Rorate Caeli

Pope - Five Homilies (St. Joseph's, Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, Easter Vigil)

Let us pray for the Lord Pope Francis,
the first of that name
1. March 19, St. Joseph's:

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

I thank the Lord that I can celebrate this Holy Mass for the inauguration of my Petrine ministry on the solemnity of Saint Joseph, the spouse of the Virgin Mary and the patron of the universal Church. It is a significant coincidence, and it is also the name-day of my venerable predecessor: we are close to him with our prayers, full of affection and gratitude.

I offer a warm greeting to my brother cardinals and bishops, the priests, deacons, men and women religious, and all the lay faithful. I thank the representatives of the other Churches and ecclesial Communities, as well as the representatives of the Jewish community and the other religious communities, for their presence. My cordial greetings go to the Heads of State and Government, the members of the official Delegations from many countries throughout the world, and the Diplomatic Corps.

In the Gospel we heard that “Joseph did as the angel of the Lord commanded him and took Mary as his wife” (Mt 1:24). These words already point to the mission which God entrusts to Joseph: he is to be the custos, the protector. The protector of whom? Of Mary and Jesus; but this protection is then extended to the Church, as Blessed John Paul II pointed out: “Just as Saint Joseph took loving care of Mary and gladly dedicated himself to Jesus Christ’s upbringing, he likewise watches over and protects Christ’s Mystical Body, the Church, of which the Virgin Mary is the exemplar and model” (Redemptoris Custos, 1).

How does Joseph exercise his role as protector? Discreetly, humbly and silently, but with an unfailing presence and utter fidelity, even when he finds it hard to understand. From the time of his betrothal to Mary until the finding of the twelve-year-old Jesus in the Temple of Jerusalem, he is there at every moment with loving care. As the spouse of Mary, he is at her side in good times and bad, on the journey to Bethlehem for the census and in the anxious and joyful hours when she gave birth; amid the drama of the flight into Egypt and during the frantic search for their child in the Temple; and later in the day-to-day life of the home of Nazareth, in the workshop where he taught his trade to Jesus.

How does Joseph respond to his calling to be the protector of Mary, Jesus and the Church? By being constantly attentive to God, open to the signs of God’s presence and receptive to God’s plans, and not simply to his own. This is what God asked of David, as we heard in the first reading. God does not want a house built by men, but faithfulness to his word, to his plan. It is God himself who builds the house, but from living stones sealed by his Spirit. Joseph is a “protector” because he is able to hear God’s voice and be guided by his will; and for this reason he is all the more sensitive to the persons entrusted to his safekeeping. He can look at things realistically, he is in touch with his surroundings, he can make truly wise decisions. In him, dear friends, we learn how to respond to God’s call, readily and willingly, but we also see the core of the Christian vocation, which is Christ! Let us protect Christ in our lives, so that we can protect others, so that we can protect creation!

The vocation of being a “protector”, however, is not just something involving us Christians alone; it also has a prior dimension which is simply human, involving everyone. It means protecting all creation, the beauty of the created world, as the Book of Genesis tells us and as Saint Francis of Assisi showed us. It means respecting each of God’s creatures and respecting the environment in which we live. It means protecting people, showing loving concern for each and every person, especially children, the elderly, those in need, who are often the last we think about. It means caring for one another in our families: husbands and wives first protect one another, and then, as parents, they care for their children, and children themselves, in time, protect their parents. It means building sincere friendships in which we protect one another in trust, respect, and goodness. In the end, everything has been entrusted to our protection, and all of us are responsible for it. Be protectors of God’s gifts!

Whenever human beings fail to live up to this responsibility, whenever we fail to care for creation and for our brothers and sisters, the way is opened to destruction and hearts are hardened. Tragically, in every period of history there are “Herods” who plot death, wreak havoc, and mar the countenance of men and women.
Please, I would like to ask all those who have positions of responsibility in economic, political and social life, and all men and women of goodwill: let us be “protectors” of creation, protectors of God’s plan inscribed in nature, protectors of one another and of the environment. Let us not allow omens of destruction and death to accompany the advance of this world! But to be “protectors”, we also have to keep watch over ourselves! Let us not forget that hatred, envy and pride defile our lives! Being protectors, then, also means keeping watch over our emotions, over our hearts, because they are the seat of good and evil intentions: intentions that build up and tear down! We must not be afraid of goodness or even tenderness!

Here I would add one more thing: caring, protecting, demands goodness, it calls for a certain tenderness. In the Gospels, Saint Joseph appears as a strong and courageous man, a working man, yet in his heart we see great tenderness, which is not the virtue of the weak but rather a sign of strength of spirit and a capacity for concern, for compassion, for genuine openness to others, for love. We must not be afraid of goodness, of tenderness!

Today, together with the feast of Saint Joseph, we are celebrating the beginning of the ministry of the new Bishop of Rome, the Successor of Peter, which also involves a certain power. Certainly, Jesus Christ conferred power upon Peter, but what sort of power was it? Jesus’ three questions to Peter about love are followed by three commands: feed my lambs, feed my sheep. Let us never forget that authentic power is service, and that the Pope too, when exercising power, must enter ever more fully into that service which has its radiant culmination on the Cross. He must be inspired by the lowly, concrete and faithful service which marked Saint Joseph and, like him, he must open his arms to protect all of God’s people and embrace with tender affection the whole of humanity, especially the poorest, the weakest, the least important, those whom Matthew lists in the final judgment on love: the hungry, the thirsty, the stranger, the naked, the sick and those in prison (cf. Mt 25:31-46). Only those who serve with love are able to protect!

In the second reading, Saint Paul speaks of Abraham, who, “hoping against hope, believed” (Rom 4:18). Hoping against hope! Today too, amid so much darkness, we need to see the light of hope and to be men and women who bring hope to others. To protect creation, to protect every man and every woman, to look upon them with tenderness and love, is to open up a horizon of hope; it is to let a shaft of light break through the heavy clouds; it is to bring the warmth of hope! For believers, for us Christians, like Abraham, like Saint Joseph, the hope that we bring is set against the horizon of God, which has opened up before us in Christ. It is a hope built on the rock which is God.

To protect Jesus with Mary, to protect the whole of creation, to protect each person, especially the poorest, to protect ourselves: this is a service that the Bishop of Rome is called to carry out, yet one to which all of us are called, so that the star of hope will shine brightly. Let us protect with love all that God has given us!
I implore the intercession of the Virgin Mary, Saint Joseph, Saints Peter and Paul, and Saint Francis, that the Holy Spirit may accompany my ministry, and I ask all of you to pray for me! Amen.

2. March 24, Palm Sunday

1. Jesus enters Jerusalem. The crowd of disciples accompanies him in festive mood, their garments are stretched out before him, there is talk of the miracles he has accomplished, and loud praises are heard: “Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord. Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!” (Lk 19:38).

Crowds, celebrating, praise, blessing, peace: joy fills the air. Jesus has awakened great hopes, especially in the hearts of the simple, the humble, the poor, the forgotten, those who do not matter in the eyes of the world. He understands human sufferings, he has shown the face of God’s mercy, and he has bent down to heal body and soul.

