Last week, Matt wrote about the sanctity and dignity of what we are doing at Mass and how our participation with our bodies and souls should reflect that. In every Mass, Heaven and Earth touch — the eternal Mass in Heaven comes down so that we on earth join the Angels and Saints worshiping God in Heaven. Today, I want to bring up what some think is an important issue, while others don’t really think about it — how we dress at Mass.
A few years before I entered Seminary, I worked in a credit card call center. I was in a big building, full of individual cubicles, sitting in a chair talking to people over the phone for 8 hours a day. As someone who stutters, this was my least favorite job I’ve had — I still remember how I counted the minutes until my next break and dreaded going back to work after them. Another thing I did not like about this job was that I had to wear dress pants with dress shoes, a button-down shirt, and a tie every day. When I started there, I asked myself, “why do they make us dress up just to talk to people over the phone? Couldn’t we all do the job, perhaps enjoy it more, if we were in more comfortable clothes?”READ MORE
Did you know that as we celebrate Mass, it is also happening in heaven? Jesus, the High Priest, presides over the heavenly Mass, surrounded by the heavenly hosts. In the book of Revelation, John gives an account of the heavenly Mass which consists of reading from the scrolls (Liturgy of the Word), the singing of hymns, and the breaking of bread (Liturgy of the Eucharist). In the Mass, the priest references the heavenly Mass just prior to the “Sanctus” (Holy, Holy) when he says, “And so, with Angels and Archangels, with Thrones and Dominions, and with all the hosts and Powers of heaven, we sing the hymn of your glory, as without end we acclaim…” With them…at that moment…now…here!READ MORE
I was 18 years old and my husband was 19 when my uncle, a parish priest in Michigan, married us. Naturally, our parents warned us that we were too young and should wait a few years to marry, however, we knew we were in love, so the wedding went ahead as scheduled. About 24 years later, my dear husband fell ill and was given six months to live. He passed away at the early age of 42. We had just celebrated our 24th wedding anniversary. My whole world turned upside down. I was lost, so I asked God for help. After some reflection and prayer I came to realize why we married so young.
AND SO IT WAS… God's Plan.READ MORE
The Catechism of the Catholic Church – what is it? A book we have on our bookshelf, sitting cold and dusty since we purchased it with good intentions years ago? The seemingly endless rules and regulations that Catholics are beholden to observe? The restrictions that prevent us from living happy lives as masters of our own destiny? The codification of extra stuff Catholics have heaped upon the original teachings of Christ?
Whether you answered yes to any of these questions, or your answer was a resounding “I don’t really know for sure,” or even if you opened it just last night, it may be time to take a new look at the wisdom of the Church as it is captured in this marvelous gift she has given to the world. Indeed, it is a marvelous gift, for within it you will find the mind and life of the Church, which is nothing less than a reflection of the divine mind and life of Christ himself.READ MORE
In this brief series we've been working on two central questions: What was the Reformation? And why did it happen?
In "What Was the Reformation?" I argued that, at its heart, the Reformation was a dispute over the issue of authority. In short, the separation that occurred at that time between Catholic and Protestant was a separation between those who continued to embrace the spiritual authority of the Catholic Church and those who rejected that authority to stand on the authority, ultimately, of their own interpretation of Scripture and the Fathers of the Church.READ MORE
In 1510, the young Augustinian monk Martin Luther was sent to Rome on an errand for his order. He had dreamed all his life of visiting the Eternal City where Saints Peter and Paul had preached and been martyred, where Paul was beheaded and Peter crucified upside down in Nero's circus. He was thrilled at the thought of praying and celebrating Mass in the great churches of Rome.
Instead, as Luther scholar Heiko Oberman writes:
Later he remembered clearly the shock and horror he had felt in Rome upon hearing for the first time in his life flagrant blasphemies uttered in public. He was deeply shocked by the casual mockery of saints and everything he held sacred. He could not laugh when he heard priests joking about the sacrament of the Eucharist. (Luther: Man Between God and the Devil, p. 149)
With the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation coming in October of this year, in this series of articles we've been asking two essential questions: First, boiled down to its essence, what was the Reformation? And then second, why did the Reformation happen at that precise moment in the history of Christianity?
In terms of the first question, we've seen that the Reformation was not about the creation of a new religion. Luther, Calvin, Zwingli and the other Reformers never saw themselves as teaching anything other than the Christianity of the Apostles and the early Church.READ MORE
In this one and only Church of God from its very beginnings there arose certain rifts, which the Apostle strongly censures as damnable. But in subsequent centuries much more serious dissensions appeared and large communities became separated from full communion with the Catholic Church — for which, often enough, men on both sides were to blame. (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 817)
Some of us don't think much about this issue of division in the visible Body of Christ. I didn't used to think much about it. Truthfully, I was so accustomed to the idea that Christianity existed in a fragmented state, that it didn't bother me. Like kids growing up in a broken home, at first it may seem impossible that Dad doesn't live with us any more, but after a while it seems perfectly natural.READ MORE
In our first installment of this series, we asked the question, “What was the Reformation?”
We argued with Catholic historian Hilaire Belloc that at its heart the Reformation was not so much a dispute over one or two or more particular doctrines of the Church but over the very question of how doctrinal disputes within the Church would be settled. It was a dispute over the issue of where authority is to be found in the Church. This is what tore at the heart of Christianity in the early 16th century.
Indeed, I believe one of the most useful ways to think about the violent fracturing that took place at that time and the separation of Christians into “Catholic” and “Protestant,” is to think of it as a bitter divorce between those who continued to embrace the spiritual authority of the Catholic Church and those who rejected that authority to take their stand on the authority of Scripture alone: sola Scriptura. This is the essence of what took place at the time of the Reformation.READ MORE
Before becoming Catholic, I was an evangelical Protestant for about twenty years, an ordained Protestant minister for more than eleven.
My conversion was hard. I broke a lot of glass coming into the Church. Because of my background and situation, becoming Catholic wasn’t something done quickly. It was the result of intensive thought and prayer over the course of some four years. It involved a rethinking of my entire worldview as a Christian — including the teaching of Scripture and the history of the Church.
Given this experience, I can’t talk about Catholicism and Protestantism without instinctively making the case for the one and against the other. At the same time, I can’t talk about Protestantism without deep affection for those I still consider my brothers and sisters in Christ.READ MORE
Newman Centers are a vibrant home for Catholic students at public universities in our Diocese. With daily Mass, study, and community -building events, the work at Newman Centers help young people encounter Christ and live out their faith dynamically.
The college years are the most formative years for young adults. Research tells us 80% of people who leave the faith do so by the age of 23. Studies also show that within 72 hours on a college campus, a majority of students have found the friends they will have for the next four years. In the Diocese of Phoenix, Catholic young adults have expressed a hunger for Christ, as our Newman Center programs are rapidly outgrowing their current buildings.READ MORE
As many of you know, Corpus Christi is joining with the Diocese for the Together Let Us Go Forth ~ Juntos Sigamos Adelante campaign. The Diocese is seeking to raise $100 million to expand our efforts to bring all people to a relationship with Jesus Christ through discipleship and evangelization.READ MORE