Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The New Missal Translation is on the way!!!

News out today that the new missal translation for the english-speaking world has received the required 'recognitio' from Rome. Soon (hopefully not much more than a year) we will have a truly accurate, faithful and more obviously scriptural text with which to praise and worship the Lord at Mass in thevernacular of the Ordinary Form.

The Holy Father noted in his address to the Vox Clara commission - (an advisory body which has overseen the new translation - Bishop Philip Boyce being the Irish Episcopal Representative on it) that:

"I welcome the news that the English translation of the Roman Missal will soon be ready for publication, so that the texts you have worked so hard to prepare may be proclaimed in the liturgy that is celebrated across the anglophone world. Through these sacred texts and the actions that accompany them, Christ will be made present and active in the midst of his people."

He further noted: "A new task will then present itself, one which falls outside the direct competence of Vox Clara, but which in one way or another will involve all of you – the task of preparing for the reception of the new translation by clergy and lay faithful. Many will find it hard to adjust to unfamiliar texts after nearly forty years of continuous use of the previous translation. The change will need to be introduced with due sensitivity, and the opportunity for catechesis that it presents will need to be firmly grasped. I pray that in this way any risk of confusion or bewilderment will be averted, and the change will serve instead as a springboard for a renewal and a deepening of Eucharistic devotion all over the English-speaking world."

The entire address can be found HERE.
I have to say that I am delighted with this news and can't wait to use this new text in the celebration of the Holy Sacrifice. The translation may not be to everyone's liking, but surely it will be better than the banal and uninspiring translation we currently use.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Devotion to the Holy Face of Jesus

I've recently taken a greater interest in the Devotion to the Holy Face of Jesus. It is after all part of the name of my favourite saint - St. Therese of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face. This WEBSITE seems to have alot of information about it and might be worth a visit.

St. Peter Julian Eymard on Mercy

I have no idea where the following comes from so I hope I am not breaking some copyright somewhere. This text came my way and I thought I'd share it. It is attributed to St. Peter Julian Eymard:

The love which God feels for us is more merciful than benevolent because, sinners by nature, we have above all need of mercy. Besides it is His mercy which He reveals more than all His other attributes, on this earth, during our lifetime. This world is its empire; time, its kingdom.

Mercy has left the Heavens. It has come down to earth to envelop and cover man. It is his atmosphere and his environment, the air which he breathes, the light which illumines him. We live on mercy.

It rescues the sinner from that justice which should punish every sin; it arrests it, holds it up until death itself. It follows man, accompanies him everywhere he goes, never leaves him, not even after his death, for it follows him into purgatory. Purgatory is nothing but the last effort of the mercy of God toward the sinner, and there is written above the door of that flaming prison: “The Mercy of God!”

The mercy of God for man is infinite. We can never exhaust it, never smother it under our ingratitude, cannot tire it nor dishearten it. It pardons always; it pardons everyone. Even face to face with patent crime, it still says: “Father forgive them; they do not know what they are doing.

Our Sins will never be as great as the mercy of God.
The sinner despairs of course; that is the aftermath of the pleasure of his sin, and this despair is even surer than the first. Adam and Eve, who feel and doubt the possibility of finding mercy, Cain, who rejects it and cries out, “My iniquity is greater than that I may deserve pardon, are types of sinners after they have committed their crimes. We give ourselves up to despair after our infidelity, and for the most part those sinners who put off being converted are held back by their despondency: “I cannot be forgiven; I have offended God too much”—the day when they will weep, they will be converted.

And the pious souls, why do they fall? From despair also. They are discouraged by a few failures; they have not succeeded; things have not gone as they expected. Then the devil fills them with doubt—his most successful manner of entering into a soul and destroying it. Never let this feeling dominate you. Would it be possible for you to doubt God’s mercy! No, never! If you fall, raise yourself up again by humble trust and repentance. Self-abasement which is content to remain in its abjection is the same as pride humiliated and in defiance. Sincere humility flies to God on wings of faith.

Instead of descending into hell to find out what place you might occupy there, it is better to make an act of faith in the mercy of God. Take hold of God through His weakness, His tenderness, and His Heart: a man taken by his weakness will give all he has and more besides. Therefore, point out to God that His glory lies in showing mercy to you, that His mercy cannot be put to better use than in exercising it on you, that you will become mercy’s victory and greatest work. Gain God’s benevolence by way of His Heart.

But observe the mercy of God. How different it is from man’s. When men forgive they humiliate, and the fear of the humiliation prevents a child from asking pardon. The good Lord forgives with kindness; His pardon is a grace which confers honor, purifies, sanctifies, and embellishes. It is the same act which forgives us and sanctifies us. On the instant, our garb of innocence, our white robe is returned to us. We have humbled ourselves only for the purpose of being raised up immediately by forgiveness.

