Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again!!!
Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again!!!
My Lord and my God.
Recently, I’ve grown accustomed to genuflecting before the altar and reciting this phrase as I make the sign of the cross.
Not a half-genuflection either. You know the ones you make so that you could hurry up and sit. I’ve learned to make a full genuflection, with my right knee touching the ground, allowing me to assume a position of reverence. When I do this, I don’t feel rushed to sit down. Instead, I can take my time to adore the Real Presence inside the tabernacle.
So why should we go to greater lengths just to adore Jesus? Certainly a mere genuflection won’t make a difference. But it does.
The greatest danger to faith is lukewarmness. Sometimes, we take our beliefs for granted and our actions lose meaning. Why do we genuflect anyways?
Any good Catholic who completed their sacrament preparation and catechism classes can provide a textbook response. We genuflect to acknowledge the Real Presence at the altar and to honor the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of our Lord, Jesus Christ embodied by the Blessed Sacrament. After reading a thread on Catholic Answers forum, I’ve discovered another reason.
To make a long story short, the thread’s writer expounds on how an old man he was taking care of, Andre, shook his head after the former gave the textbook response concerning genuflection. “You still haven’t got it,” the old man replied. So, the writer gave up and asked him what the real reason was. Andre then said this:
“They taught me that when I genuflect before the (Blessed Sacrament in the) tabernacle, I am making reparation to Jesus for the cruel mockery — for the genuflections of the Roman soldiers before Him as they crowned Him with thorns, beat Him, and spat upon Him.”
Wow, right? After I read that, genuflection was given a whole new meaning. A simple action like the bend of a knee can have such an impact. Our Catholic faith is a physical one. We’re not called to be spectators in life. We’re called to holiness through active expressions of our beliefs.
Let a regular movement like a genuflection become an extension of your prayer life. Strive to make up for how Jesus was mistreated during his Passion. Maybe then, we can fully appreciate his sacrifice.
“That in the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those that are in heaven, on earth, and under the earth: And that every tongue should confess that the Lord Jesus Christ is in the glory of God the Father.” (Philippians 2:10-11)
Today’s Good Friday service (Mass of the Presanctified technically) was definitely moving. It’s like I’ve entered into a deeper appreciation for the Passion of our Lord and for our Catholic faith.
I’m not going to lie. Lent is always a troublesome period for me every year because I manage to falter so many times. But Holy Week has done something for me. Something miraculous even. Holy Week has allowed me to reflect on one of the basic tenets of Holy Mother Church: that Christ died for our sins on the cross and it is through the cross that we gain eternal life, a belief embodied by the motto of the Congregation of Holy Cross, “Ave Crux, Spes Unica (Hail the Cross, our only hope).”
After the prayers of the faithful, wherein the deacon and Fr. Joe led the congregation in supplications for an array of individuals (e.g. Jews, all Christians, atheists, politicians, etc.), a large crucifix was brought out for veneration.
As we all slowly lined up to show signs of respect for the crucifixion, I looked past those in front of me and gazed at Christ crucified. And then it hit me. Jesus truly died for us. Nowadays, we hear this so much that we lose the significance of this event. As this realization took hold, I started getting teary-eyed. The Passion is truly one of the saddest moments in all of history yet maybe I was getting emotional due to the great devotion that I was witnessing.
Young and old were coming to venerate the crucifix, kissing it, kneeling before it, or genuflecting. I was just imagining how it would’ve been if we were all standing before Christ as he was bleeding from his wounds. In reality, Jesus only had a few people adoring him when he died. Yet today, millions of people worldwide are now honoring him, an act long over due.
Thank you God, for everything.
1 Corinthians 1:22-24 (Douay-Rheims)
St. Augustine of Hippo (Confessions)
(Fr. Matthew is the priest wearing white.)
I was kind of sad after Mass today.
Coupled with the fact that we’ll be remembering Christ’s crucifixion tomorrow, I read a flyer on our church bulletin board that pretty much made me all teary-eyed. I had only heard rumors, which ended up being true. The flyer was advertising the luau that was going to be held for Fr. Matthew on May 7th. Apparently, our head pastor will be going to Bolivia for missionary work.
I’m truly happy for him, though. Fr. Matthew has been such an inspiration to all the parishioners and so it would be kind of selfish for us to keep him in Stockton. Still, my relatively new religious fervor blossomed while he was leading our parish so I can’t help but feel like I’m losing someone important.