This is Jesus. This is his heart which looks to all of us, to our sicknesses, to our sins. The love of Jesus is great. And thus he enters Jerusalem, with this love, and looks at us. It is a beautiful scene, full of light - the light of the love of Jesus, the love of his heart - of joy, of celebration.

At the beginning of Mass, we too repeated it. We waved our palms, our olive branches. We too welcomed Jesus; we too expressed our joy at accompanying him, at knowing him to be close, present in us and among us as a friend, a brother, and also as a King: that is, a shining beacon for our lives. Jesus is God, but he lowered himself to walk with us. He is our friend, our brother. He illumines our path here. And in this way we have welcomed him today. And here the first word that I wish to say to you: joy! Do not be men and women of sadness: a Christian can never be sad! Never give way to discouragement! Ours is not a joy born of having many possessions, but from having encountered a Person: Jesus, in our midst; it is born from knowing that with him we are never alone, even at difficult moments, even when our life’s journey comes up against problems and obstacles that seem insurmountable, and there are so many of them! And in this moment the enemy, the devil, comes, often disguised as an angel, and slyly speaks his word to us. Do not listen to him! Let us follow Jesus! We accompany, we follow Jesus, but above all we know that he accompanies us and carries us on his shoulders. This is our joy, this is the hope that we must bring to this world. Please do not let yourselves be robbed of hope! Do not let hope be stolen! The hope that Jesus gives us.

2. The second word. Why does Jesus enter Jerusalem? Or better: how does Jesus enter Jerusalem? The crowds acclaim him as King. And he does not deny it, he does not tell them to be silent (cf. Lk 19:39-40). But what kind of a King is Jesus? Let us take a look at him: he is riding on a donkey, he is not accompanied by a court, he is not surrounded by an army as a symbol of power. He is received by humble people, simple folk who have the sense to see something more in Jesus; they have that sense of the faith which says: here is the Saviour. Jesus does not enter the Holy City to receive the honours reserved to earthly kings, to the powerful, to rulers; he enters to be scourged, insulted and abused, as Isaiah foretold in the First Reading (cf.Is 50:6). He enters to receive a crown of thorns, a staff, a purple robe: his kingship becomes an object of derision. He enters to climb Calvary, carrying his burden of wood. And this brings us to the second word: Cross. Jesus enters Jerusalem in order to die on the Cross. And it is precisely here that his kingship shines forth in godly fashion: his royal throne is the wood of the Cross! It reminds me of what Benedict XVI said to the Cardinals: you are princes, but of a king crucified. That is the throne of Jesus. Jesus takes it upon himself… Why the Cross? Because Jesus takes upon himself the evil, the filth, the sin of the world, including the sin of all of us, and he cleanses it, he cleanses it with his blood, with the mercy and the love of God. Let us look around: how many wounds are inflicted upon humanity by evil! Wars, violence, economic conflicts that hit the weakest, greed for money that you can’t take with you and have to leave. When we were small, our grandmother used to say: a shroud has no pocket. Love of power, corruption, divisions, crimes against human life and against creation! And – as each one of us knows and is aware - our personal sins: our failures in love and respect towards God, towards our neighbour and towards the whole of creation. Jesus on the Cross feels the whole weight of the evil, and with the force of God’s love he conquers it, he defeats it with his resurrection. This is the good that Jesus does for us on the throne of the Cross. Christ’s Cross embraced with love never leads to sadness, but to joy, to the joy of having been saved and of doing a little of what he did on the day of his death.

3. Today in this Square, there are many young people: for twenty-eight years Palm Sunday has been World Youth Day! This is our third word: youth! Dear young people, I saw you in the procession as you were coming in; I think of you celebrating around Jesus, waving your olive branches. I think of you crying out his name and expressing your joy at being with him! You have an important part in the celebration of faith! You bring us the joy of faith and you tell us that we must live the faith with a young heart, always: a young heart, even at the age of seventy or eighty. Dear young people! With Christ, the heart never grows old! Yet all of us, all of you know very well that the King whom we follow and who accompanies us is very special: he is a King who loves even to the Cross and who teaches us to serve and to love. And you are not ashamed of his Cross! On the contrary, you embrace it, because you have understood that it is in giving ourselves, in giving ourselves, in emerging from ourselves that we have true joy and that, with his love, God conquered evil. You carry the pilgrim Cross through all the Continents, along the highways of the world! You carry it in response to Jesus’ call: “Go, make disciples of all nations” (Mt 28:19), which is the theme of World Youth Day this year. You carry it so as to tell everyone that on the Cross Jesus knocked down the wall of enmity that divides people and nations, and he brought reconciliation and peace. Dear friends, I too am setting out on a journey with you, starting today, in the footsteps of Blessed John Paul II and Benedict XVI. We are already close to the next stage of this great pilgrimage of the Cross. I look forward joyfully to next July in Rio de Janeiro! I will see you in that great city in Brazil! Prepare well – prepare spiritually above all – in your communities, so that our gathering in Rio may be a sign of faith for the whole world. Young people must say to the world: to follow Christ is good; to go with Christ is good; the message of Christ is good; emerging from ourselves, to the ends of the earth and of existence, to take Jesus there, is good! Three points, then: joy, Cross, young people.

Let us ask the intercession of the Virgin Mary. She teaches us the joy of meeting Christ, the love with which we must look to the foot of the Cross, the enthusiasm of the young heart with which we must follow him during this Holy Week and throughout our lives. May it be so.

3. March 28, Chrism Mass

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

This morning I have the joy of celebrating my first Chrism Mass as the Bishop of Rome. I greet all of you with affection, especially you, dear priests, who, like myself, today recall the day of your ordination.

The readings and the Psalm of our Mass speak of God’s “anointed ones”: the suffering Servant of Isaiah, King David and Jesus our Lord. All three have this in common: the anointing that they receive is meant in turn to anoint God’s faithful people, whose servants they are; they are anointed for the poor, for prisoners, for the oppressed… A fine image of this “being for” others can be found in the Psalm 133: “It is like the precious oil upon the head, running down upon the beard, on the beard of Aaron, running down upon the collar of his robe” (v. 2). The image of spreading oil, flowing down from the beard of Aaron upon the collar of his sacred robe, is an image of the priestly anointing which, through Christ, the Anointed One, reaches the ends of the earth, represented by the robe.

The sacred robes of the High Priest are rich in symbolism. One such symbol is that the names of the children of Israel were engraved on the onyx stones mounted on the shoulder-pieces of the ephod, the ancestor of our present-day chasuble: six on the stone of the right shoulder-piece and six on that of the left (cf. Ex 28:6-14). The names of the twelve tribes of Israel were also engraved on the breastplate (cf. Es 28:21). This means that the priest celebrates by carrying on his shoulders the people entrusted to his care and bearing their names written in his heart. When we put on our simple chasuble, it might well make us feel, upon our shoulders and in our hearts, the burdens and the faces of our faithful people, our saints and martyrs who are numerous in these times.

