Saturday, August 28, 2010

Scriptures to meditate upon as you make the Sign of the Cross

Here are some Scripture verses to think about as you make the Sign of the Cross. (Not that I have anything against "In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit", but there are other verses we can meditate upon as we cross ourselves.)

"He who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me." (Matt. 10:38; cf. Luke 14:27)

"If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me." (Matt. 16:24; cf. Mark 8:34; Luke 9:23)

As they went out, they came upon a man of Cyrene, Simon by name; this man they compelled to carry his cross. (Matt. 27:32; cf. Mark 15:21; Luke 23:26)

"As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life." (John 3:14-15)

"I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself." (John 12:32)

"Let all the house of Israel therefore know assuredly that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified." (Acts 2:36)

We know that our old self was crucified with him so that the sinful body might be destroyed, and we might no longer be enslaved to sin. (Rom. 6:6)

The word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. (1 Cor. 1:18)

We preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. (1 Cor. 1:23-24)

I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. (1 Cor. 2:2)

He was crucified in weakness, but lives by the power of God. (2 Cor. 13:4)

I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me; and the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. (Gal. 2:20)

Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. (Gal. 5:24)

Far be it from me to glory except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. (Gal. 6:14)

For he is our peace, who has made us both one, and has broken down the dividing wall of hostility, by abolishing in his flesh the law of commandments and ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby bringing the hostility to an end. (Eph. 2:14-16)

Being found in human form he humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross. (Phil. 2:8)

In him all the fulness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross. (Col. 1:19-20)

God made [us] alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, having canceled the bond which stood against us with its legal demands; this he set aside, nailing it to the cross. (Col. 2:13-14)

Look to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. (Heb. 12:2)

Friday, August 20, 2010

English Translation Approved

This just in from the USCCB:

Cardinal George Announces Vatican Approval of New Roman Missal English-Language Translation, Implementation Set for First Sunday of Advent 2011

WASHINGTON—Cardinal Francis George, OMI, Archbishop of Chicago and President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), has announced that the full text of the English-language translation of the Roman Missal, Third Edition, has been issued for the dioceses of the United States of America. ...

Cardinal George announced receipt of the documents in an August 20 letter to the U.S. Bishops and issued a decree of proclamation that states that “The use of the third edition of the Roman Missal enters into use in the dioceses of the United States of America as of the First Sunday of Advent, November 27, 2011. From that date forward, no other edition of the Roman Missal may be used in the dioceses of the United States of America.”

The date of implementation was chosen to allow publishers time to prepare texts and parishes and dioceses to educate parishioners.

“We can now move forward and continue with our important catechetical efforts as we prepare the text for publication,” Cardinal George said. ...

The USCCB Roman Missal web site has already been updated to reflect this final edition of the translation. Volume 1 of the Praying the Mass series, The Prayers of the People, has undergone another slight revision, but I will not be releasing it just yet. Volume 2, The Prayers of the Priest, which is still in production, has already been adjusted to reflect the new texts.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Book Review: The Crucified Rabbi by Taylor Marshall

I finished The Crucified Rabbi: Judaism and the Origins of Catholic Christianity by Taylor R. Marshall this morning before Mass.  This is the first in his "Origins of Catholic Christianity" trilogy.

In thirteen chapters, Marshall takes us through shared concepts of Judaism and Catholicism, providing the Jewish origin (or at least precedent) for the Catholic concept, practice, or belief.  Some are more readily apparent than others:  Messiah and Christ mean the same thing, for example.  Others might surprise you:  the ritual Tevilah washing and the sacrament of Baptism, or the Jewish Nazirites and Catholic monastics.  Marshall quotes from Scripture, rabbinic sources, and the historical accounts of Josephus and others, giving a clear and consistent picture of the development of these facets of Catholicism from their Jewish roots.

The book is an easy and quick read.  It's educational and informative without sounding too technical or academic.  It has its share of typos, but nothing too serious.  An appendix contains some 300 Old Testament prophecies fulfilled in Jesus Christ.

If you are looking for a book to help you fill in the gaps between the Old and New Covenants, or if you're looking for an accessible resource to share with a Jewish friend curious about the claims of Christianity, I recommend The Crucified Rabbi.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Ad in H&PR

I attended a one-day conference on devotion to the Sacred Heart a few months ago in New York City.  One of the presenters was Fr. Kenneth Baker, SJ, editor emeritus of Homiletic & Pastoral Review (H&PR).  Last week, I received a free trial issue.  It sure looks like a solid resource, and I've heard good things about it in the past.

