Saturday, April 30, 2011

Excerpts from now Pope Benedict XVI's "The Spirit of the Liturgy"

We have lately in conversation been contemplating the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and its rich two-thousand year history.  We've had the privilege recently of happening upon a copy of "The Spirit of the Liturgy" by then Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, Pope Benedict XVI. 

This we found particularly enlightening and a welcome fresh perspective.  The book itself we feel is a rich treasury of our Holy Father's wisdom and deep spiritual insight.  Well recommended as a read and will probably accompany us to several holy hours in the future!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass - It's Heaven on Earth - Why Would Anyone Stay Away?

The Catechism of the Catholic Church tell us that the Eucharist is "the source and summit of the Christian life." (CCC 1324). It goes on to say that when we celebrate the Eucharistic Liturgy we "unite ourselves with the heavenly liturgy and anticipate eternal life..." (CCC 1326)

With that said, why would anyone stay away? When you come to Holy Mass you get an experience of heaven. We encourage all Catholics to attend Holy Mass regularly and daily, when possible, and all non-Catholics to consider coming Home to the Church Christ founded and experience a little bit of true "Heaven on Earth". Also please check out this link which provides descriptions of what goes on in the Holy Mass. God bless!

Wonderful Example of Living Out the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony

I wanted to share this article  with everyone about my grandparents. They are a wonderful example of faithful, Catholic marriage and have been a great inspiration to Jen and I. They have taught us both a great deal about how to authentically live out our marriage vows in everyday life. God bless, Kevin

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Jen's view of Saturday night

Easter Vigil: for me, words almost ruin it.  Admitting those truths which are held in the deepest part of you in words almost makes them feel less vibrant or alive.  Never less true, just duller.  We process into a dark church, a church which has been missing it’s Christ since Thursday night.  It is right to be dark; go ahead and try to imagine the anguish Mary and the Disciples felt as their Lord was arrested, tried unjustly and ultimately murdered brutally.  We are feeling deeply the loss of someone who is at the very least our best friend and at very most our… everything.  Without him what is there for me?  What good is a church?

But he started that Church and he promised that the gates of Hell could not prevail against it.  So we stand in the dark, in prayer, in vigil, in ultimate hope.  I deserve this after all, it was my sins that set him on the cross, but for days I have begged him for the Grace of forgiveness and healing.  Light from our candles fills the room so that it is dancing and dazzling.  We remember the prophets of old, the promises God has fulfilled in his son, and light continues to fill the room, has it started to creep into our heavy hearts as well? 

All of a sudden the bells peal in a rude and welcome chime and the “Gloria!” is proclaimed and we are jubilant because God is a God of love and he has not left us without a Savior.  He is risen, conquering death, conquering the power of the sin that caused him his ultimate agony.  He has never truly left us, and he never will.  Just to sit and soak it in, why can’t the Mass be longer?

I am giddy at the baptisms.  It’s almost a secret addiction to see the beautiful faces of the ones who go through that tiny, vital death and resurrection.  To see a lifetime of sins and yearning for grace finally filled with ever-sufficient grace is one of the most beautiful things I have ever witnessed.  I saw it last year in the glow of my friend Jim who would not stop glowing for months, and I saw it this year on EWTN in the close-ups of the faces of those baptized. 

Then the part I remember best: the confirmation.  I had thought that the moment I received my first Eucharist would be the defining moment of that night for me, but it was ultimately the welcome into Christ’s Church that I remember most.  After I received my name and was blessed with the oil, I had an overwhelming sense that I had been like a motherless child who finally found her way home.  I remember the priest giving me a hug and silently congratulating me and I think I thanked him too loudly.  This year I found myself wiping away tears and asking God for the grace to remember that he had pulled me from the darkness into his wonderful light as I burst with welcome for my new brothers and sisters. 

I remember my first Eucharist, too.  Of all the people who came into the church that day I had to go last.  I had contemplated this moment for well over a year and had thought about all the things I could pray for, how I would feel, the right meditations: even the way I should hold out my tongue, the right volume and tone with which to say my reverent and humble “amen.”  How do you rightly become intimate with your Creator and Redeemer?  What is the “right” thing to think, say, or do when his body, blood, soul and divinity are nourishing you, body and soul?  All I could say was, “thank you.”

Needless to say it is over before I know it.  I had a piece of heaven and just like everything on this earth it is temporary.  Fortunately for me, it is Divine and eternal in nature, and these moments I can treasure in my heart until at last I can achieve the Eternity I have set my heart for so many times during the Mass.  


Wow...what a Saturday night!

Jen and I had the privilege of attending the Solemn Mass of the Easter Vigil at St. Peter's Cathedral in Marquette, Michigan last night with Bishop Alexander Sample presiding. It was incredible to be there with the Bishop, who is a Successor of the Apostles, presiding over the Vigil Mass of Christ's Resurrection. Remember, after the Resurrection, Jesus spent 40 days with His apostles in His glorified and resurrected body teaching and ministering to them. They, the Apostles, were to be the primary witnesses to His rising from the dead. And here we were, last night, at Easter Vigil Mass presided over by a successor to those original witnesses. God bless the Catholic Church!

Contraceptives are very dangerous for women!

We would encourage all women to read and reflect on this article. The teaching of the Catholic Church on contraception is NOT outdated or unreasonable. In fact, the Catholic doctrinal teaching on contraception is a perfect blend of faith and reason. The Catholic Church in upholding its ban on contraception is upholding the dignity and health of the human person.

The Holy Father Explains the Triduum

I found this article today which I think sums up nicely what we have been going through in the last three days.  Even though the Triduum has come and gone and we are now trying to see how many chocolate bunnies and dinners we can stand, I think that in going into this Easter season it doesn't hurt at all to look back and see where we came from.  After all, it makes where we are the great glory that it is, right?