We Are in The Last Hour

We Are in The Last Hour

It’s almost 2011.  Remember Y2K? Seems like yesterday…but look at all that’s happened since. We are in the last hour…Not only of a new year but of the church age. That’s what the Scripture say’s and that’s what our church teaches. Children, it is the last hour; and just as you heard the anti-christ was coming, so now many antichrists have appeared Thus we know this is the last hour. —1 John 2:18 The Catechism of the Catholic Church says that, “Since the Ascension, God’s plan has entered into it’s fulfillment.” We are already at “the last hour.“ Already the final age of the world is with us and the renewal of the world is irrevocably under way…. —CCC 670 What do you do...

Men Have Forgotten God

Men Have Forgotten God

On May 10 1983, on the occasion of accepting the Templeton Prize for Progress in Religion, Soviet dissident Alexandr Solzhenitsyn remarked, If I were called upon to identify briefly the principle trait of the entire twentieth century, here too, I would be unable to find anything more precise and pithy, than to repeat once again, ‘Men have forgotton God’. That is a profound statement, especially from a man sentenced to eight years in a Russian prison camp in 1945 for criticizing Stalin in a personal letter. He had a deep Christian faith, was an icon of freedom to the western world– But critical of it because he considered it spiritually deteriorated. Duh. He gave a searing speech to Harvard’s graduating class of 1978, speaking on the...

St Thomas Becket-Martyr-Patron of Feisty Saints

Who will rid me of this turbulent priest? —Henry II Hidden in the falling out of this friendship is a key for those of us who desire to be saints, yet struggle with a few character flaws. As tensions boiled and fumed between the two friends and their differences foamed to the surface over issues of taxation, punishment of clerics by secular courts, and the right of appeal to Rome, it seems the character flaws that made Becket a powerful chancellor –excessive self confidence and obstinacy –were the very traits that made him a commanding archbishop. At one point they somewhat repaired relations, but continued to have unresolved issues. When Thomas returned to England, he wrote a letter to Henry addressing his concerns, speaking of the peace he...

The Coventry Carol-The Holy Innocents, Martyrs

To what merits of their own do the children owe this kind of victory? They cannot speak, yet they bear witness to Christ. —St Quodvultdeus I never listen to this haunting medieval song that my heart doesn’t melt in the beauty of it’s melody and message. What tremendous sorrow our Blessed Mother experienced. Along with the Feast of St Stephan, December 26th, the Feast of the Holy Innocents reminds the church that the true destination of the Messiah and the cost of salvation … was His life. Lord, protect all innocent victims, keep us from the evil designs of men of might. Establish your people in justice, charity and peace.. You are Christ the Lord who lives and reigns with the Father and the Holy Spirit.    Amen...

St. John, Apostle & Evangelist

St. John, Apostle & Evangelist

St John the Evangelist–From the St Thomas Altarpiece This morning in his homily, my pastor reminded us of a little known jewel that tradition tells us about this apostle who enjoyed great intimacy with Christ and was the only one of the 12 to live to old age. During the persecution of Emperor Domitian, it is said that John was taken to Rome where miraculously, he escaped execution. Exiled to Patmos, it was there he wrote the Book of Revelation. In AD 96 he returned to Ephesus where many believe he wrote his gospel. John, who had been present at the transfiguration, the raising of the daughter of Jairus, and the agony in the garden…was the only one of the 12 to follow Jesus to the cross. The only one. At the tomb, he was the first to arrive…the...

Holy Family, Sunday in the Octave of Christmas

Holy Family, Sunday in the Octave of Christmas

Giotto Scrovegni –  – Flight into Egypt Sirach 3:2-6,12-14 Colossians 3:12-21 Matthew 2:13-15,19-23 Family life is hard. It’s both a blessing and a cross. Every one of us could tell stories that would make another’s hair stand on end. That’s a reality today as much as it was in Bible times. Nothing new under the sun. In today’s gospel, Joseph is instructed to take the child and His mother and flee to Egypt to avoid Herod’s murderous plan to destroy the child. There, they would remain in refuge until, in fulfillment of prophecy, the Lord “calls his son out of Egypt” just as the people of Israel were once called out. Beyond the fact that Joseph had a definite “word from the Lord” in his humanity, it...

Church of the Nativity, Bethlehem

Church of the Nativity, Bethlehem

Photo  Wayne McLean. Entrance to the grotto of the nativity. While all things were in quiet silence, and the night was in the midst of her course, thy Almighty Word leapt down from heaven, from the Royal Throne…. Into the midst of the land. —Wisdom 18: 14-15 And if you were the only one…He would have come just for you. Blessed Christmas...

Gregorian Chant Benedictinos

From the Benedictine monks of Santo Domingo de Silos Take two minutes with a cup of tea and a plate of your best Christmas cookies, close your eyes and rest in the healing sound of this beautiful chant. Qui cantat, bis orat A person who sings, prays twice —St. Augustine...

We Need Some Secret Agents

We Need Some Secret Agents

St Peter Canisius  1521-1597 Feast Day December 21 I’m posting this late, but it’s been a long day. Today I was caught off-guard. It’s Christmas week, so as I was making my rounds for visitation, I expected nothing but cheery deary smiles and hugs. But, I got broadsided with a two by four angry Catholic who resents all the scandals in the church and blames them for her children’s abandoning the faith. I’ve been ambushed before– many times–even spit on once; it’s just that I didn’t expect it from this person. It was a half an hour diatribe of every offense suffered at the hands of a religious going back over 30 years. Though I resolved to do as a good Benedictine (oblate)  should do and ‘listen’ I...

When Behold! I’m Not in Control

When Behold! I’m Not in Control

 Isaiah 7:10-14 Romans 1:1-7 Matthew 1:18-24 It’s confession time. I’m an x control freak. OK, maybe recovering is a better word. I have all kinds of hysterical justifications for why I should be allowed to be one, but I’ve discovered through the years, in all the messiness of my life …When I submitted to God’s plan it was much better than mine, though I may not have realized it until years later. The Gospel according to Matthew this Sunday, is telling the story from Joseph’s perspective. We have celebrated the Annunciation and we know that because of the Blessed Mother’s ‘fiat’, Be it done to me according to thy word.. She opened the way for salvation to come to the world. In our reading it’s Joseph...

Keep Your O

Keep Your O

Abbaye Saint-Benoit-sur-Loire Are you ready to sing with the choir? On the octave of Christmas, from December 17th-23rd,  the church begins an intense expression of it’s longing and expectation for the awaited Messiah with seven Antiphon’s called the “O Antiphons.”  Each will be recited or chanted before the Magnificat during vespers in the Liturgy of the Hours. They are simply 7 beautiful liturgical jewels.. Though their exact origin is unknown, the writer Boethius ( c. 480-454), made slight reference to them and by the 8th century they were in use in liturgical celebrations in Rome. At the Benedictine Abbey of Fleur, pictured currently above, these antiphons were recited by the abbot and other abbey leaders before a gift was given to...