So I decided, with all these good priests and laity writing for and subscribed to the periodical, I should look into advertising the Praying the Mass series in it.  I'll have a quarter-page ad in the October, November, and December issues.  With only about 8 square inches of space, I had to choose my words carefully:
That's what it will look like.  Hopefully the bold-face catches the eye of a pastor or director of religious education!

Monday, August 09, 2010

A well-used Bible!

I was watching an episode of Mother Angelica Live, and the cameramen included a rare (as far as I know) look at Mother Angelica's bible!  It has certainly been read and re-read, and she was not too timid to underline and take notes in it!

Contemplating Mary as a model for offering the Eucharist

What follows is an excerpt from Praying the Mass: The Prayers of the Priest chapter 6, "The Eucharistic Prayer", pp. 180-181.

In addition to Jesus Himself, we have been given another model to imitate in the Eucharistic offering. While Jesus is the model par excellence, especially for ordained priests, His mother is an excellent model for the lay faithful to look to.

Our contemplation of Mary as a model for offering the Eucharist begins at the foot of the cross, where St. John tells us she stood. (cf. John 19:25) A 13th century hymn about the sorrows of Mary at the Passion of her Son, Stabat Mater, opens with Mary “At the Cross, her station keeping.” [Footnote: One of the priest's prayers before Mass is a prayer to the Blessed Virgin Mary which asks her to stand by the priest as she stood by the cross on Calvary.]

In the Offertory, the priest is presented with gifts from God, and in the Eucharistic Prayer they are offered to God. Mary experienced this first-hand: she received the Word as a “gift” from God and offered Him back to God on the cross. This theme occurs in some papal documents from the past few centuries, such as Pope Leo XIII’s 1894 encyclical on the Rosary:
As we contemplate [Jesus] in the last and most piteous of those [Sorrowful] Mysteries [of the Rosary], there stood by the Cross of Jesus His Mother, who, in a miracle of charity, so that she might receive us as her sons, offered generously to Divine Justice her own Son, and died in her heart with Him, stabbed with the sword of sorrow. (Iucunda Semper Expectatione 3)
The role of Mary in offering Christ to the Father was also described in Ven. Pope Pius XII’s encyclical on the Mystical Body of Christ:
It was [Mary], the second Eve, who, free from all sin, original or personal, and always more intimately united with her Son, offered Him on Golgotha to the Eternal Father... (Mystici Corporis Christi 110)
More recently, Ven. Pope John Paul II reflected on Marian aspects of the Eucharist at the end of his encyclical on the Eucharist and the Church:
Mary, throughout her life at Christ’s side and not only on Calvary, made her own the sacrificial dimension of the Eucharist. … In her daily preparation for Calvary, Mary experienced a kind of “anticipated Eucharist” – one might say a “spiritual communion” – of desire and of oblation, which would culminate in her union with her Son in his passion… (Ecclesia de Eucharistia 56)
Mary does not represent the priest at the crucifixion, for Jesus is the priest, victim, and altar of His sacrifice; so what role does that leave for her? Mary is a figure of the Church (cf. Catechism 967, 972), so in her is represented all the faithful who offer the sacrifice with the priest. She joined her suffering with that of her Son (cf. Luke 2:34-35); she offered Him, even as He offered Himself. Thus Mary is a surpassing model for the lay faithful at Mass, she who inaugurated the exercise of the common priesthood by assisting at the first “Mass” on Calvary.

Sunday, August 01, 2010

Praise for Praying the Mass God

Today I received a very encouraging email from the President and Rector of Conception Seminary College in Conception, Missouri:
Dear Mr. Pinyan,

This past spring you sent me a copy of "Praying the Mass" along with a donation to our seminary. I am happy to report that Fr. Dan Merz, vice-rector of our seminary and doctoral candidate in liturgy at the Pontifical Liturgical Institute in Rome read your book and thought it to have been quite well-written.

May God bless this endeavor!

Fr. Samuel
Conception Seminary College
I have been receiving good feedback about the book for some time now. I received a note on Facebook near the end of June that delighted me as well:
I had to tell you, my husband came home from a business trip the other day and asked if we had a book called "PRAYING THE MASS." (I have a lot of books) He had heard about it from a friend in the Cincinnati area who is in a men's group which is studying it. His friend said that even after 12 years of Catholic education, he feels that he must have missed something, because studying your book has made the mass come alive for him. (And that's before the new translations are even out!) I know if I were you, hearing that would make it all worth it. Congratulations and God bless you in your work!
I am sure that God is behind (and above) this endeavor of mine. I can only hope He will bless and approve the offering of the second and third books in the series, enabling them to bear fruit in the lives of others, for His good and the good of all His holy Church!