From the beauty of all these liturgical things, which is not so much about trappings and fine fabrics than about the glory of our God resplendent in his people, alive and strengthened, we turn now to a consideration of activity, action. The precious oil which anoints the head of Aaron does more than simply lend fragrance to his person; it overflows down to “the edges”. The Lord will say this clearly: his anointing is meant for the poor, prisoners and the sick, for those who are sorrowing and alone. My dear brothers, the ointment is not intended just to make us fragrant, much less to be kept in a jar, for then it would become rancid … and the heart bitter.

A good priest can be recognized by the way his people are anointed: this is a clear proof. When our people are anointed with the oil of gladness, it is obvious: for example, when they leave Mass looking as if they have heard good news. Our people like to hear the Gospel preached with “unction”, they like it when the Gospel we preach touches their daily lives, when it runs down like the oil of Aaron to the edges of reality, when it brings light to moments of extreme darkness, to the “outskirts” where people of faith are most exposed to the onslaught of those who want to tear down their faith. People thank us because they feel that we have prayed over the realities of their everyday lives, their troubles, their joys, their burdens and their hopes. And when they feel that the fragrance of the Anointed One, of Christ, has come to them through us, they feel encouraged to entrust to us everything they want to bring before the Lord: “Pray for me, Father, because I have this problem”, “Bless me Father”, “Pray for me” – these words are the sign that the anointing has flowed down to the edges of the robe, for it has turned into a prayer of supplication, the supplication of the People of God. When we have this relationship with God and with his people, and grace passes through us, then we are priests, mediators between God and men. What I want to emphasize is that we need constantly to stir up God’s grace and perceive in every request, even those requests that are inconvenient and at times purely material or downright banal – but only apparently so – the desire of our people to be anointed with fragrant oil, since they know that we have it. To perceive and to sense, even as the Lord sensed the hope-filled anguish of the woman suffering from hemorrhages when she touched the hem of his garment. At that moment, Jesus, surrounded by people on every side, embodies all the beauty of Aaron vested in priestly raiment, with the oil running down upon his robes. It is a hidden beauty, one which shines forth only for those faith-filled eyes of the woman troubled with an issue of blood. But not even the disciples – future priests – see or understand: on the “existential outskirts”, they see only what is on the surface: the crowd pressing in on Jesus from all sides (cf. Lk 8:42). The Lord, on the other hand, feels the power of the divine anointing which runs down to the edge of his cloak.

We need to “go out”, then, in order to experience our own anointing, its power and its redemptive efficacy: to the “outskirts” where there is suffering, bloodshed, blindness that longs for sight, and prisoners in thrall to many evil masters. It is not in soul-searching or constant introspection that we encounter the Lord: self-help courses can be useful in life, but to live our priestly life going from one course to another, from one method to another, leads us to become pelagians and to minimize the power of grace, which comes alive and flourishes to the extent that we, in faith, go out and give ourselves and the Gospel to others, giving what little ointment we have to those who have nothing, nothing at all.

The priest who seldom goes out of himself, who anoints little – I won’t say “not at all” because, thank God, the people take the oil from us anyway – misses out on the best of our people, on what can stir the depths of his priestly heart. Those who do not go out of themselves, instead of being mediators, gradually become intermediaries, managers. We know the difference: the intermediary, the manager, “has already received his reward”, and since he doesn’t put his own skin and his own heart on the line, he never hears a warm, heartfelt word of thanks. This is precisely the reason for the dissatisfaction of some, who end up sad – sad priests - in some sense becoming collectors of antiques or novelties, instead of being shepherds living with “the odour of the sheep”. This I ask you: be shepherds, with the “odour of the sheep”, make it real, as shepherds among your flock, fishers of men. True enough, the so-called crisis of priestly identity threatens us all and adds to the broader cultural crisis; but if we can resist its onslaught, we will be able to put out in the name of the Lord and cast our nets. It is not a bad thing that reality itself forces us to “put out into the deep”, where what we are by grace is clearly seen as pure grace, out into the deep of the contemporary world, where the only thing that counts is “unction” – not function – and the nets which overflow with fish are those cast solely in the name of the One in whom we have put our trust: Jesus.

Dear lay faithful, be close to your priests with affection and with your prayers, that they may always be shepherds according to God’s heart.

Dear priests, may God the Father renew in us the Spirit of holiness with whom we have been anointed. May he renew his Spirit in our hearts, that this anointing may spread to everyone, even to those “outskirts” where our faithful people most look for it and most appreciate it. May our people sense that we are the Lord’s disciples; may they feel that their names are written upon our priestly vestments and that we seek no other identity; and may they receive through our words and deeds the oil of gladness which Jesus, the Anointed One, came to bring us. Amen.

4. March 28, In coena Domini

This is moving. Jesus, washing the feet of his disciples. Peter didn’t understood it at all, he refused. But Jesus explained it for him. Jesus – God – did this! He himself explains to his disciples: “Do you know what I have done to you? You call me Teacher and Lord – and you are right, for that is what I am. So if I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have set you an example, that you also should do as I have done to you” (Jn 13:12-15).

It is the Lord’s example: he is the most important, and he washes feet, because with us what is highest must be at the service of others. This is a symbol, it is a sign, right? Washing feet means: “I am at your service”. And with us too, don’t we have to wash each other’s feet day after day? But what does this mean? That all of us must help one another. Sometimes I am angry with someone or other … but… let it go, let it go, and if he or she asks you a favour, do it.

Help one another: this is what Jesus teaches us and this what I am doing, and doing with all my heart, because it is my duty. As a priest and a bishop, I must be at your service. But it is a duty which comes from my heart: I love it. I love this and I love to do it because that is what the Lord has taught me to do. But you too, help one another: help one another always. One another. In this way, by helping one another, we will do some good.

Now we will perform this ceremony of washing feet, and let us think, let each one of us think: “Am I really willing, willing to serve, to help others?”. Let us think about this, just this. And let us think that this sign is a caress of Jesus, which Jesus gives, because this is the real reason why Jesus came: to serve, to help us.

5. March 30, Easter Vigil

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

1. In the Gospel of this radiant night of the Easter Vigil, we first meet the women who go the tomb of Jesus with spices to anoint his body (cf. Lk 24:1-3). They go to perform an act of compassion, a traditional act of affection and love for a dear departed person, just as we would. They had followed Jesus, they had listened to his words, they had felt understood by him in their dignity and they had accompanied him to the very end, to Calvary and to the moment when he was taken down from the cross. We can imagine their feelings as they make their way to the tomb: a certain sadness, sorrow that Jesus had left them, he had died, his life had come to an end. Life would now go on as before. Yet the women continued to feel love, the love for Jesus which now led them to his tomb. But at this point, something completely new and unexpected happens, something which upsets their hearts and their plans, something which will upset their whole life: they see the stone removed from before the tomb, they draw near and they do not find the Lord’s body. It is an event which leaves them perplexed, hesitant, full of questions: “What happened?”, “What is the meaning of all this?” (cf. Lk 24:4). Does not the same thing also happen to us when something completely new occurs in our everyday life? We stop short, we don’t understand, we don’t know what to do. Newness often makes us fearful, including the newness which God brings us, the newness which God asks of us. We are like the Apostles in the Gospel: often we would prefer to hold on to our own security, to stand in front of a tomb, to think about someone who has died, someone who ultimately lives on only as a memory, like the great historical figures from the past. We are afraid of God’s surprises; we are afraid of God’s surprises! He always surprises us!

