Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Preparation for Total Consecration: Day 9 (November 13th)

Sarah Kroger

This may not come as a surprise to you if you've read this blog through the years, but I'm not a big "praise and worship" guy.

One artist that I do really enjoy listening to while driving around Western Indiana is an artist I first encountered at a Focus SEEK Conference a few years ago.

Young adult Catholic artists need our patronage and support.

Run over to iTunes and pick up her music - it will be a great $20.  My "Sarah Kroger Playlist" on my iPhone is definitely my favorite one.

Here are some samples:

She has a new single that just came out:

This is a great song as well:

And this is a great duet with Audrey Assad.  Listen to the whole things.  When it changes about half way through.  Wow!

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Sports and Catholicism

Blessed to be a part of this program

It gives EVERY Catholic school coach the tools to use sports to bring people closer to Christ.

It also does this without adding any additional work load to a priest/chaplain/pastor.

Help encourage your parish or diocese to take advantage of this MUCH NEEDED program!

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Prayers for Day 2 of Preparing for Total Consecration

If you'd like to read along with the prayers, the text of today's prayers can be found in the description of today's podcast

Monday, November 5, 2018

Joe Donnelly voted AGAINST Kavanaugh

I still can't believe that Senator Joe Donnelly voted AGAINST Judge Brett Kavanaugh after the flimsy nature of the allegations became so apparent. 

Even now, the accusations continue to fall completely apart

I'm thankful that Mike Braun looked at the evidence that was available to us all, and was supportive of Judge Kavanaugh throughout the process.

Day 1: preparation for Marian Consecration

These would be the prayers for November 5th if you are preparing to make or renew your consecration on December 8th.

You can, of course, use these prayers to renew or consecrate yourself on any other Marian feast day as well.

example: if you chose to consecrate yourself on December 12th, you would start with day 1 on November NINTH.

Here's a chart for when day 1 would be, depending on the date of final consecration:

Here's the prayers for day 1 so you can follow along if you'd like:

Sunday, November 4, 2018

"Mass is TOO REPETITIVE and boring!"

“He has no need, as did the high priests, to offer sacrifice day after day, he did that once for all when he offered himself.”  Well, the natural question might be, then, “what in the world are we doing here offering a sacrifice? 

It continues to be offered because the curtain has not dropped on this world.

Assertion 1: we live in this strange in between time.  If the world had ended on Easter Sunday, that would have made sense to me.  Christ resurrects, and that’s the ball game folks.

And yet it didn’t end.  We go on.  We’re still here.

And this world in which we wait has been mapped out, engineered, measured, and digitized and quantified.  Your phone tells you your destination is .9 miles on the left.  We know the chemistry that is behind everything.  The northern lights are solar winds hitting our atmosphere at the right angle.  We have mapped out space and the orbits of the planets.  We know the weather coming our way – we tell ourselves we have subdued the earth.  To a dangerous extent, we believe we are in control

We tell ourselves that we live in a world that has no room for magic nor the unexplainable

But that is a lie. 

The “Fear of the Lord” that we hear about in the first reading is a sort of awe toward God – a belief that God is in control, and if God is in control, then we are not, and if we are not, then the mapping of our world is not definitive.  There ARE, then, things that we can’t explain and there are things that we can’t control

As Catholics, as I preached on All Saints Day, seeking God, seeking that relationship with Jesus is something we are called to do.  And at the same time, one of our most important aspects of our Faith as Catholics is, when really lived, it reminds us about the magical and enchanted nature of the world around us.  We call priests to have them whisper prayers of forgiveness over dying loved ones because we believe it forgives them their sins.  We believe that bread and wine become God.  We believe we have angels watching over us, that we can befriend dead saints from ages past, that we are tempted by demons, that pouring water on someone while saying the right prayer makes a person a son or daughter of God.  We believe that priests can, through prayers, drive out demons.  We have Masses in cemeteries, we have statues that weep, saints that bleed with the wounds of Christ, and believe the Blessed Mother has definitively appeared to people as the sun danced in the sky – to be Catholic is to believe that there is magic in the world.  Awe.  Surprise.  Mystery.

