

This is what I heard on the lips of Jesus Christ this morning at Mass:  "My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and act on it." (Luke 8:21)  Sounds like faith and works to me...

Monday, September 21, 2009

Liturgy: Dog in the Recessional

There's a YouTube video making the rounds (rather quickly) that shows a dog joining in the recessional at the end of Mass, carrying the priest's hymnal in its mouth.  The story circulating with the video is that the dog belongs to the priest, and that before Mass began the priest gave a brief plug for the dog shampoo he uses (treating the altar as a stand for the product).

While there are blessings for animals in both the Roman Ritual and the modern Book of Blessings, and there is a rite of blessing of animals for use on the Feast of St. Francis, the general presence of animals at Mass seems like a poor prudential decision.  The dog carrying the priest's hymnal in the recessional seems more like a secular spectacle (a circus act) than a sacred action (a liturgical act).

Burning heart, opened eyes, refound faith: Russ Rentler's Way to Emmaus

This is my review of the new CD Way to Emmaus by my friend and fellow-blogger Russ Rentler.

Russ Rentler's blog, "Crossed the Tiber," was one of the first Catholic blogs I came across when I got into blogging a few years ago.  He first commented on my blog on April 26, 2007.  The next day, he wrote his first blog post.  Shortly after that, I added him to my blogroll.  He was the first blogger I met in person — he and his wife live not far from my parents out in Eastern Pennsylvania.  He's a revert to the Catholic Church and he puts his faith into musical action.

His new CD, Way to Emmaus, is a spiritual gem.  The music is joyous, folky, and reverent.  It's admittedly outside my normal listening spectrum, but the performance and content win me over.  The thirteen songs on this CD pull from nearly 2000 years of wisdom revealed by God to His Church:  Late I Have Loved You channels St. Augustine's struggle to let himself surrender to a "beauty so ancient yet ever-new", while The Offering is inspired by the "Prayer of Surrender" written by Rev. Walter J. Ciszek, SJ, a Polish-American priest who died in 1984.  In Way to Emmaus, the title track, Russ captures the emotions of the two disciples as they walked, disappointed and disoriented, to Emmaus from Jerusalem where Christ was crucified; but Russ bares his soul and tells his own journey from Jerusalem towards Emmaus, through a time of doubts and questions, and finally back to Jerusalem, in Stained Glass Windows.

The more lighthearted tracks, such as Upsy Daisy Angel, Old Time Religion, and Nicean Blues (which I subtitle "A Little Church History"), provide some levity to balance the gravity of tracks like Whisper (which I subtitle "An Act of Contrition") and Room of Tears (where the newly elected pope dresses before he walks onto the balcony to greet the faithful).  Also included is Russ's ode to the Blessed Virgin Mary, under the title given to her by St. Irenaeus: Untier of Knots.  This Church Father wrote that "The knot of Eve's disobedience was untied by Mary's obedience: what the virgin Eve bound through her disbelief, Mary loosened by her faith." (Adv. haeres. 3, 22, 4; quoted in Catechism 494)  There are two instrumental tracks, both of which are hymns you probably know:  Holy God (We Praise Thy Name) and Sing of Mary.

Closing the CD is a song which touches upon the heart of Russ's other ministry, serving the poor of Haiti as a medic-missionary.  Jewel of the Caribbean is a haunting look at the deep beauty of Port-au-Prince which is shrouded by its poverty.

This CD is a testimony to the beauty of faith, the power of grace, and the freedom of surrender to God.  I give it The Cross Reference seal of approval:  support Russ's ministry in Haiti by purchasing the CD and telling your friends about it.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Breakfast on a lazy Saturday morning...

I make a specialty called "grumblecakes". I don't really know when the name was coined, but they're essentially pancakes whose purpose is to cure the morning grumbles. (Why there'd be grumbling on a Saturday is anyone's guess... there weren't any today.)

Grumblecakes are pancakes with a bit of vanilla and cinnamon added; they usually include a touch of chocolate syrup, or mini chocolate chips, or some other filling. Today, Kristin and I had strawberry pieces in our grumblecakes; she also had a pecan-filled grumblecake.

Breakfast was topped off with some strawberry garnishes.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Caritas in veritate in Latin

Zenit gets right to the point:
 VATICAN CITY, SEPT. 1, 2009 (Zenit.org).- For those who enjoy a good encyclical in Latin, the Vatican Web site has recently posted a version of Benedict XVI's "Caritas in Veritate" in the language of ancient Rome.

The encyclical is also available in print form through the Vatican Publishing House.

Latin, the official language of the Catholic Church, was introduced to the site on May 9, 2008.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

On Redemptive Suffering (part 1)

Pope John Paul II wrote an Apostolic Letter in 1984 entitled Salvifici Doloris, on the Christian meaning of human suffering.  Next Wednesday, I will be leading a discussion at Princeton University on the first half of this Letter (paragraphs 1-18).  The John Paul II Reading Group meets once a month at Murray-Dodge Hall from 7:30 - 9:00pm.