Dear brothers and sisters, let us not be closed to the newness that God wants to bring into our lives! Are we often weary, disheartened and sad? Do we feel weighed down by our sins? Do we think that we won’t be able to cope? Let us not close our hearts, let us not lose confidence, let us never give up: there are no situations which God cannot change, there is no sin which he cannot forgive if only we open ourselves to him.

2. But let us return to the Gospel, to the women, and take one step further. They find the tomb empty, the body of Jesus is not there, something new has happened, but all this still does not tell them anything certain: it raises questions; it leaves them confused, without offering an answer. And suddenly there are two men in dazzling clothes who say: “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; but has risen” (Lk 24:5-6). What was a simple act, done surely out of love – going to the tomb – has now turned into an event, a truly life-changing event. Nothing remains as it was before, not only in the lives of those women, but also in our own lives and in the history of mankind. Jesus is not dead, he has risen, he is alive! He does not simply return to life; rather, he is life itself, because he is the Son of God, the living God (cf. Num 14:21-28; Deut 5:26; Josh 3:10). Jesus no longer belongs to the past, but lives in the present and is projected towards the future; he is the everlasting “today” of God. This is how the newness of God appears to the women, the disciples and all of us: as victory over sin, evil and death, over everything that crushes life and makes it seem less human. And this is a message meant for me and for you, dear sister, dear brother. How often does Love have to tell us: Why do you look for the living among the dead? Our daily problems and worries can wrap us up in ourselves, in sadness and bitterness… and that is where death is. That is not the place to look for the One who is alive!

Let the risen Jesus enter your life, welcome him as a friend, with trust: he is life! If up till now you have kept him at a distance, step forward. He will receive you with open arms. If you have been indifferent, take a risk: you won’t be disappointed. If following him seems difficult, don’t be afraid, trust him, be confident that he is close to you, he is with you and he will give you the peace you are looking for and the strength to live as he would have you do.

3. There is one last little element that I would like to emphasize in the Gospel for this Easter Vigil. The women encounter the newness of God. Jesus has risen, he is alive! But faced with empty tomb and the two men in brilliant clothes, their first reaction is one of fear: “they were terrified and bowed their faced to the ground”, Saint Luke tells us – they didn’t even have courage to look. But when they hear the message of the Resurrection, they accept it in faith. And the two men in dazzling clothes tell them something of crucial importance: “Remember what he told you when he was still in Galilee… And they remembered his words” (Lk 24:6,8). They are asked to remember their encounter with Jesus, to remember his words, his actions, his life; and it is precisely this loving remembrance of their experience with the Master that enables the women to master their fear and to bring the message of the Resurrection to the Apostles and all the others (cf. Lk 24:9). To remember what God has done and continues to do for me, for us, to remember the road we have travelled; this is what opens our hearts to hope for the future. May we learn to remember everything that God has done in our lives.

On this radiant night, let us invoke the intercession of the Virgin Mary, who treasured all these events in her heart (cf. Lk 2:19,51) and ask the Lord to give us a share in his Resurrection. May he open us to the newness that transforms, to God’s surprises… so very beautiful. May he make us men and women capable of remembering all that he has done in our own lives and in the history of our world. May he help us to feel his presence as the one who is alive and at work in our midst. And may he teach us - dear brothers and sisters – each day not to look among the dead for the Living One. Amen.


J said...

I can't remember an Easter where I felt so down in the dumps..


D said...

J, me too. :(

Bao D. said...

They are all short and pretty much say the same thing. The Maundy Thursday "homily" at 4 paragraphs must be a record for brevity.

Pope Francis ordered extensive shortening of his Vigil Mass. He seems to like to keep his Masses short as possible. Seems like Mass is just a chore that is part of the job of a priest that needs to be endured. Here I thought it was the source and summit of Christian life and the virtually the sole purpose of the priesthood but what do I know?

Don M said...

My concern is the future priesthood/vocations. I think there may have been a bump up in vocations because the previous Pope was taking steps to restore the Sacred to the Holy Mass. Which in turn, restores the Sacred Character of the Priesthood.
IF ? there is to be a return to the 1970s Mass novelties; A move away from the Holy Church`s Sacred Traditions......dear God Mercy.

joe said...

Well that was a meaningful sermon. The Holy Spirit will let Pope Francis know he is the Pope.

Christopher said...

There are some nice expressions in these homilies. Some sentences are quite beautiful in their simple expression of the Christian faith. I think particularly of the Vigil homily.

However, the Christian faith is not only about catechesis and preaching.

Resurrexit Sicut Dixit said...

Extensive shortening...really... Talk about openly misleading people to emphasise a petty point.

Last years booklet for the Easter Vigil is still on the Vatican Website, the only difference is that he reduced the number of Old Testament readings from 4 to 3.

3 seems to be the standard in many parishes these days.

Yes it is a reduction from last year but in no way qualifies as "extensive shortening".

Some folk on here really need to get a grip, some of the comments over the last few days have been laughable

Matthew said...

Brevity is a virtue in this era.

Tenebrae said...

These sermons can be summed up as "be humble, be nice" with an implication also of "reject tradiition". Francis never says anything that will challenge mainstream secular opinion. The inaugural mass sermon with its theme of the Holy Family and fighting Herods cried out for a condemnation of abortion but none came. Likewise in the Coliseum he should have condemned the persecution of Christians in the Middle East. But the most worrying sermon this week was not by Francis but preached in his presence on Good Fruday by Father Cantalamessa which was all about how old buildings are no longer fit for purpose and should be reduce to primitive simplicity. This is the true spirit of vatican 2!
Liturgically we now know the following about Francis:
1. He likes his masses short.
2. He has contempt for the laws of the church, see his footwashing of women and Muslims
3. He will never sing at mass.
4. He will wear the plainest vestments he can find to proclaim his humiliy. He is also so devoted to his own personal mitre and White chasuble he wears them whenever he can.
5. The Mozetta is history, the red cloak is history and I fear even the papal stole is history. The only papal garments he will wear is the White soutane and, if cold, the grecca.
6. Whilst the basic strucure of masses so far has been fairly traditional I believe that is only because he has had no time to change them. Once Mgr Marini is replaced by some modernist MC all bets are off. "You ain't seen nothin' yet." I fear for our Holy Church.

Benedicta said...

Did the Holy Father send a letter to his priests for Holy Thursday?

Bao D. said...

Here's one account of the extensive shortening if you want to check the facts out:
It was about 17% shorter if you want to be more precise!
Of course the article paints it in a glowing light. They even pointed out how Benedict was a big old meanie keeping his vigil service over 3 hours. The nerve of that old Pontiff to keep the faithful for three whole hours on the most important night of the year! I bet if these people were around 2000 years ago they would have complained about our Lord taking that long to die.
Even if all he did was reduce the readings from 4 to 3 (which was not all he did) that still is not right. This is the Holy See; one expects them to set the standard. One expects the Pope to do more than the minimum.