Man tires of forgiving. He is more severe in case of a relapse and demands various conditions, while God seems to become more merciful the oftener He pardons. Great sinners who return to Him are His dearest friends. He came for those who were ill, rather than those who are well. As long as there is humility and confidence in our confession, we are always sure of being well received.

He forgives irrevocably and forever. “He casts our sins behind His back” says Holy Scripture, He plunges them into the sea, and the scarlet of our crimes becomes the snowy white of innocence in the bath of His mercy. They will never reappear to accuse us, and, personally I like the opinion of a great many of theologians, according to which they will not even be mentioned in the last judgment, because our Lord says: I will pardon their wrong-doing; I will not remember their sins any more.” (Heb 8:12)

Men make us pay for pardon with a punishment or at least with loss of position or of our civil rights: Jesus Christ gives us back our honour and re-establishes us in all our rights as they were before the sin. Thus He redeemed St. Peter and confirmed him in the function of supreme shepherd after his fall.

He ennobles in pardoning: of Magdalene the sinner He makes a heroine of supernatural love and He lauds her publicly with the most beautiful praise that God can bestow: “She has greatly loved.”

He takes sinners and makes them princes of His Mercy and of His love, as He did with Saint Paul and so many others.

And we should despair after that? You must know then that it is a necessity for Our Lord to pardon. His heart is oppressed by the possibility of having to condemn us; He weeps over us; and when He pardons us He is relieved and delighted by His mercy. And if Our Lord could still suffer, it would be by seeing us despair of His mercy and not implore His pardon.

But it is for us, priests and religious, that the mercy of God is most in evidence. For our sins we should be deprived of our dignities. That is what the world does with its magistrates and public officers, but then there would be no more priests to pardon other sinners.

Our Lord is more generous toward us, His mercies are more abundant, His pardon more full of goodness. That is because we have more need of pardon than the others. This should make us more merciful toward sinners. Being transgressors ourselves, pardoned so often, and having still need of pardon for the future, how could it be possible not to pardon others?

I'm Still Alive!

Hi all regular readers (if there are any regular readers that is). I know you were probably beginning to think I had died or something - it has been so long since I last blogged. Truth is things have been quite busy here in the parish since Easter and I don't get much time to make new entries these days. So here I am blogging about not blogging.

I've been getting a little stressed out lately and so I'd appreciate some prayers. (Don't worry it's not a vocational crisis or anything). Just busy in the vineyard and under a little pressure. It is so easy to get caught up with the work of the Lord and neglect the Lord of the work - and that is a constant temptation! One that I and many priests I know succomb to too easily.

Also physically I've been feeling under the weather somewhat for the past while and being a 'MAN' I keep putting off going to the doctor. Isn't that a surprise - a man who refuses to go to the Doctor!

Will sign off for now and hit the pillow.

Yours in the Hearts of Jesus and Mary,
Fr. B

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Divine Mercy Sunday

Today we celebrate the Feast of Divine Mercy and so I thought the following quotations from the Diary of St. Faustina might be helpful:

"Today, in the course of a long conversation, the Lord said to me, How very much I desire the salvation of souls! My dearest secretary, write that I want to pour out My divine life into human souls and sanctify them, if only they were willing to accept My grace. The greatest sinners would achieve great sanctity, if only they would trust in My mercy. The very inner depths of My being are filled to overflowing with mercy, and it is being poured out upon all I have created. My delight is to act in a human soul and to fill it with My mercy and to justify it. My kingdom on earth is My life in the human soul." (Diary, 1784)

"Let the greatest sinners place their trust in My mercy. They have the right before others to trust in the abyss of My mercy. My daughter, write about My mercy towards tormented souls. Souls that make an appeal to My mercy delight Me. To such souls I grant even more graces than they ask. I cannot punish even the greatest sinner if he makes an appeal to My compassion, but on the contrary, I justify him in My unfathomable and inscrutable mercy. Write: before I come as a just Judge, I first open wide the door of My mercy. He who refuses to pass through the door of My mercy must pass through the door of My justice." (Diary, 1146)

"Tell souls where they are to look for solace; that is, in the Tribunal of Mercy [the Sacrament of Reconciliation]. There the greatest miracles take place [and] are incessantly repeated. To avail oneself of this miracle, it is not necessary to go on a great pilgrimage or to carry out some external ceremony; it suffices to come with faith to the feet of My representative and to reveal to him one's misery, and the miracle of Divine Mercy will be fully demonstrated. Were a soul like a decaying corpse so that from a human standpoint, there would be no [hope of] restoration and everything would already be lost, it is not so with God. The miracle of Divine Mercy restores that soul in full. Oh, how miserable are those who do not take advantage of the miracle of God's mercy! You will call out in vain, but it will be too late." (Diary, 1448)

O Blood and Water, which gushed forth from the Heart of Jesus as a fount of Mercy for us, I trust in You.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Paedophilia not just a problem with Celibate Catholic Priests

To my great astonishment the (in my opinion) virulently anti-Catholic Irish Times today carried a story that doesn't have the words Catholic Church and Paedophilia in the same sentence. In fact, this particular sex abuse scandal has nothing to do with the Catholic Church at all.

