Tag Archives: Mass

Preaching about the Lamb of God

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Pictures herein are from Pentecost 2020, by “Photo Phil”. Thanks, Phil. Is the picture above depicting that which is ad orientem? But that’s a topic for a book or five. This post is dedicated to preaching about the Lamb of God. The picture above is what you will see with any priest at the Ecce Agnus Dei, at the Behold! The Lamb of God! Regardless of any versus populum or ad orientem logistics during Holy Mass, both in the Traditional Mass and in the Novus Ordo the priest is directed to be facing the people while holding up Jesus in the Most Blessed Sacrament, saying: Ecce Agnus Dei! Behold the Lamb of God! That is, of course, the exclamation of the greatest of all the prophets, Saint John the Baptist, as he pointed us all to Jesus, the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.

There has been much confusion even among the elite academic liturgists regarding terminology and purpose of preaching the Lamb of God after the Gospel.

Some condemn preaching as that which has N-O-T-H-I-N-G to do with Holy Mass. After all, they say, the priest of old would take off his maniple and chasuble after reading the Gospel, signifying that what he was about to do had nothing to do with the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Then, they say, the priest would make the sign of the cross before and after his sermon to seal off absolutely that what was to happen had N-O-T-H-I-N-G to do with Holy Mass. Sigh. As if the Sign of the Cross has nothing to do with the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass?! They say that there is never to be anything didactic (a big word!) So, what is it to be? Fake “pious piffle”, a waste of time? I don’t get that. Anything to do with the Living Truth, He who laid down His life for us during the Last Supper united with Calvary, is instruction, leading us to fall on our knees in reverence before the Son of the Living God in the Most Blessed Sacrament at His very Sacrifice for us: Corpus Domini nostri Iesu Christi custodiat animam tuam in vitam aeternam or words to that effect as I type this as fast as such prestidigitations can proceed upon my keyboard.

The purpose of what is said after the Gospel is to put everyone on their knees. Does it teach, instruct, admonish, remind people to repent (in the Confessional), and be in humble thanksgiving before Christ Jesus, Son if the Immaculate Conception? Yes, it should, every time.

But what really is that straw man you bring up talking about, Father George? I thought the most traditional thing was – after the Council of Trent, after promulgating the Catechism of the Council of Trent – to preach sermons on a preaching schedule, so that all parts of said catechism were covered successively throughout the year? Yes, well, that would be right of course. All very didactic indeed. But, I would argue that that’s just fine and dandy and needed and I wish more would do this instead of the blather they go on about. But I would also argue that those doing that even back in the day would have enough pastoral solicitude during the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass to use whatever truth of salvation in the catechism there happens to be, to use that to bring ever so didactically all listeners to fall to their knees before Jesus, the Living Truth, at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

Yours truly loves to preach, and I’m never at a loss for words, or so I’m told, many times! ;-) I’m not going to apologize for it. I think preaching is a blast. I love it. I absolutely love it. I love being a priest. I love didactically bringing people to fall on their knees before the Son of the Living God, Jesus Christ our Lord, Divine Son of the Immaculate Conception.

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I’m guessing those pictures by Photo Phil might tell the story. Although some posts on this blog might be serious about serious issues, I gotta tell you, this is one happy priest. And… and… I’m happy to bless everyone present, just below the great Saint Joseph.

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We need vocations who are in fact being called by our Lord all the time to accept their vocations with enthusiasm, with trepidation, with joy, with a desire to lead people, even if didactically, to our Lord.

By the way, I challenge anyone anywhere at anytime to go ahead and point out to me any preaching of our Lord Jesus which was not didactic. Heh heh heh.

Also, and just to say, I’ve almost never heard preaching from the ultras of either “side” anything that would not be purely academic on the one hand or purely political on the other hand. But in this diocese, I’ve often heard preaching that didactically leads people to fall to their knees before the Living God as the priest holds up the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. We have lots of great priests here in the Diocese of Charlotte. They know who the real priest is:

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Yes.

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Filed under Priesthood, Vocations

The Sacred Heart of *sotto voce*

When I was teaching in Australia in the seminaries of this diocese or that archdiocese, it was Father PJ who nicknamed me *sotto voce*, referring to the diminished “voice” by which the Roman Canon is pronounced in the “Extraordinary Form” of the Latin Rite. I had assisted a great deal in keeping the Latin Mass Society of Australia alive at the time. And previous to that, I had insisted in a meticulously researched article in the Homiletic and Pastoral Review that however quiet that “voice” is to be, the words are actually and indeed to be exactly pronounced, without which there simply are no consecrations, no Mass. *sotto voce* does not mean saying nothing, being a stone. It means that one would surely hear something indistinguishable in the first pews of a good sized church. In other words, the priest is speaking, just not to the back pew of any sized church. Take the picture above. If you were the priest and you were reciting the words of consecration, and you saw Christ our God there with you such as is depicted, you would continue speaking – as He Himself would bid you to do – but in a voice that was quiet but which He could distinctly and clearly hear, there, right in front of you. Get it? The Apostolic Penitentiary backed me up on this, encouraging any cases be brought to them of priests who don’t speak at all during the consecrations. I’ve seen this. Tight lipped. Nothing. And obstinate. Too bad, that. I know someone right now at the CDF, as it was called, who bullies concelebrants into basically saying nothing, because, he says ever so breathlessly, “It’s the Mass of the Celebrant!” That’s so wrong on so very many levels. Anyway, now that that’s out of my system…

I’ve noticed that I’m going a bit quieter at the time of the consecrations at Holy Mass. This isn’t affectation, something that is happening from the outside, forced. No. It’s been something that’s been happening on its own, as it were, over some time. It’s a spiritual thing. I wonder if other priests have noticed this. And actually, I think it’s that they all notice this, but with myself being such a dullard I’m guessing that I’m the only one who has not been ever so privy to what I’m now going to say and this ever since they were ordained. Better late than never, right?

