Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Bigotry can be fatal

from the Harvard Crimson Online, an excellent commentary on fatal bigotry against the disabled.

Today, Michael Schaivo gets a judge to let him kill his inconvenient wife. Soon, it may be open season on all us inconvenient disabled people. Don't shrug it off because you are able-bodied and agile-minded, for disabled is the one minority group any one can join at any time.

Sunday, March 27, 2005

Christ is risen!

He is truly risen!

Yes He is
We have seen Him

I thought He was the gardener at first, but then He called me by name and I recognised Him

When I went to anoint the body God's messenger told me He'd meet us in Galilee

The two of us talked Scripture with Him on the road, and when we stopped for supper we recognised Him in the breaking of the bread

The bunch of us had locked ourselves in, we didn't want to get arrested, and He came right in to see us

It was definitely Him we recognised Him we know His voice the wounds are still there and He lives He really does

He met us at the lakeshore and cooked us breakfast after our long night fishing

We know His voice the wounds are there it's definitely Him and He lives!


This is the night..... [Paschal Proclamation]

Rejoice, heavenly powers! Sing choirs of angels!
Exult, all creation around God's throne!
Jesus Christ, our King is risen!
Sound the trumpet of salvation!

Rejoice, O earth, in shining splendor,
radiant in the brightness of your King!
Christ has conquered! Glory fills you!
Darkness vanishes for ever!

Rejoice, O Mother Church! Exult in glory!
The risen Savior shines upon you!
Let this place resound with joy,
echoing the mighty song of all God's people!

My dearest friends,
standing with me in this holy light,
join me in asking God for mercy,
that he may give his unworthy minister
grace to sing his Easter praises.

V. The Lord be with you.
R. And also with you.
V. Lift up your hearts.
R. We lift them up to the Lord.
V. Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
R. It is right to give him thanks and praise.

It is truly right that with full hearts and minds and voices
we should praise the unseen God, the all-powerful Father,
and his only Son, our Lord Jesus Christ.
For Christ has ransomed us with his blood,
and paid for us the price of Adam's sin to our eternal Father!

This is our passover feast,
When Christ, the true Lamb, is slain,
whose blood consecrates the homes of all believers.

This is the night,
when first you saved our fathers:
you freed the people of Israel from their slav'ry,
and led them dry-shod through the sea.

This is the night,
when the pillar of fire destroyed the darkness of sin.

This is night,
when Christians everywhere,
washed clean of sin and freed from all defilement,
are restored to grace and grow together in holiness.

This is the night,
when Jesus broke the chains of death
and rose triumphant from the grave.

What good would life have been to us,
had Christ not come as our Redeemer?

Father, how wonderful your care for us!
How boundless your merciful love!
To ransom a slave you gave away your Son.

O happy fault, O necessary sin of Adam,
which gained for us so great a Redeemer!

Most blessed of all nights,
chosen by God to see Christ rising from the dead!

Of this night scripture says:
“The night will be as clear as day:
it will become my light, my joy.”

The power of this holy night dispels all evil,
washes guilt away, restores lost innocence,
brings mourners joy;
it casts out hatred, brings us peace,
and humbles earthly pride.

Night truly blessed,
when heaven is wedded to earth
and we are reconciled to God!

Therefore, heavenly Father, in the joy of this night,
receive our evening sacrifice of praise,
your Church's solemn offering.

Accept this Easter candle,
a flame divided but undimmed,
a pillar of fire that glows to the honor of God.

Let it mingle with the lights of heaven
and continue bravely burning
to dispel the darkness of this night!

May the Morning Star which never sets
find this flame still burning:
Christ, that Morning Star,
who came back from the dead,
and shed his peaceful light on all mankind,
your Son, who lives and reigns for ever and ever.

R. Amen.


Saturday, March 26, 2005

God .... is dead???

To all human appearances this day, hope has been crushed, the light extinguished, darkness is triumphant. But, this is only an appearance.

There is one who has guarded the light with her whole life, who knows that even this cannot be the end, and continues to guard and cherish the light in her heart as she always has. She waits, and gathers in the crushed and hopeless disciples and encourages them to wait with her and not despair; and so they wait.

icon of the Mother of God, Light in All Darkness.  One of the treasures of the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist, Milwaukee

Mother of God, Light in all darkness,
intercede for us.
Be a companion to us,
and bring to our confusion and darkness
the Light you bore,
the Light you guard and cherish.
Although we do not yet see light,
do not let us fall into the abyss,
and assure us that there is still light
until such time as the Light shall return.