While the abuse scandals in the Catholic Church deserve our utmost condemnation, it has seemed lately in the media that it is a phenomenon that is exclusively a Catholic Clergy problem - one which the media often link (erroneously) to the fact that the Priest is Celibate.

This ARTICLE tells the story of abuses in an elite (Protestant) School which, to quote the article, "were ignored by teachers, police and the local authorities".

As I said, the abuse within the Catholic Church is deplorable and the stories of other institutions where abuse was carried out and/or covered up doesn't in any way exonerate those who failed to protect vulnerable children in the Church. But it is good for once to see the media reporting this terrible crime as it happens in other places and by people who are not celibate, not bound to the 'institutional Church' and all the baggage that is supposed to come with that.

For once the media (or at least the Irish Times) seems to have looked beyond the Church and begun to report paedophilia for what it really is - not solely a scourge in the Catholic Church, but one that affects every level of society.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

He is Risen - and so are we!

On that fateful Friday evening a small group of his loyal friends and family had lovingly prepared the Body of the Lord for burial. They had scarcely time to mourn over him, the Sabbath rest was beginning and the work of burial had to be done quickly. They placed his lifeless body in the tomb and rolled a large stone in place over the opening, sealing the Lord of Life inside – he was dead now and with him so much of the joy and beauty of life had died too. It doesn’t get more final than that. That tombstone, like every tombstone seemed to be so final.

But this tombstone was different in one important way, because it would not long serve to mark the spot were death had its ultimate victory. Our tombstones mark the final resting place of the mortal remains of our loved ones and indeed of ourselves in our turn. His tombstone, rolled away on Easter Morning, bears witness to Christ’s great and final victory over death. His open and empty tomb is the first of many open graves, for he rose from the dead to prove that he had the power to keep his promise: that those who believe in him would not be held in death, would not be defeated forever, but that their tombs would open and that their bodies would rise too on the last day to new and glorious life.

This great feast day is the greatest feast day we have in our faith, and it is our feast day, the day when Christ’s promise to each of us, and to each and every one we love and have mourned for, is placed before us. He promises life to us – because he is the victorious Lord of life whom death could not hold and death will not hold those who belong to him. And that is our great hope for our loved ones and indeed for ourselves.

Unlike the tombstones we place over the graves of our loved ones – Jesus’ tombstone had nothing written on it. His grave was the beginning of something new, a page of history not yet written. Until that day – death was final, death was the end of all life, all hopes, all dreams and all mankind. But now we inscribe the gravestones of our dead with signs of life eternal. With the Cross as the tree of eternal life, with prayers that the departed soul may rest in peace, and with sentiments that long for the Resurrection of the Dead on the last day. Indeed the prayer of blessing at the burial speaks well of how the Christ has changed the very meaning of death and the grave:

Lord Jesus Christ, by your own 3 days in the tomb you hallowed the graves of all who believe in you and so made the grave a sign of Hope that promises Resurrection even as it claims our mortal bodies.

Grant that our brothers and sisters may sleep here in peace until you awaken them to glory, for you are the Resurrection and the life.

Because of his Resurrection and his promise to let us share the same destiny – death is not disaster to the eyes of the believer. Yes it can be hard, yes it can leave us in great distress, but it cannot break the back of those who believe, because it is precisely the belief in the Resurrection of Jesus Christ that is the backbone of our faith. He is Risen Alleluia – and all our hope is that we will rise with him too – for without that – how difficult this life would be. As the Hymn of the Easter Exsultet – sung at the Easter Vigil puts it: What good would life have been to us if Christ had not come as our Redeemer?

Saturday, April 3, 2010

The Easter Sequence - Victimae Paschali Laudes

One of my favourite hymns.

The Text and Translation:

laudes immolent Christiani.
Agnus redemit oves:
Christus innocens Patri
reconciliavit peccatores.

Mors et vita duello
conflixere mirando:
dux vitae mortuus,
regnat vivus.

Dic nobis Maria,
Quid vidisti in via?
Sepulcrum Christi viventis,
et gloriam vidi resurgentis:

Angelicos testes,
sudarium et vestes.

