Monday, January 28, 2013

The Liturgy -- Heaven on Earth

This is a preview of a DVD on the liturgy of the Catholic Church.



Blessed John Paul II is quoted in the DVD: “The mystery brought about in the Liturgy is truly great. It opens a glimpse of Heaven on earth,” I have felt this same way myself and I think that I have even expressed this thought in one of my articles in PublicVigil.

“Our celebration of the worship of God in this world is a preparation for the eternal celebration of God in heaven, which will never end.” This quote comes from Cardinal Francis Arinze, Prefect Emeritus of Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments. This is another thought that I have had and it is wonderful to hear a high ranking Vatican official confirm this as official Church teaching.

I believe the Mass is intended to prepare us for entering into Heaven. As Catholics we are privileged to share in this act of preparation as we humbly receive the Eucharist. One day with the help of the Divine Mercy we will stand before the throne of God and sing with the choirs of angels as we receive the heavenly Eucharist.

I have not seen this DVD other than this preview, but I would recommend it regardless. And I think this would be a far better choice for Catechism of those preparing for First Communion than the DVD set produced by Father Robert Barron.

THIS is Catholicism! Catholicism begins and ends with the Liturgy of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. And so it is fitting that this DVD which is part of a series should begin with the Liturgy.

There is more information and I believe it can be purchased here:
http://www.eukmamie.org/en/television/series/visible-invisible/1365-liturgy

There is an article in Zenit about this DVD here:
http://www.zenit.org/article-36407?l=english

Thursday, January 3, 2013

I feel like a motherless child

When Jesus saw his mother, and the disciple whom he loved standing near, he said to his mother, "Woman, behold, your son!" Then he said to the disciple, "Behold, your mother!" And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home. 
 -- John 19:26-27
More than ever we need Mother Mary's love to guide us through these turbulent times.

It used to be that the mother of the family was the one who kept the faith alive. Where were the fathers? They should have been the priest of the family church, but they had abandoned that role. And it was left to the mother to bring God into the home and to teach the children about the truths of the Church.

The great victory of the forces of evil in the 20th century was to pull the women over to their side. Whole generations were left without a protecting mother's embrace to shield them from the assaults of the diabolical forces that fought to conquer their souls. Daughters grew up not knowing how to be faith nurturing mothers that could keep their children's souls safe from harm.

The men had already been largely won over by Satan's demons long ago. The modern industrial world tore them from the cultivation of the soil and the husbandry of animals that helped to draw them closer to God. In those days men knew that their fate depended totally on God's mercy both physically and spiritually.

The modern man of the city was easily deceived into believing that he held his fate in his own hands. And he clung to this belief despite the frequent experience of failures. His was a foolish optimism. Even the ones who succeeded suffered illness, loss of loved ones and heartbreak proving that we are always at the mercy of God.

The child of today is a motherless child. And we even see that mothers are told that it is their right to kill the children that they have conceived.

I was reading St. Therese and she had obviously been troubled by the thought of the loss of so many souls because they had not experienced the saving grace of the Catholic Church. She was able to receive some comfort in her understanding that the "savages" who had never been exposed to Christ could still be led to God by the natural law.

O but we modern "savages" are determined to defy the natural law. I suppose that one can defy even the laws of nature for a limited period of time -- as if by jumping we could defeat gravity. But sooner or later we come crashing back down to earth.

We are falling fast now. It will take a host of angels and all the saints in heaven to save us from falling straight into the pit of Hell. God have mercy on us.

But we can always turn to our Mother in Heaven. There in her arms we can find the love and protection that we have been searching for. And she will take us by the hand and lead us to the Father -- the source of all wisdom and knowledge, and all truth and light.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

On Mt. Carmel

"My horizon is expanding... my sky is all calm, all starry"

"God is very good to have taken me all for Himself and set me apart on the mountain of Carmel."

Letters from Carmel: 198 [April 9, 1904]

Blessed Elizabeth's cell

A straw mattress, a little chair, a board for a desk, and there you have the furnishings, but it is filled with God and I spend such wonderful hours there alone with the Bridegroom. For me, the cell is something sacred, it is His intimate sanctuary, just for Him and His little bride. We are so much "together," I am silent. I listen to Him... it is good to hear everything He has to say.

Letters from Carmel: 168 [June 29, 1903]