Hopefully Governor Cooper won’t do a SWAT raid on our little church. Socially distanced. Masks. I think we’re good to go, but the rules for curfews change wildly without notice. I was up at church at 5:30 AM Sunday morning. Hours later, after 11:00 Mass, destruction ensued.
This morning, after having a chat with Father Gordon, we’re off to make a payment for the slab of granite we’re wanting for the altar. It’s all going pretty quickly. The makeshift gorilla tape altar we’ve had for so many decades will still be used for the foreseeable future as we make a proper oak base to support so much granite. I’m thinking it won’t be too heavy for the already existing floor, as the removal of the platform lessened the weight some 500-600 pounds easy, which is the weight of the granite we’re reserving for the altar top.
I think I’ve found a great site for actual altar linins here in these USA, a lady who is really clued in to all matters altar and liturgical and traditional. We’re going to be ordering a made to measure “cere cloth”, which will be first over the newly chrismed and sepulchred and consecrated altar. Liquid wax is poured abundantly over the top as it’s on the altar. This makes for an impermeable surface. No accidentally tipped chalice with wine or after the consecration with the Precious Blood of our Savior will seep into the altar. Above that cere cloth goes another of the exact same dimensions. This will stick to the cere cloth, of course, which is convenient. It’s also a permanent cloth. The top will be clean, if you will. On top of this goes the changeable and embroidered and draped over the edges seasonal altar cloth.
We’re redoing what we are discovering only now is an inappropriate base for the tabernacle. We’ll be using the same slab of granite that we’re using for the altar. Before any altar rails, as they are somewhat wrongly nicknamed, we’re going to be installing a new tile floor. I’m wanting to find out a way to make this tile floor also impermeable. Perhaps a type of floor wax that will also fill over the most minimal grouting we can get away with…
After all, the Sacrament of our Eucharist King is united to the Sacrifice of the Mass depicted in the Stations of the Cross. And Confessions are a great fruit of Jesus’ Sacrifice for us, right? And then we want to be blessed by Jesus, right? Did you know that in some places Sacramental Confessions are forbidden by bishops? Seriously…
Anyway, the Holy Hour took place after the Fish Fry, the remains of the work of which are to be seen here. Thanks to the Knights of Columbus. People from all over the region came. It was largely “take out”. But, just to say, I very much had the impression that everyone is so sick and tired of Covid-19 restrictions. Even top politicians showed up. ;-)
The Sacred Heart to Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque: “In the excess of the mercy of my Heart, I promise you that my all powerful love will grant to all those who will receive Communion on the First Fridays for nine consecutive months the grace of final repentance: they will not die in my displeasure, nor without receiving the sacraments, and my Heart will be their secure refuge in that last hour.”
For nine consecutive months on the First Friday, Mass and Holy Communion, with Confession if need be. In this parish we, of course, have Holy Mass and a Holy Hour during which Confession is provided. There are twelve promises of Jesus regarding the First Fridays. I remember being totally amazed and thankful to Jesus as a little kid when my sister introduced me to this devotion (as well as the Five First Saturdays).
I will give them all of the graces necessary for their state of life.
I will establish peace in their homes.
I will comfort them in all their afflictions.
I will be their strength during life and above all during death.
I will bestow a large blessing upon all their undertakings.
Sinners shall find in My Heart the source and the infinite ocean of mercy.
Tepid souls shall grow fervent.
Fervent souls shall quickly mount to high perfection.
I will bless every place where a picture of my heart shall be set up and honored.
I will give to priests the gift of touching the most hardened hearts.
Those who shall promote this devotion shall have their names written in My Heart, never to be blotted out.
I promise you in the excessive mercy of My Heart that My all-powerful love will grant all to those who communicate on the First Friday in nine consecutive months the grace of final penitence; they shall not die in My disgrace nor without receiving their sacraments; My Divine Heart shall be their safe refuge in this last moment.
