Pastoral Styling of the Catholic Mass

Since all the interesting changes have come down the line in the Catholic Church since the 1960’s, many of us stiff-necked aka conservative Catholics are always trying to find a Mass where we can enjoy the spirituality of the Mass and sacraments without the entertainment factor. Sad to say, many people remain a Catholic by attending Sunday Mass and living the rest of the week on their own terms. Some priests seem to think that in order to keep these Catholics coming to Church, they have to come down to their level of entertainment value. God is in heaven and we are on earth so I always felt it was up to each of us to reach up to Him and not drag Him down into our human interpretation of what is holy and what keeps our interest.

A good friend of mine has been trying to find a parish with a Mass where she can, well, pray with dignity and reverence. She thought she might have found it this past Sunday. Well, I will let her tell the story here!

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In other news…as happy as we have been back at our “home” parish for the past (almost) 3 years, this morning blew everything right out of the water. Before even praying the Opening Prayer, Father walked to the front of the altar and explained to the congregation that he holds his hands out in the Orans position but he should not be the only one doing it. He said that if we hold our hands closed in front of us, we are closing ourselves off to the Holy Spirit being able to work in our hearts. He insisted that everyone open their arms in the Orans position before praying… My daughter and I did NOT do it and he stared me down several times during Mass because of it. He also “invited” everyone to open their hands in prayer at least 3 other times and both my daughter and I refused…mind you, we sit in the 2nd row with no one in front of us so we were easily seen by all. He tried to make eye contact with me multiple times while our Deacon was looking at me, my face turning red in anger and disgust… I would have loved for him to confront me after Mass but we bolted out the door as soon as humanly possible (the minute they walked past us…and normally, I am there until the final chord of the closing song!).

This was not all… his entire homily was in praise of the Baptist minister who preached at the royal wedding. Then he started to roam around in front of the altar when, all of a sudden, after mentioning the Gospel choir at the wedding, he started singing “This Little Light of Mine” and it went around three times while everyone in the church joined in, hands clapping, music ministry playing guitars and the piano, etc., before ending in people shouting “Amen!” or “Alleluia” or “Praise Jesus!” as if we were at a Baptist revival and not a Catholic Mass. I checked the front of the church to make sure the Tabernacle was still there and It was…so I was more than a little confused!

Every time he talked about “opening hands” in prayer, I wanted to grab my child and run out the door. I held myself there with the help of my Guardian Angel as I kept reminding myself that it is Holy Mass no matter if the priest is wrong and that it is Jesus Who will feed and bless me/us, not this mere mortal who was preaching heresy. I toyed with leaving immediately after receiving Communion but decided that was not the right way to go either so we were going to stick it out until the final blessing. Imagine my disgust when, right after the Deacon sat down after Communion and clearing the altar, Father again started singing “This Little Light of Mine” and, this time, a couple of women near the front stood up while they were clapping which then had everyone around us standing up. We were the last 2 people to stand up in the entire church … but all those around us were clapping, hands waving in the air, singing at the top of their lungs, while Father interjected, “Come, Holy Spirit!” and “Praise You, Jesus” and “Amen, Lord!” and things like that. I could not get out of their fast enough!

Only in videos have I seen more horrifying things happen at Masses…this was the most mind bending, stressful and disgusting display I have ever been a witness to and I am now back at square one of what to do next weekend. I can tell you that my plan to attend a couple of daily Masses there this week went right down the toilet. My mind is still totally confused by what all happened today!

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My friend said she was going to attend the same church next week and see if this was an aberration or if this parish should be put off her list until further notice. She does, however, plan on sitting near the back of the church for a quick escape and search for another parish for Mass if necessary.

Where Have All the Vocations Gone . . .

Every year on Mother’s Day, our parish gives a small bouquet of roses to the oldest mother in the congregation, the youngest one, the mother with the most children and the mother with the youngest child. When we got to asking the mother with the youngest child to stand up, it was asked that any pregnant woman stand – no pregnant women at Mass. Then, the question went from all the months of babyhood with no response and finally ended up with a ten year old. Many at Mass thought this was pretty amusing. I thought it was sad. Where have all the children gone?

I think that Archbishop Naumann of Kansas stated in 2014 what every Catholic pastor and bishop should put to their dioceses and congregations early and often: The question for Catholic couples should not be: How many children do we want to have?” According to the Church, Catholic couples should be open to having the children God gifts them. Too many, today, decide their ‘perfect’ family on the basis of providing them with all the pluses in life rather than the faith, sacrifice, and love of a family with more than one sibling.

