God vs. Gold

When we plan a budget, money seems to be the center of our planning! We make extensive calculations as to where, when and why our money will be spent. We have today to work with, tomorrow to think about and the distant future to consider. We sometimes deal with money needs and disbursement first in our life with everything else coming in second or as an after thought. The world tells us we need gold or it’s equivalent to survive.

If it is to be God’s Will, many of us will have a long life here on this earth. And if we acknowledge God’s Will in our lives, we will realize that without God, we are nothing and can do nothing. Why then do people spend so much of their lives seeking the gold first and giving secondary importance to the spiritual gold needed to attain eternal life?

Although, as modern day Catholics, we do not worship pagan gods, do we ever stop to consider that some of our pursuits are in the nature of idol worship? As responsible parents, we see to the care of our families. The greater of this burden, naturally, falls on the husband and father who needs to earn the living in order to provide for the family. Sometimes it seems that people get caught up in attaining money and material comforts and forget to work on the necessary requirements of the soul. A father’s burden is difficult as he has to balance the material care of his family’s needs with the spiritual nourishment of their souls. The mother has the job of maintaining the home life and reinforcing the nonphysical aspects of preparing their children’s souls for their final judgment day.

Needs is the divisive word here. What one person determines to be a need, may be unimportant to another. Do we judge others by what we want or by what brings them happiness and the hope of heaven? Are the needs we think important required for a successful life here on earth?

Financial situations go up and down. Life has struggles every day, some exceedingly trying, others annoying. What do we use to face this day-to-day crisis of being human beings? Look around and see what people hold most dear. And I will bet it is not usually a prayer and an hour in church!

Life is a search for the gold. We need to decide which gold will improve our life’s situation. Money can certainly ease us through our earthly life but could distract us from our ultimate purpose in life and slide us right past heaven. The road to heaven is not an easy climb whereas downward descents usually go rather quickly and without thought. It is very sad when you hear people say that God doesn’t really want us to struggle. Christ’s life on earth was certainly contrary to that thought!

Congressman Henry Hyde on the Irish Vote for Abortion 2018

On this most sorrowful day in Irish history.

“When the time comes, as it surely will, when we face that awesome moment, the final judgment, I’ve often thought, as Fulton Sheen wrote, that it is a terrible moment of loneliness. You have no advocates, you are there alone standing before God — and a terror will rip your soul like nothing you can imagine. But I really think that those in the pro-life movement will not be alone. I think there’ll be a chorus of voices that have never been heard in this world but are heard beautifully and clearly in the next world — and they will plead for everyone who has been in this movement. They will say to God, ‘Spare him, because he loved us!'”

Congressman Henry Hyde

Look, Ma! No Hands!

Look, Ma! No Hands!!
By Gino Galley

The issue I’m going to address here does not seem to be raised much in most Catholic discussions or periodicals. The reason, I’m guessing, is because the matter seems so minor, and even normal, to a large majority of Catholics in the U.S.A. that most of them do not even realize it is an issue at all!

It is a widespread practice (which somehow crept in) in the United States by which, during the recitation of the Lord’s Prayer in the Mass, everyone in the congregation would hold hands together. Ever since I started to attend Mass regularly (I am a convert to the Faith) I have seen this practice done regularly at my local parishes. Since everybody was doing it, I thought it was part of the liturgy, and so I innocently took part in it. I continued this liturgical feat for a couple of years more until, one day, I was listening to EWTN radio and heard Fr. Mitch Pacwa, a well-respected Jesuit priest and preacher for the Faith, speak on one of his talk shows; in it, he said that he said that he believed that holding hands during the Lord’s prayer is an illicit act in the Mass!

“What in Pete’s world is he saying?” I exclaimed to myself, “What’s so wrong about holding hands?” I did not understand, and so I went on the internet to research this claim using major (and authorized) Roman Catholic evangelization organizations such as Catholic Answers (www.catholic.com) and EWTN (www.ewtn.com). To my surprise, I found that the practice of holding hands during the Lord’s Prayer is indeed wrong; not in the action by itself, but in the fact that it is NOT part of the liturgy. That is, nowhere in the Roman Missal does it command or even mention such a gesture (compared to other gestures such as bowing during the Creed or making the sign of the cross for the gospels).

Though the Vatican has not addressed the issue directly, she has nonetheless used language that discourages holding hands in a document call the Notitiae, the official publication of the Sacred Congregation for the Sacraments and Divine Worship.

“The prolonged holding of hands [during the Lord’s prayer] is itself a sign of communion rather than of peace. Further, it is a liturgical gesture introduced spontaneously but on personal initiative; it is not in the rubrics.” (Notitiae 11 [1975] 226, DOL 1502, no. R29).

Furthermore, canon law prohibits any changes or additions to the liturgy:
“The liturgical books approved by the competent authority are to be faithfully observed in the celebration of the sacraments; therefore, no one on personal authority may add, remove, or change anything in them.” (CIC 846, para. 1).
Once again, the Vatican currently has only used words that discourage the practice; she has not yet issued any official decision whether it is approved or prohibited (compared to something like liturgical dancing, which she directly declared forbidden).

Personally, I believe since it is only a matter of custom (which is changeable) rather than of doctrine (which can never change) the Church can approve it if She sees it fit. But until then, and with due respect to those who do practice it, I choose to prayerfully keep my hands folded during the Our Father in obedience to the rubrics of the liturgy of the Mass. The liturgy which “no one on personal authority may add, remove, or change anything in them”.