28 September 2008

In meetings, I meet me

Faith is not a magic formula. But it does give us the key to learning for ourselves. So that we can get answers and find out for ourselves who we are. It is always the case that a person first recognizes himself in others and through others. No one can arrive at knowledge of himself just by looking within himself and trying to build up his personality from what he finds there.

Man as a being is so constructed for relationships that he grows in relation to others. So that his own meaning, his tasks in life, his advancement in life, and his poetntial are unlocked in his meetings with others.

From the starting point of this basic structure of human existence we can understand faith and our meeting with Jesus. Faith is not just a system of knowledge, things we are told; at the heart of it is a meeting with Jesus

This meeting with Jesus, among all those other meetings we have need of, is the truly decisive one. All our other meetings leave the ultimate goal unclear, where we are coming from, where we are going. At our meeting with him the fundamental light dawns, by which I can understand God, man, the world, mission, and meaning - and by which all other meetings fall into place.

Pope Benedict XVI

27 September 2008

Why no more papal slippers?

Paul VI and the spirit of the sixties from his personal secretary...

"This reform attained persons and ceremonies. The ancient choreography of the military corps: the Noble and the Palatine Guards disappeared. The Papal Court was drastically remodelled.

The canopy, feather fans and silver trumpets were no more.

When some Oriental bishops remarked that a golden cross decorating the papal slippers was a lack of respect for the Cross, he gave orders for it to be removed immediately.

He wanted to abolish the special chair [sedia gestatoria] which carried him on four men's shoulders, but no solution was found to allow the pilgrims to see the Pope easily.

The liturgical vestments lost their lace and everything else judged redundant, towards a religious sobriety and dignity.

To encourage such renewal he was the first to give example: he replaced the golden chain of the pectoral cross with a silk cord, and never wore a golden watch or gold-rimmed glasses, and never used a golden fountain pen."

-Paul VI The Man and His Message, by Archbishop Pasquale Macchi, 2007, pp. 65-66

For the priest who has everything!

... no sacristy should be without one!

22 September 2008


among many sad others


Once you accept the existence of God - however you define Him, however you explain your relationship to Him - then you are caught forever with his presence in the center of all things. You are also caught with the fact that man is a creature who walks in two worlds and traces upon the walls of his cave the wonders and the nightmare experiences of his spiritual pilgrimage

-Morris West

17 September 2008

14 September 2008


In the name of the...

The most basic Christian gesture in prayer is and always will be the sign of the cross. It is a way of confessing Christ crucified with one's very body.

To seal oneself with the sign of the cross is a visible and public Yes to him who suffered for us; to him who in the body has made God's love visible, even to the utmost; to the God who reigns not by destruction but by the humility of suffering and love, which is stronger than all the power of the world and wiser than all the calculating intelligence of men.

The sign of the cross is a confession of faith: I believe in him who suffered for me and rose again; in him who has transformed the sign of shame into a sign of hope and of the love of God that is present with us. The confession of faith is a confession of hope: I believe in him who in his weakness is the Almighty; in him who can and will save me even in apparent absence and impotence.

By signing ourselves with the cross, we place ourselves under the protection of the cross, hold it in front of us like a shield that will guard us in all the distress of daily life and give us the courage to go on. We accept it as a signpost that we follow. The cross shows us the road of life - the imitation of Christ.

Whenever we make the sign of the cross, we accept our Baptism anew; Christ from the cross draws us, so to speak, to himself. We make the sign of the cross on ourselves and thus enter the power of the blessing of Jesus Christ. We make the sign over people to whom we wish a blessing. Through the cross, we can become sources of blessing for one another.

Pope Benedict XVI

09 September 2008

Favorite quote...

Let us dream of a church
so salty and so yeasty
that it really would be missed if no longer around

From THIS (which, I would argue, needs some theological tweaking but, all in all, is a great conversation starter)


For as the Apostle Paul says, we are no longer to be enslaved by the elemental spirits of the world or to be trapped in the yoke of slavery to the letter of the law. This is the summary of the benefits Christ has secured for us. In Christ the mystery is unveiled, nature is made new, divine and human, and the deification of our human nature is assumed by God. But so radiant, so glorious a visitation of God among mortals required some prelude of joy to introduce to us the great gift of salvation. Today's feast, celebrating the birth of the God-bearer, is that prelude, and the final act is the destined union between the Word and human nature.

Today a virgin is born, suckled and nurtured, and is being made ready to be the God-bearer, the king of all. With justification we should celebrate the mystery of this day, for if we do, our gain will be two fold: we shall be led towards the truth, and we shall be led away from a life of slavery to the letter of the law.

How can this be? In the same way that the shadow gives way to the presence of the light, grace introduces freedom in place of the letter of the law. Today's feast stands on the boundary between these two dispensations: it joins us to the truth instead of to signs and figures, and it ushers in the new in place of the old.

Let the whole creation, therefore, sing praise and dance and unite in celebrating the glories of this day. Today let there be one common feast of all in heaven and earth. Let everything that is, in and above the earth, join together in rejoicing. For today a shine is built for the creator of the universe. The creature is newly ready as a divine dwelling for the creator.

St. Andrew of Crete, homily
Celebrating the Saints

05 September 2008


right is right, even if no one is doing it. wrong is wrong, even if everyone is doing it. st.augustine.

02 September 2008