Surrexit Christus spes mea:
praecedet suos in Galilaeam.

Scimus Christum surrexisse
a mortuis vere:
Tu nobis, victor Rex miserere.
Amen. Alleluia.

CHRISTIANS, to the Paschal Victim
offer sacrifice and praise.
The sheep are ransomed by the Lamb;
and Christ, the undefiled,
hath sinners
to his Father reconciled.

Death with life contended:
combat strangely ended!
Life's own Champion, slain,
yet lives to reign.

Tell us, Mary:
say what thou didst see upon the way.
The tomb the Living did enclose;
I saw Christ's glory as He rose!

The angels there attesting;
shroud with grave-clothes resting.

Christ, my hope, has risen:
He goes before you into Galilee.

That Christ is truly risen
from the dead we know.
Victorious King, Thy mercy show!
Amen. Alleluia.

Spiritual Nourishment for Holy Saturday

The following is taken from an ancient homily and it describes Christ's descent to the Underworld after death and the liberation he proclaims to Adam and all the Just:

What is happening? Today there is a great silence over the earth, a great silence, and stillness, a great silence because the King sleeps; the earth was in terror and was still, because God slept in the flesh and raised up those who were sleeping from the ages. God has died in the flesh, and the underworld has trembled.

Truly he goes to seek out our first parent like a lost sheep; he wishes to visit those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death. He goes to free the prisoner Adam and his fellow-prisoner Eve from their pains, he who is God, and Adam's son.

The Lord goes in to them holding his victorious weapon, his cross. When Adam, the first created man, sees him, he strikes his breast in terror and calls out to all: 'My Lord be with you all.' And Christ in reply says to Adam: ‘And with your spirit.’ And grasping his hand he raises him up, saying: ‘Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give you light.

‘I am your God, who for your sake became your son, who for you and your descendants now speak and command with authority those in prison: Come forth, and those in darkness: Have light, and those who sleep: Rise.

‘I command you: Awake, sleeper, I have not made you to be held a prisoner in the underworld. Arise from the dead; I am the life of the dead. Arise, O man, work of my hands, arise, you who were fashioned in my image. Rise, let us go hence; for you in me and I in you, together we are one undivided person.

‘For you, I your God became your son; for you, I the Master took on your form; that of slave; for you, I who am above the heavens came on earth and under the earth; for you, man, I became as a man without help, free among the dead; for you, who left a garden, I was handed over to Jews from a garden and crucified in a garden.

‘Look at the spittle on my face, which I received because of you, in order to restore you to that first divine inbreathing at creation. See the blows on my cheeks, which I accepted in order to refashion your distorted form to my own image.

'See the scourging of my back, which I accepted in order to disperse the load of your sins which was laid upon your back. See my hands nailed to the tree for a good purpose, for you, who stretched out your hand to the tree for an evil one.

`I slept on the cross and a sword pierced my side, for you, who slept in paradise and brought forth Eve from your side. My side healed the pain of your side; my sleep will release you from your sleep in Hades; my sword has checked the sword which was turned against you.

‘But arise, let us go hence. The enemy brought you out of the land of paradise; I will reinstate you, no longer in paradise, but on the throne of heaven. I denied you the tree of life, which was a figure, but now I myself am united to you, I who am life. I posted the cherubim to guard you as they would slaves; now I make the cherubim worship you as they would God.

"The cherubim throne has been prepared, the bearers are ready and waiting, the bridal chamber is in order, the food is provided, the everlasting houses and rooms are in readiness; the treasures of good things have been opened; the kingdom of heaven has been prepared before the ages."

Friday, April 2, 2010


My Lord Jesus, I humbly beg of thee by the merits of thy Most Precious Blood, by thy painful Passion and cruel Death and the love of thy Sacred Heart, assist me and mine in all our present necessities.

I thank thee O Lord Jesus that thou did suffer in thy bitter Passion and die a cruel death on the Cross for my sins.

Crucified Lord Jesus, have mercy on the souls in Purgatory.

We beseech thee, help us thy servants whom thou has redeemed by thy Most Precious Blood.

We adore thee O Christ and praise thee, because by thy Holy Cross thou hast redeemed the world.

O God be merciful to me, a sinner.

Sacred Heart of Jesus, strengthened in thine Agony by an Angel, strengthen us in our agony.

O Jesus, King of Love, I trust in thy merciful goodness.

Most merciful Jesus, Lover of souls; I pray you by the Agony of your Most Sacred Heart and by the Sorrows of our Immaculate Mother, to wash in your Most Precious Blood, the sinners of the world who are now in their agony and who will die this day.

Heart of Jesus, once in Agony, have pity on the dying.