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Posts Tagged ‘Mass’

Ash Wednesday POLL … take it!

February 17, 2010 Leave a comment

I know today is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of 40 days of penitence and reflection, called Lent, to cleanse our soul by making atonement for the wrong things we have done and growing our relationship with our Heavenly Father.

Since I’ve been in seminary the last 2 Ash Wednesday, I’m a little ignorant when I ask this, but … “Why are there so many people at Mass today?!?” Standing room only at the 6pm Mass I went to. Some churches even have 3 to 4+ different Mass times throughout the day.

Don’t get me wrong … it’s awesome to witness, but today isn’t even a holiday day of obligation. Why do so many Catholics feel the need to “get the ashes” today … what draws them today. Today, I even got a record number of 578 hits on this blog, with keywords like lent, fast, ashes, abstinence, & penance.

I’ve been debating possible reasons, from the supernatural movements of the soul toward God to practical whys.  Here is poll (in the sidebar of this page) with some possibilities that I hope people will be honest about.  — Please add more in comments.

What is the background on Ash Wednesday (in case you didn’t know)?

The ashes are made by burning the blessed palm fronds used on last year’s Palm Sunday and christened with Holy Water.

The marking of the forehead with a cross made of ashes reminds each of us that:

  1. Death comes to everyone
  2. We should be sad for their sins
  3. We must change ourselves for the better
  4. God made the first human being by breathing life into dust, and without God, human beings are nothing more than dust and ashes.
  5. It’s also a reminder of the mark of the cross made at baptism
  6. The cross of ashes may symbolize the way Christ’s sacrifice on the cross as atonement for sin replaces the Old Testament tradition of making burnt offerings to atone for sin.

When marking the sign of the cross on each believer’s forehead, the celebrant says, “Remember, man, that you are dust and unto dust you shall return.” or “Turn away from sin and be faithful to the Gospel.” When leaving the observance, we carry the cross out into the world.

During Lent, each Christian imitates Jesus’ withdrawal into the wilderness for forty days. It invites us to undertake spiritual discipline, deliberate abstinence from indulgent behavior involving food or luxuries, or finding ways to be of service to society.

CCD hs: St Ignatius + BAPTiSM + PRAY + ARRR + journaling (day 8)

November 10, 2009 159 comments

In our high school Confirmation class, today was supposed to be a review of everything to day, but I couldn’t get my handouts run off in time, so I took the cue from the saint presented today and taught on next week’s topic, PRAYER.

St Ignatius of Loyola (16th century;  feast day July 31) injured in battle at age 30. During recovery, he read the life of the saints & responded strongly to a personal call by God.  He was convinced that God could be found in all things, and was guided by an inner peace (“consolation”) that comes from knowing one is doing the will of God.  Developed the “Spiritual Exercises,” a practical guide to live a truly Christian life with prayer & especially devoted to the name of Christ (IHS).  His companions were called the “Company of Jesus,” today called the “Society of Jesus,” or the Jesuits, one of the largest religious communities in the world. Besides the 3 vows of poverty, chastity and obedience, members take a 4th vow of obedience to the Pope.

Prayer of Self-Offering to God

by St Ignatius of Loyola (1491-1556)

Take, O Lord, and receive my entire liberty, my memory, my understanding, and my whole will.  All that I am and all that I possess, You have given me.  I surrender it all to You to be disposed of according to Your Will.  Give me only Your love and Your grace; with these I will be rich enough and will desire nothing more.

Sacrament of Marriage … purpose is …

  • Pro-create (open to children),
  • Educate (evangelize your Catholic children)
  • Holy Mate (get your spouse to heaven)

Types of prayersB.A.P.T.i.S.M.

  • BLESSING – invoke God’s power for a person, place or activity
  • ADORATION – the “created” before the Creator
  • PRAISE – glory God (for who He is)
  • THANKSGIVING – gratitude (for what He does)
  • i ASK for ME (petition) + OTHERS (intercession)
  • SORRY – ask of forgiveness
  • MEDITATION – tuning into God, reflection (through quiet prayer, Sacred Scripture, lectio divina, liturgy of the hours, Rosary, holy icons, imagery, books of daily devotion, lives of saints, works of spirituality, etc.)

The MASS includes ALL these types of prayer

CONTEMPLETIVE prayer“silent love” — a deep awareness of God’s presence by being alone with God who we know loves us (“centering prayer” helps develop skills)

Steps in prayer … P.R.A.Y.

  • PRAISE = God for who He is + thanksgiving
  • REPENT = confess + rec forgiveness + change
  • ASK = for others + me   (see A.R.R.R.)
  • YIELD = be open to God’s voice & His Will

[PRAYER] When your spending time in personal prayer with the Lord, here’s a good outline to follow  . . . . A.R.R.R.

Personal Prayer … A.R.R.R.

  • ACKNOWLEDGE –- How’s my life right now? Pay attention to your thought + feelings + desires (“the Big 3”).
  • RELATE -– Tell God about ALL “3” honestly.
  • RECEIVE -– Quiet your mind, focus on God, & listen to “the Big 3.”  (Discern spirits)
  • RESPOND -– do what you NEED to do

When you have something to talk to the Lord about, process your “Big 3” with this model.

