Lent and Holy Week

Easter

Msgr. Luigi Giussani (1922-2005) was an Italian priest and professor of theology, who spent many years teaching in Milan but who is best known as the founder of the Communion and Liberation movement.   When he died in 2005, Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger (the future Pope Benedict XVI) preached his funeral Mass, saying: “[Msgr. Giussani] understood that Christianity is not an intellectualContinue reading “Easter”

Hosanna

It is part of the human experience that when we do something enough times it becomes second nature to us.  When it’s a good pattern of behavior, we call it virtue.  It’s it bad, we call it vice.  Even things that seem complicated and difficult at first can become, over time, so much a part of us thatContinue reading “Hosanna”

Detox

The first reading for today’s Mass is from the Book of Numbers (21:4-9).  Numbers is one of the first five books of the Bible, which together are called the Torah.  Numbers tells the story of the Israelites after their liberation from slavery in Egypt, during their 40-year period of wandering in the desert before entering the Promised Land.  In those days of wandering, theyContinue reading “Detox”

Veiled Images

There’s an old saying that “the early bird catches the worm.”  In some cases, however, the early bird is just early.  I thought of that last weekend when I realized too late that I had our volunteers veil the images in our churches too early.  My apologizes for putting a damper on your Laetare Sunday!    Traditionally, the properContinue reading “Veiled Images”

Lessons from this Longer Lent

I’m having a longer Lent than usual this year. Most years it begins on Ash Wednesday.  This year, however, it started on January 4 when I decided to join a small group of local men, including some parishioners, to participate in a program called Exodus 90, which basically extends Lent from its official 40 days to 90 days (the amount of time experts say it takes to form new habits).  So,Continue reading “Lessons from this Longer Lent”

Te Deum

posted 6/6/20 This Sunday the Church celebrates the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity.  The truth that God exists is something that one can reasonably deduce through the exercise of one’s natural intellectual gifts.  The inner life of God as a Communion of Three Divine Persons, however, is something that we know only through divine revelation.  Our imaginations are not muchContinue reading “Te Deum”

Divine Mercy

posted 4/18/20 How do we conceive of the mercy of God? It’s an important question because everything depends on His mercy.  There are two tendencies against which we have to be on guard because they distort the reality of His mercy.  We might think that He is stingy with His mercy, that He gets tired of hearing us confess the same thingsContinue reading “Divine Mercy”

Art & the Incarnation

posted 4/14/20 I read an interview yesterday that Catholic News Agency did with the artist Osamu Giovanni Micico.  Osamu was born in Tokyo in 1982 and from a young age had always been interested in art and drawing. In order to please his parents he originally planned on pursuing a career in the sciences, but while in university an artist encouraged him to pursue his passion, which was painting.  OsamuContinue reading “Art & the Incarnation”

Life in Eastertide 2020

posted 4/13/20 So here we are.  We have made it through the 40 day journey of Lent, we have celebrated the sacred liturgies of the Triduum, and now we find ourselves in Easter.  I must admit to you that I find it harder to accept the current quarantine/social distancing situation during Easter than I did during Lent.  In a way, the sacrifices that the precautionary measures have required ofContinue reading “Life in Eastertide 2020”

Holy Saturday

Holy Saturday is a strange “in-between” day. Our Lord’s suffering has ended, but He is not yet risen. His body lies in the tomb, observing the Sabbath rest. But where is Our Lord’s soul? Where is His spirit? Christ Jesus is God, but also man – so He has a human soul that in deathContinue reading “Holy Saturday”

Divine Mercy

posted 4/10/20 Today, Good Friday, is the day on which we contemplate the suffering and death of Our Lord on the cross.  It is also the first day in the Divine Mercy novena.  In the year 2000, St. John Paul II designated the Sunday after Easter as Divine Mercy Sunday.  He did that on the day that heContinue reading “Divine Mercy”

Spy Wednesday

posted 4/8/20 Today is Spy Wednesday, the day on which the Church gives us the gospel reading that describes the conspiracy between Judas and the chief priests to have the Lord Jesus arrested and condemned to death.  “What are you willing to give me if I hand him over to you?” Judas said to the chief priests.  The gospel tellsContinue reading “Spy Wednesday”

Making Our Way Home

posted 4/7/20 I was talking with one of our religious education teachers yesterday, a man very committed to that ministry, and during our conversation he told me about the last class he had before everything was suspended.  By then there was already a feeling of unease about the growing threat of the Coronavirus and speculation on what measuresContinue reading “Making Our Way Home”

The Shroud

posted 4/6/20 Yesterday the Archdiocese of Turin announced that the mysterious Shroud of Turin will be displayed for veneration on Holy Saturday.  This will be just the 20th time in the known history of the shroud that it will be on display for public viewing.  The Shroud of Turin is a rectangular piece of woven linen measuring 14ft.5in.Continue reading “The Shroud”

Palm Sunday

posted 4/4/20 One of my enduring memories of Palm Sunday growing up is my father’s expressions of exasperation at the amount of palm my sisters and I would bring home from church.  At the time I didn’t understand it.  Why wouldn’t you want to get a big handful (or two) of palm?  But looking back, I kind of get it because by the endContinue reading “Palm Sunday”

Friday of Sorrows

posted 4/3/20 Today we find ourselves in the Friday of what’s called “Passiontide,” which refers to the final two weeks of Lent.  Passiontide begins in dramatic fashion, with the veiling of images in our churches on the 5th Sunday of Lent.  If you visit St. Cecilia Church, or watched the video of the parish Mass in St. Gabriel’s last weekend, youContinue reading “Friday of Sorrows”

The Annunciation

posted 3/24/20 Tomorrow, 3/25, is the Feast of the Annunciation on which we celebrate the Archangel Gabriel’s announcement to the Blessed Virgin Mary that God had chosen her to be the Mother of the Savior.  It’s a special day for the people of our parish for a couple of reasons – first: St. Gabriel is one of ourContinue reading “The Annunciation”

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