Time on our side said...

The future of vocations is good...provided it remains all-male and celibate. Why do you think the Enemy desires women "priests"? Because without them, the trajectory for liberals is bad.

The Church is a democracy - at least one where faithful Catholics get a vote, but no one else. Liberal, modernist catholics contracept and abort, have multiple common law relationships etc. they have very few sons. And most of these are raised with the heresy that the priesthood is an outdated "profession" and laity can do important things just like priests. So do they become priests themselves, with the sacrifices involved? No, why would they?

But the faithful Catholics have big, united families and make many priests raised to respect the traditional, holy and high position of the priest, close to God with many graces! These families often attend traditional parishes, and these sons become priests - lots and lots of them! Often with traditional priestly societies. These priests will become Bishops, Cardinals and Popes - long after the V2 hippies have gone the way of the do-do.

The future belongs to God, of course, and to His Holy Traditional Priests! The Enemy knows this, and they NEED women's ordination NOW before this V2 generation - now in the last "sweet spot" of senior positions in the clergy - passes for all time.

Liberal "catholics" - your bases belong to us, or will. The religious orders you have usurped are old and dying and have no vocations. Traditional religious orders are actually turning away too many candidates (but building seminaries). You can beguile the world, but math is cannot corrupt the math. Look at France...if the stats are correct, the SSPX accounts for about half of Mass attendance now. In 20 years, whatever Catholic faith exists there - and it is on the uptick - will be almost all SSPX. They will not need "reconciling" - they will simply push the doors open on all the empty Churches and walk in. And the credit goes to the sons you aborted and contracepted in your selfish disobedience.

God promises an indefectible Church... But He never specified what form it would take.

Tick tock....

New Catholic said...

I am really not one to complain about shorter liturgies if they are rubrically feasible...

Bao D. said...

I will defend Francis on one point. He probably can't sing well because he has just one lung. As a respiratory physician I can attest that it would be difficult to do. Not impossible but it would require effort and would depend on the residual strength of his other lung. Although I doubt he would have put much effort into chanting during his time with the Jesuits nor would it sadden him much.

Malta said...

I don't care if His Holiness only has one lung, if that shortens his homilies!

But I do pray for him and wish him well. I just hope he doesn't fire the present MC, and bring-back circus dancers into the Vatican.

That would spell the death knell of any reconciliation with Traditional Catholics.

These Modernists will stop at nothing to try to appease the masses; but, let's see, how many go to church in France on any given Sunday? 2%?

Anonymous said...

St Andrew's Russian Catholic Church:

11PM: Procession, Matins, Divine Liturgy, followed by meal on the Patio.

NO Eucharistic ministers, no girl altar servers !

All traditional, said in English, no communion in the hand !! NEED NEW MEMBERS, we are a DYING parish.

No cry room, kids are welcome !!

538 Concord ST. El Segundo, Ca., 90245, below LAX.

Spread the word! In comm. with Rome!

--Pat Bailer

Common Sense said...

Sinse the sterilized mindset is the norm, don't expect H.H. Francis allover suden act like trad. It will take a miracle to change into trad mode. As much as the signs aren't ecouraging, so much more our prayers and sacrifices for him are urgently needed.

Uncle Claibourne said...

I watched the Easter Vigil live on EWTN this afternoon (or most of it; I tuned in at the Collect).

Very beautiful and dignified, to the extent that the Novus Ordo can be. Very sober and "Roman." Thank you, Msgr. Marini.

As I mentioned earlier, something seems different about Francis's demeanor the past couple of days. He seems very burdened in spirit. During the prayer for peace (Domine Iesu Christe, qui dixisti apostolic tuis...), he looked away from the Missal, and directly at the Host, paused, and seemed to be lost in thought. Then he returned to the Missal and finished the prayer. For some reason, this made me start to cry. I don't know why.

During the Recessional, he looked mostly at the floor, and as far as I could tell, turned to the side to bless the crowd only once.

Admittedly, these are only minor observations, and maybe I'm reading something into them that isn't there. He just seems to suddenly be heavily burdened by something. Maybe it has something to do with his "long and intense" conversation with Benedict on Thursday. Maybe not. It's troubling me greatly, and is leaving me with a deep sense of compassion for him that I hadn't really felt before Good Friday.

Our Holy Father needs our prayers.

Hank Igitur said...

A simple spirometry would answer the question about residual lung capacity Dr Bao D. Of course it would reveal nothing of his personal intentions regarding the future of the Liturgy.

Jerry said...

Maybe Francis will take us back to the true meaning of Vatican II. If so it certainly proves that the Holy Spirit is alive and well in the same way as when John XXIII was elected. Most lay people I assume are very excited and are looking forward to bright future with fresh air blowing through the Church.

Hank Igitur said...

Fresh air? Roncalli's opening the windows to let in "fresh air" actually let in something else entirely, namely Montini's smoke of Satan into the sanctuary!

Wormwood said...

J: “I can't remember an Easter where I felt so down in the dumps..”
I echo your sentiments. That is why during our Easter Vigil and Midnight Mass I never in my 20 years or so with Tradition appreciated and realized it more just how much Providence is always making sure everyone of good will is not left uncared for even as Rome crumbles.
I thank ALL traditionalists, from the humblest layman to the staunchest clerics, who have maintained and continue to maintain the valiant stand that will one day be vindicated.
God’s justice will prevail in the end. No one in Rome or anywhere in the Conciliar Church can deceive Him. He sees inside every heart: yours, mine, and the Popes’.
Remain glad and full of hope!

bill said...

"The death knell of any reconciliation with Traditional Catholics."

This is not aimed at the author of the quote, but I am only expressing my opinion in general, and something that we all should consider.

There will only be ONE death knell. It is the one, the type of which we are both remembering and celebrating on this most holy of nights.

The death knell of death itself.

Traditionalists will ALWAYS be available to 'reconcile' with Holy Mother Catholic Church. Such that are not, are schismatics, not any type of 'catholic'.

This is simply, perhaps, another gust between the two pillars of St. Dom Bosco's dream.

The question we each face individually is will we follow the barque of our flagship? Or will we let the tempest blow us away?

!!!Footwashing!!! yeah, its not a good sign, but I'll not abandon the Eucharist because of it!!!

Lanna said...

That was a beautiful Easter Vigil sermon - just what I needed to hear tonight. Let us rejoice, give thanks, and praise God whenever the Pope speaks or acts well. Just as much or more than we mourn when he does not.

HopefulCarole said...

Wow! Who can be sad at Easter! My church just brought in 30 new Catholics. You have to have a little more faith in God's divine plan that was created from the very beginning. The Catholic Church is like a large umbrella. There is much room for diversity as long as we stay under the umbrella. So if some want the Mass in Latin and others want it in the vernacular, praise Jesus, both ways are good and holy and pleasing to God. If we go too far one way, the Holy Spirit has a way of leveling things out I pray that your Easter is filled with joy and happiness in the risen Lord who died for you out of great love.