Friday, March 25, 2005

And He was buried

After Jesus died, two very well-placed followers, Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus, got permission to take Jesus' body away, nd hurried to the execution site with the minimal requirements for burial.

Jesus' body in the arms of His mother, Joseph of Arimathea reminding her that Sabbath is coming quickly..... by John Carroll Collier

Sunset, and Sabbath, was approaching too quickly, so they hurriedly prepared the body and put it in a borrowed tomb (was it Joseph's own?) that happened to be nearby. The womenfolk resolved to return right after Sabbath to do a more complete and respectful anointing .....

"If I be lifted up, I will draw all to Myself."

We did lift Him up --- not far, not nearly to the skies, let alone the heavens. Dispossessed of everything, we crucified Him.

an adapted image of the crucifix at Our Lady of the Angels Cathedral, Los Angeles, California

"I raised you to the height of majesty, but you have raised me high on a cross. My people, what have I done to you? How have I offended you? Answer me!"

"So, You are a king!"

We marched Him all over town --- to the High Priest's, to Pilate's palace, to Herod, back to Pilate. We beat Him, then we have our fun by giving Him a robe and a crown and a sceptre. When that wasn't diverting enough, we banged Him on His crown with His sceptre.

the bridegroom icon

"My people, what have I done to you? How have I offended you? Answer me!"

Thursday, March 24, 2005

In the grove of olive trees

Could the disciples watch and pray even one hour? No, they were exhausted and fell asleep. Then Judas arrived, with company.

Judas betraying Jesus with a kiss, from a fresco by Giotto

And he betrayed Jesus, pointing Him out to the guards by kissing Him.

Images for Triduum --- the Lord's Last Supper

And they went to a certain upper room (that happened to be not very far from Jesus' mother's apartment), and there they shared the Passover meal together, and inconceivably more.

Last Supper, woodcut by Fritz Eichenberg


Wednesday, March 23, 2005

It's all about anointings, and commitments

Last night I was at that grand annual family reunion called the Chrism Mass. [As usual, I'm kind of glad the fire marshall doesn't show up, he'd have a conniption!] A goodly representation of absolutely everybody was there --- bishops, priests, deacons, religious and secular layfolk of all ages and descriptions, renewing our commitments in the Church and witnessing the blessings and consecrations of the holy anointing oils our Church will use in the upcoming year. The Cathedral, when it is 935++ standing-room-only full of the faithful, is itself an icon of the Church, the Body of Christ united, from the first notes of the prelude (which was "O Sifuno Mungu") through the last chord of the recessional and beyond. A fabulous way to start the holy week.

I'm not quite completely well yet, but since the Lord delivered me from getting locked up in hospital for Triduum, I'm definitely not going to miss it. Transit Plus even got me a ride home after Vigil on Saturday night, which they couldn't do last year. I do hope we're finished by 11:30, since it's embarrassing to have the transit driver fetch me out before dismissal, which has happenned a time or three!

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Another open public manifestation of Real Presence

from the Wisconsin State Journal's coverage of the destruction of St. Raphael Cathedral:

....He [Bishop Robert Morlino] also was moved by Madison firefighters' rescue of the cathedral's ceboriums holding the Holy Sacrament, wafers already consecrated as Jesus Christ's body.

"The firefighters had to cut their way through," Morlino said. "They went in there and brought it out with great reverence. . . . In a symbolic way, that illustrates the caring of Madison."

And here's the photo of the firefighters returning the ciboria to the Cathedral rector:

Madison firefighters who rescued the Holy Eucharist return It to the Rector of the Cathedral


Tuesday, March 15, 2005

The doc has let me come home ---for now

Surprising even me --- I've learned to be a pessimist about such things --- the doctor let me come home this afternoon. Of course, after taking culture swabs, writing scripts for two antibiotics (that the pharmacy says will be ready at 5:30), issuing detailed cleansing and bandaging instructions(ever tried to keep a bandage around a thigh?), and having the lab take a half-dozen tubes of blood.

So I'm not going to be locked up for Holy Week ---- Hip, Hip, Hooray!

Monday, March 14, 2005

Oh, No! More Baleful Symptoms

Here we go again! Over the weekend I started having baleful symptoms --- specifically, serous fluid leakage --- from the site of that recently healed MRSA infection. I called the doctor just as soon as his office opened this morning, and got an appointment in the outpatient clinic tomorrow morning. I'm hoping to have caught this early enough to be allowed to come home...... but I'm only putting my odds at 50-50. If I get kept, one of my sibs will post it in the comment box. If I'm allowed to come home, I'll post myself rejoicing!

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

If this is Wednesday, there must be Carnival!