Even if the one could find some law enforcement officers to drive an MRAP up the steps and through the picture window and over the statue of the Sacred Heart and into the pews of our tiny store-front church up in Robbinsville so as to neutralize the COVID threat of a few members of Jesus’ little flock gathered together to adore the Divine Son of the Living God, the Living Bread of Life (see John 6), what with them being all well spaced ’round the church, I’m guessing that the LEOs, even non-Catholic, would fall to their knees as they saw for themselves, despite all their bluster, that they were being ignored by these ever so peaceful people, all of whom strongly support law enforcement, you know, as these defenseless members of the flock simply continued to adore Jesus, never resisting arrest, but simply ready peacefully to be on their way to heaven. After all, whatever bluster anyone on this earth can put forth, it is Jesus, the Divine Son of the Living God who will come to judge the living and the dead and world by fire. What a way to go, on one’s knees adoring the Living God. Great!
But, you’re right. I’m mocking other parts of these USA where the real police have resigned in disgust of the anti-American powers that be in their Dem localities, but only to be replaced by those who lied when taking their oath to uphold the God-given and unalienable Constitutional First Amendment rites of this Constitutional Republic ever so proud of the Rule of Law. I bet oath taking will be outlawed just as God is outlawed by the Dem party.
As it is, I’m friends with the local county law enforcement as I am signed up as an ICPC (look them up) law enforcement chaplain for that county, with one of my greatest joys during any week being the bible study I have up in the jail. Our great Sheriff, though not Catholic, has been to our church something like eight times over the years. You gotta know, I support our present LEOs. I do wonder, however, if all law enforcement will be outlawed should a stolen POTUS election be effectuated. I tell you what:
Adoration would still continue. I’ve had uncountable officers all around WNC tell me that they would never deprive someone of their Constitutional rights. :-)
But, as I say, conditions change. What’s depicted in the following best ever trailer of For Greater Glory happened still in living memory. Whatever about my promotion of peaceful Adoration of Jesus – by far the most practical thing we can do for the Church and the world – there will always be those who will be Cristeros over against political imprisonment and brutal persecution:
“Heavens! You’re going on retreat! How wonderful!!!”
All the priests of Charlotte Diocese ( + – ) are on retreat this week, though not together, but alone with Jesus, you know, because of Covid-19, they say. We’re supposed to be doing up a retreat on our own this week however we might make that work. So far, lots of emergency sacraments and what not.
But my Vicar Forane was quick to point out that Masses in the parish church should be cancelled, and they are, so that I might get a chance to slow down, offering the Holy Sacrifice in the rectory chapel. Great!
What this also means is a break from screen time. Less phone. Less of everything. I did have to edit Father Gordon’s post early this morning, and I thought it might be polite to put up this post. That’ll be about it for some days. But don’t think I don’t have some incisive comments that are on the back burner and also provide an occasion of ad hoc prayer. But a tech break is what I needed in conjunction with a spiritual retreat.
Did not Jesus say to His apostles: Come away, by yourselves, for a while…
Meanwhile, this past Sunday at 6:00 AM Adoration:
Happy Feast Day of Our Lady of the Rosary, Our Lady of Victory! Rather than write about that just today, it’ll be better, on retreat, to pray more of the Rosary. Yay!
Seen from the Confessional seconds after entering to hear Confessions during early Sunday Adoration (6:00-7:00 AM) at Holy Redeemer Church in Andrews, NC. Between the stained glass windows we have pictures of the Stations of the Cross (which fit in our tiny church building). You’ll see Saint Joseph and baby Jesus being reflected in the 9th Station. That statue is up in the sanctuary of the church near the tabernacle. I guess this is my situational awareness coming into play. :-)
The 9th Station is Jesus falling under the weight of the cross for the third time. We put that burden on Jesus. Did we also trip Him up so that the cross would smash down upon Him on His way to Calvary for us? Did we do that? Yes, each one of us.
Here’s Station 9 on Mount Carmel, Israel, acid-damaged by vandals:
In the reflection of Station 9 in the picture up top, baby Jesus has a face. Later, in Station 9 on Mount Carmel, Jesus’ face was removed… by our sin. His appearance was not that of a man…
We recall Saint Therese of Lisieux who took the religious name Therese of the Child Jesus and of the Holy Face…
At the judgment, I imagine that Saint Joseph will be with Jesus, and it is Saint Joseph who will ask us about Jesus falling the third time, about where the weight of that cross came from, and whether we had tripped Jesus.