Below (or click here) is my summary with excerpts from the first half of the document.  The late pontiff could be a bit verbose and repetitive (at least, that's how I perceive it), so I've produced a "kernel" version of this masterpiece.  I recommend you read the real thing, but I think my summary is adequate to gain familiarity with the subject matter.

Monday, September 14, 2009

The need for a new English Roman Missal

Fr. Thomas Kocik at the New Liturgical Movement points out a reason why the present English translation of the Roman Missal (commonly called the Sacramentary) is in need of revision.  Here is the post-communion prayer for today, the Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross, in Latin:
Refectione tua sancta enutriti, Domine Iesu Christe,
supplices deprecamur, ut,
quos per lignum crucis vivificae redemisti,
ad resurrectionis gloriam perducas.
Qui vivis et regnas in sæcula sæculorum.
Here is the present English translation:
Lord Jesus Christ, you are the holy bread of life.
Bring to the glory of the resurrection
the people you have redeemed by the wood of the cross.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.
Here is my translation:
Nourished by your holy refreshment, Lord Jesus Christ,
we humbly beseech you, that,
those whom you redeemed by the wood of the life-giving cross,
you would lead to the glory of the resurrection.
Who lives and reigns for ever and ever.
Now, translation quality aside (although that is an issue!), Fr. Kocik points out the absolute mistranslation – it can't even be called that – of the bolded words.  The prayer is addressed to Christ, not to the Father, which is why the Latin does not end with "Per Christum Dominum nostrum", but rather with "Qui vivis..."  The translators fell asleep at the wheel on this one!

A good laugh

Now I've seen everything!  A regular commenter on the National "Catholic" Reporter web site who goes by the name "frère charles du désert OSB OBLAT (Congrégation de Subiaco)" posted this chestnut in the comment-box of Fr. McBrien's recent short essay on Eucharistic adoration (in which he calls Eucharistic adoration a "step backwards"):
... Time to change spiritual advisers to something Roman Catholic and faithful to Our Holy Father in Rome. Time to read, in fact, the Reverend Father Richard P. McBrien and find your Catholic feet upon the Roman Catholic way. When you look back and see but one set of footprints, you will know the Reverend Father Richard P. McBrien was carrying along the way to Truth and to Charity.

Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross

Today is the Feast of the Exaltation (Triumph) of the Cross.  It is also the second anniversary of the enacting of Summorum Pontificum, the motu proprio promulgated by Pope Benedict XVI in July of 2007 which allowed priests to celebrate the older form of the Roman Rite (now known as the "extraordinary form") without requiring special permission from their bishop to do so.

Tomorrow is the Memorial of Our Lady of Sorrows.

Friday, September 11, 2009

9/11: Remember and Pray

Today is the 8th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on New York City and Washington, DC – attacks on the whole United States.  Please remember the victims in your prayers; render thanksgiving to God for the gifts of courage and selflessness that enabled thousands of men and women to reach out a hand in rescue or support; and pray unceasingly for an end to terrorism and violent extremists.

It's also imperative, I think, to pray to God fervently for His protection of this country, especially from any future attempted terrorist attacks.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

A cup of cold water

Jesus said, "whoever gives to one of these little ones even a cup of cold water because he is a disciple, truly, I say to you, he shall not lose his reward." (Matt. 10:42)

Mother Angelica spoke ever so briefly about that verse on "Mornings with Mother" today.  Getting a cup of cold water in a day and age without refrigeration was no small task!  That meant getting water from a fresh stream or from a deep well.  Just something to think about.

Monday, September 07, 2009

Penn and Teller talk "Bull****" about the Vatican

That's the name of their show, Bull****.  And in their August 27th episode on the Vatican, that's what they dished out.  14 lies refuted at TheMediaReport.com.

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Wisdom from Fr. Cantalamessa

Christ loved the Church and gave himself for her so that she would be 'without stain.'  And the Church would be without stain if we were not a part of it!  The Church would have one less wrinkle if I committed one less sin.  Martin Luther criticized Erasmus of Rotterdam for remaining in the Catholic Church despite its corruption, but Erasmus answered him: 'I put up with this Church, in the hope that one day it will become better, just as it is constrained to put up with me in the hope that one day I will become better.'
(H/T: Fr. Jay @ Young Fogeys)