The sixtieth Christian Carnival is open during construction at Belief Seeking Understanding. I took advantage of the last clear day we're going to have for a while to get some outdoor aerobic exercise by pushing myself to the grocery store for somewhat-overdue shopping, so I'm only just now getting to start reading it --- but it's always really good. I have a contribution in it: How Tabernacles Are Wonderful.

Saturday, March 05, 2005

Part Two: How Tabernacles Are Wonderful

written about happenings on Trinity Sunday, 2003 at Cathedral Parish of Milwaukee, but it happens every Sunday morning still, and other times and places also, including where you are.

We gather in the holy Presence: the time before the 8 a.m. Eucharist

Transit Plus was very early. It's not even seven yet.
I sit outside the doors, tell the driver he doesn't have to stay.
The doors should be open already, they will be soon.
I pound a couple of times, then open my hands to pray.

Very soon, only minutes,
and Roger the Sacristan appears with the keys, unlocks, and lets me in.
Just inside the doors, I greet Mater Ecclesiae.
She steps forward faithfully, right off her pedestal,
following her Son, her Lord, her Redemption.
But now is not the time to linger. He calls, He draws.

I keep moving, pause to bow to His altar,
where His one offering is made always present for us.
But I don't linger there either, not right now.
There's time later for His altar. He calls, He draws.
Also time later for His ambo, where the Word's words are proclaimed.
I caress it as I pass it. He calls, He draws.

I keep moving, until I arrive.
I lock my wheels at the bottom of the steps.
Before me, in the space at the top of the few steps,
is His Tabernacle, where He deigns to dwell.
Not now as a pillar of cloud, not as a pillar of fire,
but as food for our journey;
the food is He Himself.
I am, finally, where I belong.

I bow before the Mystery, and stay bowed awhile.
When I rise up, I smile at Blessed John
who looks over my left shoulder.
I take off the padded pushing gloves,
unzip the Liturgy of Hours book,
and open my hands.
"O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth will proclaim Your praise."

About halfway through the second psalm of Readings
there's a hand on my right shoulder.
I look up and grin. It's our burden-bearer,
the one who has to wear the purple beanie.
We exchange a few words and a blessing,
he goes up the steps and settles in the right-hand corner.
(His Liturgy of Hours book doesn't have a zipper.)
The Presence calls him, the Presence draws him.

Smile at the Presence, take a deep breath,
and return to the psalms.
Others come and go.
Some I notice, some I don't.
Some I recognize, some not.
He calls them and draws them also.

During the first Morning Prayer psalm
the lady who sells nutrition supplements arrives,
taps me on the shoulder.
I assure her "I'm recovering nicely, thank you,"
then she goes up the steps and settles in the left-hand corner.
(Her Bible has gold edges.)
My surgeon's here somewhere also;
I never see him, but he sees me.
He talks about this place when he examines the incision.
They are called, they are drawn.

So many come.
Some settle in, like Nutrition-Supplement-Seller and Burden-Bearer and me.
Some just stop for a few minutes, kneeling on the prie-dieus or even on the steps.
They all are called, they all are drawn.

Soon, it will be the time for the ambo and for the altar.
"May the Lord bless us, deliver us from all evil, and bring us to everlasting life.
Let us praise the Lord and give Him thanks."
Kiss the Hours book, close it and zip it back up.
Bow again a while, then unlock my wheels and proceed.
Soon, we find our places under the corona,
around the altar of the Lord.
One family in Him, all called, all drawn,
to this place which is home to Him and home to us.

Tabernacles Are Wonderful

Does anyone else her remember the catechetical ditty that began, "Every thing I pass by Church I stop to make a visit....."?

Or the story of the peasant gent who taught St. Jean Vianney the depths of adoration --- "I look at Him and He looks at me"?

Ever since Bishop Lynch of St Petersberg [FL] published this defense of proper Eucharistic Adoration, Holy Hours with Benediction, and Forty Hours Devotion in the summer of 2000, the cry keeps going up that "Bishop Lynch banned Eucharistic Adoration" when he did and does no such thing. He only enforces the Holy Church's own rules and guidelines concerning Perpetual Exposition, a different thing altogether.

I'm coming more and more to see that Bishop Lynch has acted rightly and with wisdom in this case. The idea that one can only adore if there is exposition is a perverse idea that has to be stopped. Tabernacles and "visits" are wonderful. An hour or two's exposition with Holy Hour prayers or Liturgy of the Hours and Benediction is glorious. A respectful, devout, and unrushed Communion Procession is only the minimum we owe to the Lord and the other members of His Body. None of these must be lost to a fixation on monstrances!