Gregorian Mass said...

Pope Benedict XVI took me back to the true meaning of Vatican II. I have never been so inspired by a Pope to read into my Faith and learn all I could that I was never afforded to growing up in a liturgical wasteland. The Hermeneutic of Continuity presents past and present Church in the correct context which means things must change and perhaps not the way many people think. Benedict wrote and spoke alot about Vat II and we should all take a look at what he said if we have not already. Take away the semantics and just about everything he says makes sense. The Church must get back to its' roots. Not first century roots but the organic roots that were cut down circa 1970 when things went really awry.

Paulo said...

Did St. Peter wear a mozzetta? I doubt it. If so, why does it make a difference if Francis eschews one? Jesus preached love and forgiveness, and told the apostles not to take a purse, bag or extra sandals when they did so. I don 't think He was too concerned with how they dressed.

Barbara said...

Yes indeed! Special instensified prayers this Easter Sunday for our Holy Father Francis! What an emotional roller-coaster since his election! I am still trying to get my bearings...I go up and down like a yo yo...

Matt said...

Time On Our Side said it well. Oooh yeah! Let's help it out. Everybody, let's have more kids.

Matt said...

Jerry said, "Maybe Francis will take us back to the true meaning of Vatican II. If so it certainly proves that the Holy Spirit is alive and well in the same way as when John XXIII was elected. Most lay people I assume are very excited and are looking forward to bright future with fresh air blowing through the Church."

Seriously? Folks, let's move on from hoping this and that. The writings are on the wall already and His Holiness is the one who scrawled it. Really. Where does anyone think he's going to go with this?

As far as this "fresh air" bit, what're you implying? Pope Benedict's reign was stale and fetid?

Benedict Carter said...

"And may he teach us - dear brothers and sisters – each day not to look among the dead for the Living One. Amen."

More Revolution coming!

Cantalamessa's sermon was clearly a put-up job.

They are preparing the ground for major change.

Well, if one believes that V II IS flawed, then logic tends to suggest that taking it to its own logical conclusion will finish the mainstream or institutional Church completely.

Should we be upset by that?

GQ Rep said...

"More Revolution coming!

Cantalamessa's sermon was clearly a put-up job.

They are preparing the ground for major change. "

I don;t think this time Catholics will simply accept radical change and keep on cheering "Francesco!! Francesco!! and "Viva il Papa". I think there will be a strong backlash against any more change.

Vocations will crash, mass walkouts from seminaries, parishes, crowds to the Vatican, and most importantly to them....a collapse in donations (Peter's Pence, etc.).

Jan said...

Yes, GQ Rep, to win the liberal battle you have to have liberal priests to do it. The liberal blogs I have looked at complain that the young priests are way complete devotees to Benedict XVI and Bl John Paul II, so they can't see them changing. A lot of the Novus Ordo priests and lay people over 60 are liberal but the rest of will not tolerate any reform of the reform of the reform. It could be that Pope Francis' washing of women's feet will be a blessing in disguise as there are now rumblings among the conservatives who aren't happy about it.

Jan said...

Yes, GQ Rep, to win the liberal battle you have to have liberal priests to do it. The liberal blogs I have looked at complain that the young priests are way complete devotees to Benedict XVI and Bl John Paul II, so they can't see them changing. A lot of the Novus Ordo priests and lay people over 60 are liberal but the rest of will not tolerate any reform of the reform of the reform. It could be that Pope Francis' washing of women's feet will be a blessing in disguise as there are now rumblings among the conservatives who aren't happy about it.

(By the way the characters required to be entered for a comment are often almost illegible as they run one into the other.)

Common Sense said...

The BXVIs' idea about hermenutics is like a rotten apple in the pie. Try to eat it once the apple is in it. I'm not sad to see him gone. No if, but or maybe, he had the opportunity to regularize the SSPX and he hadn't done so. Unless current H.H. adopts policy which favoures tradition, there won't be any restaurare omnia in Christo.

Ric said...

The people who call themselves
the people of God
take great lengths to worship their christ.
They praise his name,
they make song to him,
they praise his body and his blood,
they make images in his honor
and weep.

The people who call themselves
the people of God
desire him in sacrament,
they adore his heart, his blood,
his sacred feet and wounds.
Their priests place him in golden stands
and burn savory smoke to him.

The people who call themselves
the people of God
carry him in procession through the streets
while little girls spread rose petals
and choirs sing hymns .

The people who call themselves
the people of God
go to their homes
as priests place him back in metal boxes.

These people who call themselves his people
say they know Him
but of His Word care little
for their delight is in themselves,
in their images,
in their smoke, stands, and metal boxes.

Matthew said...

Happy Easter. He is Risen!

Amen to babies, but tell me something. If a large family with several children below the age of reason drives 100+ miles to a Latin mass, do they all go to mass? Do Latin mass societies have some means of coping with a superabundance of cherubs? Special graces?

Babies are one thing, but toddlers are just ... wow. But after dropping $50 on gas a person might want to get his money's worth.

GQ Rep said...

A family friend of ours was a member of the Religious of the Sacred Heart (founded by St. Madeline Sophie Barat in 1800). Though Japan of course isn't a Catholic country (technically about 95% Buddhist/Shinto but in actuality about 75% secular), the Sacred Heart nuns still ran several very famous and exclusive girls boarding schools (secondary education), and a very famous college. The present Empress of Japan, Michiko (the former Michiko Shoda), is a graduate (although she is not Catholic but Buddhist/Shinto).
Before Vatican II, even in Japan where the Order was relatively small (almost not existant today) they still managed to take in 10-15 postulants per year.
After 1965, the Order grew increasingly liberal, becoming radical femminist about 1972. World wide, the Order went from 7,811 in 1964-65, to the present 2,250(2011 latest total, probably less now) Hundreds of convents were sold and closed, including the world-famous convent of Santa Trinita dei Monte atop the Spanish steps in Rome (now a monastery of another group of monks and nuns founded after Vatican II).
The more liberal the Religious of the Sacred Heart became, the fewer vocations they recieved. The Order in Japan has not recieved a single vocation in over 35 years!!
Our family friend left the Order where she had spent 36 years, in 1981 at age 61, moved to Los Angeles, and taught in the Catholic school system there for 15 years before retiring (died, 2007)

But her Order is representative of all Orders and seminaries after the "reforms of Vatican II"

If Pope Francis and his lackeys are foolish enough to try the same kind of thing or worse again....we're in for another round of the same.

The good thing is that the established Orders which went liberal 45+ years ago are nearly all filled with very aged members, no vocations for years, and no prospects of any. They will be extinct in a heartbeat if more changes come. They have very little support in the Catholic world except for equally aged laity!

If Pope Francis is foolish enough to try more liberal changes, he will cause a chain reaction where the "Vatican II" Church decline will increase, and those Orders, seminaries and groups in and affiliated to the SSPX on the other hand will grow 10x more rapidly as they have been. People will flood to the SSPX.....or (and it's possible), similar traditionalist groups will be founded lead by priests or even bishops opposed to the direction of Pope Francis.