In view of this, Archbishop Naumann has offered to take the time to baptize the third (fourth, fifth, etc.) child of any family in his diocese. He said, “My purpose in doing this is to demonstrate my personal support for those couples who take seriously the call to be generous in cooperating with God’s grace in giving life.”

Just about every bishop is bemoaning the lack of vocations and we do seriously have a shortage of priest and nuns. Why? Because parents want the perfect family and think that replicating themselves with a son and daughter, in many cases, fulfills the “go forth and multiple” BUT when it comes to vocations, they often feel that surely God wouldn’t take away their chance to have grandchildren so leave the vocations to some other family. These days, too many Catholics are relying on vocations coming from ‘some other family’.

I had a friend in school who had six brothers and the family lived in a three bedroom home but no one felt deprived and there was always a team to play ball. Another family in our parish in the olden days had thirteen children in a tract home but they were always dressed, clean, and happy. I learned later that all the children had gone on to be productive, well-educated people in the world. I don’t know if they had any vocations but I wouldn’t be surprised.

My husband and I married later in life having waited for the perfect person! Everyone was so pleased that we had the ‘standard’ boy and then a girl to complete our family. When we had our third, the world ‘forgave’ us for the ‘mishap’ but when we were expecting number four . . . The obstetrician for number four was so rude and antagonistic about me daring to have a baby outside of his view of when you should have a baby, we had to find another doctor weeks before the baby’s birth. You could say that with an agnostic doctor, you could expect that but I got similar remarks from other Catholics!

Well, God has given his mortal men freedom of choice but often our mortal choices are not in line with what God knows is best for us. Many proclaim the ‘Let Go and Let God’ but not when it comes to what they consider TOO many children. Life is an adventure and allowing God to work with and in our lives could bring about some joyous and learning events that may never have happened without our submission to God’s Will. When you deliberately limit your family, you may be limiting a multitude of blessings in your lives.

Is The World Destroying the Church?

Although I’ve never attended the Religious Education Conference in Los Angeles, I’ve heard many rumors about it and not always good ones. This article gives a good, factual report on the ‘highlights’ of the event which make me glad I never paid the price to attend. Some say the world is destroying the Church. After reading what this Church leader allowed to take place in his jurisdiction, I’m thinking there is a good deal of the Church destroying the world. This is Good Friday and what went on at the Religious Education Conference is not what Jesus died for on that day.

http://www.lepantoinstitute.org/la-rec/saw-wrec-la/

The Chaplet of Divine Mercy Begins Today!

1. Make the Sign of the Cross

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

2. Optional Opening Prayers

You expired, Jesus, but the source of life gushed forth for souls, and the ocean of mercy opened up for the whole world. O Fount of Life, unfathomable Divine Mercy, envelop the whole world and empty Yourself out upon us.

(Repeat three times)
O Blood and Water, which gushed forth from the Heart of Jesus as a fountain of Mercy for us, I trust in You!

3. Our Father

Our Father, Who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name; Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil, Amen.

4. Hail Mary

Hail Mary, full of grace. The Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou amongst women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death, Amen.

5. The Apostle’s Creed

I believe in God, the Father almighty, Creator of heaven and earth, and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried; He descended into hell; on the third day He rose again from the dead; He ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of God the Father almighty; from there He will come to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting. Amen.

6. The Eternal Father

Eternal Father, I offer you the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Your Dearly Beloved Son, Our Lord, Jesus Christ, in atonement for our sins and those of the whole world.

7. On the Ten Small Beads of Each Decade

For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world.

8. Repeat for the remaining decades

Saying the “Eternal Father” (6) on the “Our Father” bead and then 10 “For the sake of His sorrowful Passion” (7) on the following “Hail Mary” beads.

9. Conclude with Holy God (Repeat three times)

Holy God, Holy Mighty One, Holy Immortal One, have mercy on us and on the whole world.

10. Optional Closing Prayer

Eternal God, in whom mercy is endless and the treasury of compassion — inexhaustible, look kindly upon us and increase Your mercy in us, that in difficult moments we might not despair nor become despondent, but with great confidence submit ourselves to Your holy will, which is Love and Mercy itself.

Girl Scout Cookies Leave Something to be Desired . . .

Unfortunately, I meet up with so many parents at church who have girls participating in Girl Scouts. One woman told me she knows about some of the ‘problems’ but the troop her daughters are with doesn’t deal with the ‘bad stuff’. Uh, only meeting your cookie selling goal and sending in the money for the organization to parcel out to Planned Parenthood?