Rorate Caeli

Hey, Father, could you just give me the blessing, please?...

I remember once, coming out of the city of Salta [Salta Province, Argentina], on the patronal feast, there was a humble lady who asked for a priest's blessing. The priest said, 'All right, but you were at the Mass' and explained the whole theology of blessing in the church. ...'Ah, thank you father, yes father,' said the woman. When the priest had gone, the woman turned to another priest: 'Give me your blessing!'. All these words did not register with her, because she had another necessity: the need to be touched by the Lord. That is the faith that we always look for , this is the faith that brings the Holy Spirit. We must facilitate it, make it grow, help it grow.
...
Think about a single mother who goes to church, in the parish and to the secretary she says: 'I want my child baptized'. And then this Christian, this Christian says: 'No, you cannot because you're not married!'. But look, this girl who had the courage to carry her pregnancy and not to return her son to the sender, what is it? A closed door! This is not zeal! It is far from the Lord! It does not open doors! And so when we are on this street, have this attitude, we do not do good to people, the people, the People of God, but Jesus instituted the seven sacraments with this attitude and we are establishing the eighth: the sacrament of pastoral customs!
Franciscus
May 25, 2013

15 comments:

Gratias said...

More blessings, the seven sacraments, easier baptisms. This sounds like a great pontifical program.

My wife had to baptize one of our daughters almost incognito in a poor Parish with only the godparents present because the priests denied permission because I was not in the country.

If Francis could make Catholic priests offer Baptisms freely and immediately, and same for Catholic weddings (no study courses) it would be a great advance.

Karl said...

Yeah, that must happen a lot in the Church these days, Holy Father...

gabriel said...

Karl- The Church is a big place, and self-righteous exclusion of those most in need of grace can co-exist with liturgical deformation and doctrinal cowardice. Nor is the Holy Father obliged to speak only against the most prominent difficulties facing the Church.

poeta said...

I am glad the Holy Father does not believe in the post-Vatican II reductivism that frowned on any blessings or devotions taking place before, after, or outside Mass... the idea that the Mass must be a sort of "one-stop shop" for all divine grace.

Angelo said...

I know many couples who obtain only civil marriages or just live together. All because the parish preparation requires a 6 month or so, waiting period with retreats, meetings, sharing, talks from experts ect... which can be expensive. My wife and I married at a Diocesan approved Tridentine Mass in 1991. The priest prepared us in three one hour sessions explaining what marriage is and what it is not. Why not give young couples a chance? And just reform their rules. Many Dioceses say their long preparations are due to the high rate of divorce. When will they take into consideration that because of their many unecessary requirements many are not getting married by Church at all, or just living together. Many couples say they will marry by Church later and they do, after the time consuming requirements are no longer there. I hope Pope Francis would give this due attention for the sake of protecting Marriage and the family. As one can see by this article all the silly season of the Church Post-V2 inventions are working against Christ and his Church and not with it.

parepidemos said...

Angelo,

While I understand your annoyance, consider: (a) Any expense involved in a marriage preparation retreat is miniscule compared to the actual cost of the types of wedding which are usual today...organist, photographs, flowers, dresses, food etc (b) if a couple would rather marry civilly, or even live together, rather than spend time in prayerful consideration of their upcoming marriage then perhaps they are not ready for the sacrament.

Serious and prayerful marital preparation is vital and one of the very good things to blossom since Vatican II.

Adfero said...

We had a six-month prep time, but they were six one-hour meeting with the priest. No retreat, no silly stuff, no expense.

A true Catholic would never marry outside the Church no matter what. These people you site were lost regardless of the obstacles o marriage.

TTT said...

Adfero,

Those who contemplate marrying outside of the Church are probably not be, you are right, serious and devout Catholics. But I would very much disagree with your conclusion that these people are lost (at least in the eschatological sense). We believe that anyone can be saved through the grace of Christ and even much greater sinners have become saints. We live in a world that does not, by default, see any true worth in the Church and it actively indoctrinates people in such a belief. Even the Church in many places often does a desperately bad job in spreading the Gospel. We live in a world when it's not easy to be a christian. We should, rather then dismissing these people, try to include them in hope that, in their rather imperfect encounter with the Church, the bride, they will personally encounter the Bridegroom. The war between the forces of Good and Evil are the same as in the past centuries but the battlefield has changed and so must our battle strategies.

Adfero said...

TTT, anyone entering into a sacrament under their rules, is lost. I'm not saying they can't be saved, I'm saying they're currently lost.

But to say we should ease up, forget the law, bend rules, all to appease them, how's that worked for the last 50 years? Tons of divorces (sorry, annulments), most contracepting, sacrilegious communions, etc. At what price do we keep them "in" and forever lost if they never hear the truth?

ElDesmadre said...

Personally, I think making baptising easier is a very good move. The Holy Father is right when he says that there is not much logic in encouraging a lone pregnant woman to give birth and then deny her child the sacrament. I know that the concept of limbus puerorum has been debated and different saints held different views but even assuming that it exists in its 'light' (St. Thomas) version, I don't see the good in endangering the soul of an innocent one. While it is true that parents should be made more aware of the obligations that come with the baptism, there is more evil in denying a baby its baptism just because its parents are stubborn. When my daughter was born I would have been most happy if she was baptised immediately, lest something should happen.

BONIFACE said...

The real problem I think isn't the duration of prep, but the content of prep. Clearly the current regime of things is not working, because there is just as muh divorce under the long diocesan preps as there was before, if not more. Most of the time the long prep is full of things that aren't necessarily helpful. More time spent in prayer and realization of the supernatural ends of marriage would be welcome; more time spent listening to marital "advice" by "experts" coming from a secular worldview would not be welcome. In general, the approach to marriage is far too intellectualized.

Dymphna said...

Since Catholics contraceptives and divorce at the same rate as everyone else its obvious that the hundreds of dollars spent on preCana classes don't benefit anybody but the parish coffers.

Gratias said...

We should ease up and bend rules when it comes to the sacraments. I was away from the Church for 20 years and when finally I returned it was wonderful to be a Catholic in full. I was confirmed at age 11 but this did not require any courses, just going to confession and showing up at the Cathedral.

Clayton Orr said...

Parapidemos, I understand that a deepened catechesis on marriage is a good thing. Perhaps the way to start that is with a more in depth catechesis of the men who will be performing the wedding. However, clearly the addition of meaningless rituals, paperwork, and classes imposed top-down have not resulted in more successful marriages, at least according to the statistics. We need less bureaucracy and more grace--and more trust that the grace given will do the work necessary according to the trust we place in it. I see the same problem in this tendency to put off Confirmation until later years so that the young person can make a "mature" decision to be Catholic. It's a sacrament, not a graduation ceremony or the reward for a life well lived!

Angelo said...

By Church Law a female can Marry at the age of 14 and a male at the age of 16. Priests at one time gave preparation for Marriage in 2 weeks. I find today's rules for the mere sake of filling the coffers, absurd and an offence against God. True, those who have a civil marriage first, have no serious faith. But that is 100% the result of the 50 year silly season of the Church. To be honest I wonder if any Catholic knows what the Church is today. Has anyone noticed the total lack of Unity in the Church today? We have a problem! We have got to get serious and not behave as if no problems exist in the Church today.