I am positive that the SSPX is thrilled with itself, that it did not cave in and accept the Vatican's offers. The actions of this Pope every day, make the likelihood very remote.

Look for the SSPX to explode with a tidal wave of new growth...while the Vatican self-destructs. Sad but very possible.

Don m said...

A Happy and Blessed Easter to all.

BONIFACE said...

By and large these are decent homilies, but I agree that there is nothin in them that particularly challenges the modern mindset. They encourage emulation of Jesus, which is good. Then again, who says a good homily necessarily has to be a declaration of war against modernity? Simply saying "Follow Jesus" is in itself an extremely challenging concept. But, I would agree that if this is ALL he ever says, then we certainly would have a problem. In short, these sort of homilies are fine as part and parcel of a larger theological framework, but if they stand alone, if this is all we ever get, it will be a real deficiency.

Benedict Carter said...

Common Sense:

I am with you as far as Benedict XVI is concerned. I will refrain from writing my thoughts fully but I have to say that I have never understood the adulation on these pages for a Pope who was one of the architects of the Revolution.

So what if he maybe later came to regret some aspects of it?

Not good enough.

Anonymous said...

I'm a young Jesuit. Most of us who have entered the order after 1999 see JPII and BXVI as our models. We are all really happy with Pope Francis but most of us don't see him so much as a model for liturgy. Once you get over your liturgical jitters, it is easier to see the truth and beauty in his homilies and call to conform ourselves to Christ crucified. I expect his approach to poverty will give him cred with liberals, but his actions before his papacy lead me to believe he is right at the heart of the Church doctrinally.

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't say the SSPX. Is thrilled with itself, rather they are thanking God for protection.


Lovisa said...

Hanc Igitur suggested that the Holy Father should have a "simple spirometry" to "answer the question about residual lung capacity." Are you really suggesting that Pope Francis, who demonstrably only has one lung, needs to prove to the world that he is incapable of singing at mass by releasing his medical records? Is that kind, generous, or even respectful? I know I need all my lungs to sing!

LeonG said...

Gregorian mass

"the true meaning of Vatican II"

What, you mean ecumenism; collegiality; the NO liturgy that followed it; mass exodus of priests from the priesthood; laicisation of diocesan and parish councils; interconfessionalism; primacy of conscience; horizontalism; protestantised pastoral processes et al?

Daniel said...

All those years of working to get a parish to the point of doing all the readings, doing the whole Vigil - no matter how long it might take - now just seems for naught.

Isaacson said...

I watched today's Urbi et Orbi. OMG, nothing like we saw with Benedict! Francis' pontificate has started off so low class it's shocking. Enough already before my brain explodes!

John Crowley said...

Francis I's election is similar to being on a long, long trip. Being very tired, you have a burst of hope and energy when you think you see your destination ahead. Then you realize it was an illusion. After a period of disappointment, you settle down to continuing the journey.

Fashioned said...

I can't remember the last time that I've seen anyone be so ostentatious about their "humility".

Dr. Timothy J. Williams said...

HopefulCarole says: "The Catholic Church is like a large umbrella. There is much room for diversity as long as we stay under the umbrella. So if some want the Mass in Latin and others want it in the vernacular, praise Jesus, both ways are good and holy and pleasing to God."

I wish your attitude prevailed, Carole. But since the catastrophe of Vatican II and the Novus Ordo, tolerance such as yours has been noticeably lacking. Those who prefer the Traditional Latin Mass have never attempted to force others to attend it, though we do criticize the new liturgy. The reverse is NOT the case. Clerics like Francis, who despise the Church's traditional liturgy, always try to deprive others from having it. Liberals simply cannot tolerate that any Catholics, anywhere, are out there praying as all Catholics used to pray. It is this simple, glaring paradox that proves the shallowness of the liturgical "reform." It is not a reform at all. It is a revolution, an overthrowing of the Catholic Faith.

Marcus said...

Not only is Pope Francis's humility so ostentatious, it is both militant and arrogant, and quite intolerant of others.

Anonymous said...

I concur with Boniface....decent enough sermons but lets see the larger framework as evidenced over time.

I am hoping the Pope will, later on, put his recent homilies and actions as backdrop for supporting traditional teaching and trappings and not for liberal reforms. More prayers, more penance.

I am reminded of a saying from business, "if it starts out bad then it only gets worse" (Daniel P.), meaning it is very difficult to correct something that goes off the rails from the get go. Also,the famous parable of knowing the tree by its fruit.

More prayers, more penance. God help Pope Francis.


JAK said...

Pope Francis' "humility" is really starting to stick in my craw. He can't put on the mozetta and papal stole even for the Urbi et Orbi?

Marcus said...

But don't you see what impediments the mozzetta and stole are to saving souls? Once he puts them on, his magic is gone. It's a wonder how every pope before Francis managed to be Christ's vicar.

Fashioned said...

There you go, "arrogant humility" is a pretty good public relations tactic in our modern world of superficiality over substance.

As far as tolerance? On a wholly different discussion forum, people (purportedly Christians) were gushing over Francis' selection of prisoners for the foot-washing ceremony. I asked about who were his favorite criminals: drug dealers, violent gang members, murderers... The profanity laden answers that I received weren't exactly tolerant. I also asked whether, besides giving presents to the criminals, he was also going to give anything to the crime victims. No reply there.

I predict that we'll see the usual liberal line, where 'tolerance' is just a codeword for permissiveness - and anyone who disagrees will be put down. Does anyone remember way back when Lefebvre was originally being hammered, there was a priest in NYC having 'marijuana masses' who was treated with kid gloves?

authoressaurus said...

By the way, what's the point in having a vigil, if you only watch for a couple of hours? I've never really figured that out. I've done many all night novenas, but in neither rite have I ever felt that I was recognizably participating in a realistic "vigil". Just sayin'. Bring back the 12 readings. But since Bergogilo does whatever he wants, I think 1950 Holy Week is back on the books whenever anyone wants to do it. Seriously. I'll never have a qualm about it the next time I'm asked to participate in one.

Matthew said...

GQ Rep said: "I don;t think this time Catholics will simply accept radical change and keep on cheering "Francesco!! Francesco!! and "Viva il Papa". I think there will be a strong backlash against any more change."

I disagree. Most Catholics in our day and age love and crave change... unless the change the change is, in their perception, "backwards". If that change, however, somehow "integrates" the culture, no matter how decadant (music, dress, etc.), it will be embraced by many and tolerated by some for "bringing people closer to God at their level" and "accepting them where they are at."

Hey Man Bad Acid said...

Hey is that trainee Jesuit cat who wrote that he digs Pope Francis still around? You remember that spliff at Woodstock man? Just before The Who?Yeah.

Bao D. said...