But this…the Mass…is the source and summit of everything we do.  It is a participation in the one sacrifice of Christ.  And so we surround it with incense, music, architecture, vestments, beauty, Scripture, and silence

So, then, what about the protest – “Father, that all sounds nice, but I find Mass really boring.”

Here’s what G.K. Chesterton, the great convert to Catholicism said on the subject, and I think this is really important.  ““Because children have abounding vitality, because they are in spirit fierce and free, they want things repeated and unchanged. They always say, "Do it again"; and the grown-up person does it again until he is nearly dead. [UNCLE JOHN]
…For grown-up people are not strong enough to exult in monotony. But perhaps God is strong enough to exult in monotony. It is possible that God says every morning, "Do it again" to the sun; and every evening, "Do it again" to the moon. It may not be automatic necessity that makes all daisies alike; it may be that God makes every daisy separately, but has never got tired of making them. It may be that He has the eternal appetite of infancy; for we have sinned and grown old, and our Father is younger than we.”

I would say, then, that if we are bored at Mass, then perhaps that is an indictment on us.  I think to whatever extent I may find myself bored at some particular Mass it is on me, and not something I can blame God for.  Something I need to examine my conscience about, not walk away from Catholicism over.  Perhaps it is my fault. Something I need to change.

Perhaps those who say they are bored at Mass are also people who say they get bored with their spouse – the same old thing every day

Perhaps those who say they are bored at Mass are also people prone to saying they are bored with their job.  Another day.  Another pay check.  Nothing interesting happening here today

Perhaps those who say they are bored at Mass are also people who are bored with their same old kids.  Another day.

Perhaps those who say they are bored at Mass are like some of my DePauw students, who literally have some of the best food in the world – I promise you’ve never seen anything quite like the food at DePauw – I would have been 500 pounds if I ate in their dining room in college – every food of every variety is there and it is all absolutely amazing – and some of them complain that it is always the same.

If you really despise Mass or find it repetitive, are you that way with other things too?

Would you appreciate your spouse, your children, your food, your job, would you appreciate them more if they were taken away?

We come here for Mass tonight/today – probably close to the 7,000th of my life and close to the 5,000th of my priesthood – Christ HAS offered himself once perfectly, but the curtain hasn’t dropped on this world just yet. 

Perhaps you struggle in the (quote) “awe of God” department.  Whatever in your life is telling you things are every boring or free of magic and power and infinity, get rid of it.

Jesus tells us that a key to our salvation is becoming like little children.  In participating in this, the one sacrifice of Christ, may we, like children, cry out, over and over, until we depart this world forever – “DO IT AGAIN!”

Thursday, October 25, 2018

On My Tenth Anniversary of Ordination

Ten years ago today I was ordained a deacon for the Catholic Church at St. Meinrad by Archbishop Daniel Buechlein.

This morning, I picked up a book called "The End of the Present World" by Father Charles Arminjon.  I bought the book because St. Therese said "Reading this book was one of the greatest graces of my life"

I'd like to share a part of his intro, because I feel like I read it for a reason this morning on my 10th anniversary

"Perhaps we shall be accused of expressing this or that assertion of ours too crudely and starkly, and of broaching the most serious and formidable points of Christian doctrine, without, at the same time, modifying and softening them so as to adapt them to the prejudices or apathy of certain souls, unacquainted with such grave considerations...

Jesus Christ is the great luminary of our intellects, the food and life of our hearts.  He is never better understood, or more loved, than when He manifests Himself in the integrity of His doctrine and the most eminent splendors of His divine personality.  The example of the Apostles, announcing the gospel amidst the twilight of paganism, and boldly preaching Jesus Christ crucified before the Roman Senate and amidst the philosophers of the Areopagus, is enough to tell us that truth is attractive to souls naturally Christian, and that it enlightens and convinces them only insofar it is is presented to them in all its strength and all its clarity."

Said another way - watering down Christianity to make it appealing only makes it less appealing.  Every.  Time.