Friday, November 02, 2007

Men's Prayer Breakfast

This morning at 6:30 we celebrated Lauds from the Office for the Dead and included Holy Communion for first Friday. Afterwards we adjourned to the parish hall for a delicious breakfast of bacon, grits, biscuits and gravy, fresh fruit, coffee and oj prepared by a couple of the men of the parish. I'm very glad to see that more men are attending now that we've moved the time to 6:30, instead of 7. Perhaps we'll have to start something for the women of the parish as well. I'll suggest it and leave it up to them to decide. The great thing is to get people to the church for something other than the Mass. Hard to do these days.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

All Souls Day

On November 2, we celebrate the feast of All Souls. It came about through strongly Benedictine influence especially from the Cluniac Congregation in the middle ages. We commemorate all the souls of the faithful departed today. This feast proclaims the doctrine of Purgatory in both its scriptural and traditional bases. It also shows the Church's solicitude for all those who have died, and therefore are in need of our prayers and supplications. May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.

All Saints Day

Today the Church commemorates all of those who "have gone before us with the sign of peace and are now at rest." This feast was, in the Latin Church, begun with the consecration of the Pantheon in Rome to St. Mary and all Martyrs. Later, in the middle ages, it was moved to November 1.

The readings for today's Mass remind us that "what we will be then," i.e., in heaven, has not yet been revealed to us. We are on our way, becoming what we shall be on that day. They remind us also of that vast throng "which no man could number, of every tribe, language, people and nation," who are washed in the blood of the Lamb (Holy Baptism) and wearing white robes, with palm branches in their hands, give eternal worship with all the angels to the All-holy, and Blessed Trinity of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, one God, for ever and ever.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

New possibilities of dialog

A group of Muslim scholars sent a letter to various Christian leaders, including the Roman Pontiff. It is a refreshing opening of dialog after many years of standoffishness. Below is a quote from a recent article in Zenit. I suggest reading the full article.
ZENIT [] The letter sent by the Muslim scholars, noted the pontifical institute, did "not seek refuge in a convenient one-sided protest," but rather placed "themselves as partners within humanity."The response said that a fundamental point of the open letter sent by the Muslims was common ground, in particular the commandment to love one's neighbor: "Only this can guarantee success in a genuine relationship between culturally and religiously diverse communities.""In addition," the letter continues, "as faith always goes together with good works, as the Koran never fails to repeat, [...] love of God is inseparable from love of neighbor."The text sent by Muslim scholars referred to various Christian texts of the Gospel, and the pontifical institute noted, "This is evidence of deep respect and genuine attentiveness to others, while at the same time of a true scientific spirit. In this respect also, we note the emergence of a new attitude."