Saturday, September 05, 2009

My grand scheme of book-writing

So I'm about to have my first book in print.  (It might be a couple of days later than September 10th, since there might be a glitch in the cover of my book.  I'll know when the proof copy arrives.)  But I don't plan on stopping with one book.  I have five books in mind.  Here's what they are:
  1. Praying the Mass: The Prayers of the People.  This is the first of a two-volume series on the new English translation of the Mass.  It covers the parts of the Mass that the congregation says.
  2. Praying the Mass: The Prayers of the Priest.  This is the second volume.  It covers the parts of the Mass that the priest says.  It will also include a chapter on vestments and the vesting prayers, and an appendix on liturgical colors.
  3. The Mass and the Mission of the Church: Witnesses in Jerusalem and to the ends of the Earth.  This book looks at the missionary nature of the Church and how the liturgy expresses that nature and impresses it upon the faithful.  The cover (which I've already designed) is available below.
  4. Priest, Prophet, King: Participation in Christ.  This book will look at the three offices of Christ and how the Church participates in those offices, in her ordained ministers, religious members, and lay faithful.  The primary purpose of this book will be to demonstrate that the teaching of Vatican II and the modern Catechism does not contradict the Church's traditional understanding.  That is, the book is meant to show the continuity of Vatican II with the rest of the Church's history.  The cover (which I've already designed) is available below.
  5. O Come, Let Us Adore Him.  This will be the book form of my presentation on Eucharistic Adoration.  It will be longer and contain more reflections, Scripture, and prayers than my presentation.
And this is what I think the covers to books #3 and #4 will look like:

My thoughts on the Kennedy funeral

Update (9/5): My comment was approved on Cardinal Seán's blog.

I'm going to keep this short and to the point.  We owe it to Ted Kennedy to pray for his soul; it's the least we would ask anyone else to do for us.  We can hope that he repented of his support of abortion (among other things) at his last confession, but we will never know that, because of the seal of confession.

What we do know with certainty is that he did not publicly recant the positions he held on issues that were not consonant with the Catholic faith.  I dare say that it would have been utterly disastrous for the pro-choice movement if he had done so:  the "liberal lion" ending up to be a turncoat (although, in honesty, he would be a return-coat, coming back to the pro-life stance he held earlier in life).

Maybe he wanted to publicly recant, but did not get the opportunity to do so.  But what causes me sorrow is to know of the "lost opportunity" of his public repudiation of abortion.  It makes me second-guess (to my deep sorrow) whether he was truly repentant on the matter, whether he confessed it with true contrition, if he confessed it at all.  This, among other things, has resulted in a scandal surrounding the highly-publicized funeral Mass.

Friday, September 04, 2009

Banners for Praying the Mass: The Prayers of the People

(Update: 9/8) Please update your links to my banners as shown below. I have not been able to count on the reliability of Google's image hosting.

In an effort to spread the word about my book, I've come up with a few simple and elegant (or so I think...) banners that you can use on your web site to help advertise my book. All you need to do is choose the banner you like and copy the code beneath it into your blog article or other web page.  If you decide to link to the image on your own (instead of copying the code), be sure to link back to http://www.PrayingTheMass.com/ for me!
760 x 75 Banner (shown smaller than actual size)

468 x 60 Banner

300 x 150 Banner

240 x 240 Banner

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Pope's prayer intentions for September

General: That the word of God may be better known, welcomed and lived as the source of freedom and joy.

Mission: That Christians in Laos, Cambodia and Myanmar, who often meet with great difficulties, may not be discouraged from announcing the Gospel to their brothers, trusting in the strength of the Holy Spirit.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Cincinnati Enquirer polls on women's ordination

Archbishop Daniel Pilarczyk has banned Sister Louise Akers from teaching in the diocese because of her support for the ordination of women in the Catholic Church.  The simple summary of the article is this quote:
"The principle here is that someone who is teaching in the name of the church should be in accord with the teachings of the church," said archdiocese spokesman Dan Andriacco.
What the article doesn't get across clearly enough is that the ordination of women is an impossibility in the Catholic Church; instead, it polls its readership with the question "Should the Church allow women to be ordained as priests?"  Regardless of whether a person thinks the Church should allow women to be ordained, the Church simply cannot.

Please take a minute to take the poll and let Cincinnati know that the Church shouldn't try to do something she can't.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

May God Who has begun this good work in you...

... now bring it to fulfillment. (cf. Phil. 1:6)
This is the absolutely stunning New York City ordination video from Grassroots Films.

"As we praise God that these five men
– Anthony, Christopher, Vincent, Jacob, and Louis –
have so generously accepted the invitation from Jesus himself
to serve him and his Church as priests;
that their ordination is God's doing, not ours;
that this is a pure gift from God, not an earned trophy;
that His call trumps our curriculum vitae;
that His grace lifts up our nature. ...
You will have the very character of Christ, the High Priest,
the Good Shepherd, branded on your hearts as your very identity. ...
May God who has begun this good work in you now bring it to fulfillment."
— Archbishop Timothy Dolan