The Holy Mass is generally addressed to God the Father – Te igitur clementissime Pater… – but, of course, while the narrative of the Mass leading up to the consecrations is addressed to the Father, reciting what Jesus was doing, the consecrations suddenly slip the priest into the first person singular of Christ Jesus Himself so that one is speaking directly to the Apostles at the Last Supper, and similarly directly to the trillions of souls who have ever been, are now, or ever will be at the self-same Holy Sacrifice at the altars of their churches, or offered in war on the tops of jeep-hoods, or in a bunk in Dachau or Auschwitz, or in whatever prison cell: “…given up for you,” and “…poured out for you.” It’s just that I’ve been noticing the Heart, if you will, of the Sacred Heart, as the words are pronounced by such an unworthy subject as myself, but myself nevertheless with Him in these statements of His, He who has so much love for us, and we who are so oblivious to all that which He does for us, and how it is that as He is lifted up on the Cross He draws all to Himself. Christ’s loving us no matter the cost and unto death is – I don’t know how else to say it – it puts one in awe, but even while being bidden by those words in the first person singular to be in total solidarity with the true Speaker, Jesus, one with His love. Of course, we know nothing, and in this world are on the outside, as it were, in perception really of anything. Yet, one’s voice naturally goes quieter. One is before the tremendous and fascinating, before the Great Mysteries. There are rubrics about having one’s voice go quiet. This is a description of what should already be happening. This is the Sacred Heart of *sotto voce*.

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Filed under Eucharist

Closing Mass

The Lord Jesus was with us…

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Filed under Liturgy

Assassin Game, suicide, the day I drew my gun for real. Solution to insanity.

the deer hunter

I saw this tv news story today about the game Assassin this time played on a defenseless woman being carjacked with a gun who wasn’t part of the game. The game is being played around the country at the moment in high schools, colleges and universities, also and especially off campus. It’s also called Gotcha, Assassins, Killing As Organized Sport, Juggernaut, Battle Royal, Paranoia, Killer, Guru Girl, Spy vs. Spy, Elimination, and Circle of Death. If you ask me, it seems to be a development of the role-playing “game” called Dungeons and Dragons, and came out just in those years that that dark game became popular among the same age groups.

Since it is also played in public, it quickly becomes not so much about any fake assassination, but about playing Russian Roulette as to whether you are going to be killed for threatening what for all intents, purposes and constructions is a murder/carjacking in progress as we see in the video linked at the top. Wikipedia has more about it here.

Just to say, if someone came up to my car smashing my driver side window and waving a gun at me screaming obscenities and threats, it would take me about a nanosecond to pump 16 bullets into him and any threatening accomplices, that is, whatever it would take to make the threat stop. I mean, how stupid and sad is that? It’s purposed suicide. Russian Roulette. I would really hate that. All of it. Terrible.

Just to say, I’ve already been subjected to one carjacking just down the road from my parish while taking a retired cop to the hospital for a surgery appointment. We came to a screeching stop right on the highway (lots of traffic in both directions) and, while the cop yelled at me to say the obvious, that this was a carjacking, I already had my gun drawn and racked when, as otherwise never ever happens, the police came screeching up at that very nanosecond, increasing in number to a total of nine cruisers. As you might imagine, this overwhelming force of the police distracted the perp. Game over. To warrant that kind of manhunt I have to think he was a pretty serious criminal. He’s one lucky perp. But, I mean, when does that ever happen? When are the police there at the very nanosecond you need them? Literally, just one second later could have been life changing for all involved. One. Second.

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Carjacking of yours truly attempted right at the “X”. Note the guardrails on both sides. We swerved to the left, slamming on the brakes. Traffic was pretty heavy. Carjackers don’t care.

Anyway, this “game” has been going on in different forms since the early 1980s, but it’s catching steam apparently at this time, and the weapons are not only fake guns, but also bombs which waste the time of law enforcement, the FBI and BATFE. With all the real terrorism and violence on law enforcement that we have, this is all a really bad idea, and it can, in fact, be malicious. It’s a felony to purposely waste the resources of the Feds on idiocy like this. I’m all for people being given time in jail for this kind of stupidity, even pursuing felony charges if the circumstances warrant it, such as with a “fake” car-jacking or a “fake” bomb threat at a public institution. A felony would mean these people would not be allowed to possess a real weapon. Good.

Also, just to say, there are apparently “safe spaces” in this game where assassinations are not allowed. Have we ever heard of “safe spaces” for tender snowflakes before? The tender snowflakes are getting to be accomplished assassins. This kind of game quickly becomes practice for the real thing. It took only days for the tender snowflakes to go from giving a can of Pepsi to someone to throwing full cans of Pepsi at first responders. Right? This is no longer the dreamy 1980s. This is the age of total idiots. I really feel for the woman who was attacked in the video above.

Mass Lourdes Pius X BasilicaThis mentality has come about because people have no identity. For those with no identity, death is as good as life, death is better than life. An Opus Dei bishop was once asked what is to be done with youngsters like this, for those who don’t know where their parish church is, for those who are unchurched. His response was immediate: Celebrate Mass better. Yes, the sacredness, the mysterious otherness of God, the radical profundity of the creature worshiping his Creator, with serious, charitable, joyful people being the ones one meets at Mass. Yes, that will be a draw. Young people who are adrift, anyone adrift for that matter, without an identity, is so very thirsty to find their identity in Christ, to be found by Him. And here’s the deal: Jesus is already working on them. All we have to do is offer a little invitation here and there. What say you?

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Filed under Guns, Road danger, Spiritual life, Terrorism