HOMEWORK:

(1) 3 prayer journals — letters to God, (2) Chapter 3 Quiz, (3) Chapter 17 Quiz

CCD hs: Confirmation Commitment Mass (with Fr Whyte) (day 6)

October 27, 2009 Leave a comment

Today, our high school Confirmation class had a Mass in celebration of their Confirmation Commitment this year.  At one point during Mass, the teens presented Fr Whyte (pastor) with a contract involving their understanding and responsibilities in preparing this year for the sacrament of Confirmation.  It was signed & presented by both teen and parents.

In preparing for Confirmation, I will …

  • attend Mass on Sundays & holy days
  • attend & participate in class
  • pray regularly
  • –assume more responsibility for my own faith
  • –be involved & journal my Christian service
  • –attend any additional activities
  • ask for help from the Blessed Trinity, my family, my sponsor and my friends

St Max LIFE TEEN

October 18, 2009 Leave a comment

Went to Mass at St Maximilian Kolbe Catholic Church in Pembroke Pines, FL for their evening LIFE TEEN Mass.

Here is a picture of the teens gathered in front of the alter during consecration.  I know the picture is dark.  During consecration, all the lights are dimmed except the lights over the alter.

Lively homilies and lively music.  — Too much drums … my ears are still ringing.

Brooklyn Bishop at St Mark’s Parish

090830-1207_Brooklyn-Auxiliary-Bishop-Octavio-Cisneros-at-St-Mark-ParishMASS — today at St Mark the Evangelist Catholic Church (in Southwest Ranches, FL), a visiting friend of Fr Whyte presided the Mass.  Auxiliary Bishop Octavio Cisneros of the Diocese of Brooklyn celebrated Mass.  Even though the Deacon did a good homily, I wish the Bishop shared his wisdom over the readings.  There was also a long announcement encouraging involvement in ministries, especially Religious Education.  The Bishop supplemented both talks with great insight into tapping into our Baptism to be instruments of the Holy Spirit evangelizing wherever we can.  Catechesis is a critical part of our faith that we should all be involved in … whether on the receiving end to grow in our intimacy of our faith or the giving end as catechists to our own families or to others.  He also shared gratitude for the parish to having the weekly tradition of families taking home a Vocation Cup to pray for the response to God call in all our lives, whether it be priesthood, the religious life, or marriage.  He’s a very personable and holy man.

explaining IPF to Grandma

Even though I was in my room with food poisoning, a brother seminarian recorded the class for me.  The first hour was Fr Jim Rafferty in the Hall, asking the question to all of us … “How do you explain IPF to your Grandmother (or any non-seminarian)?” Since we’re about half way through the summer program, today was a summary to remind us of what we’ve experienced so far and not to forget the essentials.  He received several good possible responses to the question, but he helped us see an even greater integration of all the different parts of IPF by speaking on “Liturgy.”

We’re beginning a new course titled, “IPF 504: The Mystery of the Liturgy: Receiving in Celebration and Life.” Since we’ll be discussing “Liturgy” in the “big picture” sense, we needed to remind ourselves that Liturgy is not limited to simply liturgical celebration and Mass, but “Liturgy” permeates our lives.  In the Mystery of Liturgy, we don’t just acknowledge the Trinity exists, but live in celebration of that mystery in the Mass and beyond it, encountering the Trinity in all things and responding in our own generosity.  God’s activity is outward toward us beyond our celebration of ritual — it spills out and over into all of life.

Fr Rafferty shared a recent experience stuck in Detroit on a connecting flight to Scranton.  There was a oil leak on the plane, an overbooked flight, a request for volunteers to give up seats, a group that prayed together for volunteers, and more.  Through the stressful situation, a series of people and events brought him to a realization that he “lost his expectation that God was doing things for me.”  That loss of consciousness of God’s Presence in all brought an opportunity to refocus on God instead of self.  Similarly, we come to the liturgy to experience God and receive all the love of the heart of Jesus for us.  My experience of liturgy is enriched by my integration of prayer to my whole life in growing in consciousness of God.

Goal #3 for the Liturgy course is “To equip the seminarian with practical personal skills for deepening the receptivity of that Trinitarian life (interpenetrating liturgical celebrations, personal prayer, and daily life and ministry).”  This is where we reviewed the more prominent “prayer tools” in our IPF Toolbox that we’ve been integrating all summer.

A.R.R.R. …… (a structure for personal prayer) Acknowledge (thoughts, feelings & desires), Relate (to God), Receive (from God), Respond

Lectio Divina …… reflecting on daily readings, Pope and church documents, events of the day, etc.

Spiritual Senses …… the way we are aware of the invisible reality of the spiritual life.  Many times related in the language of poetry.

Repetition …… returning to a place of deep affective movement weather consolation or desolation to receive more.

Discernment of Spirits …… assisting of our interior movements, recognizing their origin — from God, ourselves, or the evil spirit.  Remembering our principle foundation is “I want to be as close to God as possible” so I cooperate with that which is from God and reject that not from God.

Colloquy …… personal conversation with God (may be written in journal), reflecting on today’s journey in receiving the continuous Liturgy

Walk for Life @ SJVC seminary

February 7, 2009 1 comment

Today is the annual “Walk for Life” done throughout the US with multiple locations around the Archdiocese of Miami.  Our seminary was one of the locations.  The day began with Mass with Miami Auxiliary Bishop Noonan with a full Chapel.
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