What is particularly galling is the total lack of respect shown to Pope Benedict by his successor. Popes generally show respect to their predecessor by carrying on in a similar fashion, even if their preferences are different, and then gradually change over time. Thus Benedict kept using John Paul's ferula, master of ceremonies, etc. for some time and then slowly changed it. One can see alone from the Urbi et Orbi message today the complete and utter repudiation and work of Benedict by Francis. That's not humility but contempt. Keep in mind that Benedict is still alive and probably watching all this and Francis knows it. Most popes show some measure of respect to their deceased predecessor how much more ought they to do so when they are still alive!

Dark days ahead but we always have Christ. He conquered death today and as terrible as things may get he will always conquer.

Happy Easter to everyone.

Christus vincit, Christus regnat, Christus imperat!

Jason W. said...

Time on our side:

Do you have a source for this?
"Look at France...if the stats are correct, the SSPX accounts for about half of Mass attendance now."

I'm not doubting you, but it would be helpful for me to have the source for some of the discussions I get into.


anon sj said...

I am new to this blog so please forgive me if what I say is out of line. Many young Jesuits were attracted to the faith by JPII and enthusiastically embraced BXVI's liturgical example. We are all too young to remember any other papacy and few of us were ever impressed with local hippy priests. We grew even more suspicious of the hippy generation in 2001 for obvious reasons. We are all really happy about Francis, but most of us are too battle hardened to suddenly fall in love with liturgical innovation. We all believe Francis is doctrinally at the heart of the Church. That is probably the euphoria you are picking up on.

Adfero said...

Anon sj: please keep reading and coming back!

We love young, sound priests here. And we all pray you are the future.

You're always welcome here! Even if we don't share the same level of enthusiasm on certain things.

Uncle Claibourne said...

May I make a humble suggestion?

As discomfiting as some of Francis's liturgical preferences, and refusal of the remaining symbols of the Papal office have been, we need to look to the horizon, prepare for further significant devolution of Papal authority, and "double-down" on the prayers and sacrifices to help avoid, or at least mitigate them.

I'm thinking of the reform of the Curia that we all know is coming. It's looking more and more possible that this "reform," which we all have hoped and prayed for, may turn into a demolition, and result in the transfer of Papal sovereignty to Bishops' Synods, the Episcopal Conferences, or even new forms that most of us have not even thought about.

The possibilities here are too numerous, and frightening, to list at the moment, but we all know what some of them are. The progressivists have been pushing for them for years. Episcopal Conference selection of bishops for vacant sees, with a pro-forma notification to the Pope for his "approval," comes to mind. This could be followed by the Episcopal Conferences being given the latitude to set their own selection processes, even including voting by presbyterial councils and/or the laity. All in the name of a return to "ancient practice," which may have made sense at one point in history, but would be disastrous today. As I say, multiple other examples could be given.

My point is this: I don't think any of us would now doubt that such outcomes are at least a possibility. We have to face them. And we have to prepare. I thought Benedict's slow, careful reforms were the start of an irreversible movement back in the right direction. I was wrong. I took too much for granted, and didn't pray enough, didn't sacrifice enough, and I went on, comfortable in my many sins of both commission and omission. I got complacent, and didn't take seriously enough what Our Lord and Our Lady of Fatima have already told us numerous times. I didn't do my part.

I hope this makes sense. Perhaps it's time for all of us to examine our consciences, and try to do a little more, as Our Blessed Lord and His Holy Mother will make clear to us, each in his or her own particular circumstances.

El Franco Loco said...

I second the welcome to Anonymous / Anon SJ. Your presence here indicates an openness to tradition, which is a welcome trend. Thank you for your insights on our new Pope.

Matt said...

His homilies seem okay. There's a lot of this social-justice routine but if he acts according to his words (which in many ways Pope Bendecit didn't) then there may be some substance to this Papacy. Everything is still up in the air though as far as I'm concerned.

Meanwhile, this link to this morning's Mass looks pretty nice--so far.

Gratias said...

Uncle Clairborne I right that this is about the nature of papal authority. We should have a Monarchy with Motus Proprius but V2 says Bishop Conferences or synods should be in charge. Our greatest danger is that Pope Francisco (Pancho) will call a Vatican Council III to complete the ideological progressive agenda.

Barbara said...

Well I don't think Catholics who love the Papacy and tradition should sit back amd watch everything being demolished before their very eyes ....what kind of True Church is this? The Pope's Easter address only in Italian without signs of his universal authority...prayer yes - but organised appeals - no? After all, the post-conciliar church is really big on lay-participation and intervention ... Why do we have to wait and see? The Pope hasn't hesitated a second in showing us his what he thinks...

Where I live - I feel more odd than ever - and in my view I'm simply a Catholic...

Common Sense said...

Dear Paulo, your observation are correct, but the conclusion is wrong, because the acorn over the time grew into majestic tree. The Bride of Christ was arrayed with glory and the protocols are part of it. The poor, who comes into Her sanctuary is embraced and wellcome by Her generosity no less then the rich.

Dymphna said...

I'm not sure that parishes should be doing all the readings anyway. Cathedrals yes but it doesn't work well in the parishes. Heat, exhaustion, screaming overtired kids, drowsy dads and stressed mothers makes for an unpleasant four hours.

Dr. Timothy J. Williams said...

Why do people keep repeating the mantra that "change" is coming to the Curia, except possibly that the word "change" is vacuous in and of itself? Certainly, there is no reform in any better sense coming to the Curia. Begoglio did absolutely nothing to clean up the mess in his own diocese. Why would he suddenly do better as Bishop of Rome?

Jerry said...

Could someone please explain to me why there is such a concern and uproar as to whether or not the Pope wears a Mozetta or if the Mass is said in Latin? I really don't believe that those would be high on Christ's list of important issues. Remember, Latin only came in when the Church was subjugated by the Roman Empire. Some of this resembles stories of Christ going after the practices of the Pharisees. If rite and ritual are the most important parts of being Catholic, then the Church is in real trouble. I don't remember that scripture stated that Christ said to Peter (in Latin) "upon this rock I will build my Church, and don't forget your Mozetta."

Common Sense said...

Jerry, please grab the Holy Scripture and read about the splendour of ancient Mosaic priesthood. Part of being a catholic is reasonably good knowledge of Sacred Scripture and Apologetics.Have I managed to answer your queries?

Lee L-J said...

Anyone suggesting that Bishop Conferences should have more say is really trying to heap more problems on the church. The nationalisation and protestant innovations alongside 'de-universality', warping of Metropolitan and Bishopric authority is precisely because these hideous conferences wiste. They should be forlesed, they are a font of badness that lead to evil . They are hideous and nothing but a situation whereby the profane fares into Holy things. The conferences are also one of the main culprits as to why The Holy Mother Church is in a thorough mess, especially as The Curia has become infected mid this nationalism and horse-trading of national interests.

Lee Penn said...

Another item for the Francis watch ... here's the Pope giving a blessing to an Opus Dei-sponsored pilgrimage of several thousand university students during Holy Week ...

Francis acknowledged the Prelature's sponsorship of the gathering, and quoted Escriva to commend the students.

I leave the interpretation of this to the Vaticanologists. I did note that the plaza before St. Peter's was busy, but was not as crowded as I might have expected during Holy Week.