I remember how he was ordained at St. Luke’s in the early 2000s, when I was young and didn’t really care about my Catholic faith. All I knew, however, was that this priest had some great homilies and he was very pastoral: he was always amongst the people and he was always there for everyone.
To me, Fr. Matthew is one of my priestly role models. He was one of the first people I ever spoke to about my vocation to the priesthood and he was the one who wrote my recommendation letter for Old College. He gave me my First Communion and my first confession (which certainly wasn’t my last!) He has just been an all around amazing Christian.
So, before it’s too late, here’s to good ol’ Fr. Matthew. I’m gonna miss ya!
So I did it. For practice of course.
As Fr. Matthew gave out the Eucharist to the parishioners, I waited nervously for my turn. I was sitting in one of the front pews and the line was filing past quickly. Soon it would be my turn and in order to practice for the extraordinary form of the Mass on Easter, I wanted to receive the Body of Christ on my tongue. (I had been practicing in front of the mirror a few hours ago so I wouldn’t look like a slackjawed yokel or something…)
Finally, I made a profound bow and said “Amen” after Fr. Matthew said “The Body of Christ” and stuck out my tongue. Boom. He placed the Eucharist on my taste buds and it was over. All that heart-pounding anxiety beforehand was pretty excessive I should say.
After Mass, I related my exploits to my little cousin, who laughed at the fact I received on the tongue since we were both raised to receive via our hands. My aunt came to the rescue, however, and said that receiving on the tongue was common practice in the Philippines and that she only ever saw people receiving via hands in America.
Hmm… Maybe I’ll start receiving on the tongue from now on. Receiving one way or another isn’t more reverent or better but I just feel that the latter makes me appreciate more that I’m literally consuming the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ.
Ultimately, however, we should all be grateful that He actually gives His Body and Blood to us for our salvation. You can’t get any more generous than that.
Sigh… I just got off the phone with Fr. Tony Romo, SVD, one of the greatest priests I’ve met. For the longest time, I was discerning a vocation with the Society of the Divine Word, a band of men who burn with missionary zeal.
After I visited Divine Word College in Iowa, I felt drawn to their order. All the seminarians were down to earth people; I quickly became friends with many of them. Before I had gone over to DWC, however, I was also scheduled to visit Old College with the Congregation of Holy Cross. My trip to DWC strengthened my belief that I would someday be an SVD. I even tried cancelling my visit to Old College just so I wouldn’t be distracted, but was unable to. I just didn’t want to have to face the prospect of making a tough choice.
Then the unexpected happened: I went to Old College and fell in love with CSC. Their Vocation Director, Fr. Jim Gallagher, CSC, is another awesome priest. I enjoyed the structured spirituality and the intellectual atmosphere that permeated Notre Dame. Suddenly, I had to make a tough decision: abandon the SVDs or forget about the CSCs.
Sadly, I decided to pursue my vocation with the Congregation of Holy Cross, who as you know accepted me to their Old College program. I was just more attracted to their prayer life than the one at Divine Word College. Though I feel that the latter had more friendlier people, I can’t help but favor the order who could offer me more spiritually.
Fr. Tony had expected I was leaning towards CSC. Tonight I solidified his expectations by revealing my admission into Old College. Before hanging up, I apologized for making it seem as though I was abandoning the SVDs without even saying thank you. I told him that they were very welcoming and amazing people, but I just feel called to CSC more. He told me to not feel so guilty and that he understood that the process of discernment was difficult, especially for a young person like me. I then told him about my Easter Latin Mass plans and my scheduled meeting with a priest from the Institute of Christ the King.
We spoke more and he pretty much illuminated my clouds of doubt with a single question: Where do you see yourself as?
1.) As a Divine Word Missionary, preaching the Gospel in different languages in international locales?
2.) As a Holy Cross educator, teaching various subjects to an academic crowd?
3.) As a guard of the Latin Mass, preserving the liturgy and tradition?
He zeroed in on my problem. Where do I see myself? Hopefully this Easter Sunday, God can help me discern some more.
Please pray for me, guys! I truly need it.
So it’s settled: I, along with some willing friends, will be attending my first Mass in the extraordinary form this Easter Sunday. I’ve been swooning over our planned trip to Oakland’s St. Margaret Mary Church all week since I’ve also scheduled a short meeting with Canon Jean Marie Moreau, a priest from the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest. I guess I’m just a regular liturgical nerd!
Hmm… I’ll make sure to adopt some new habits for the Latin Mass. The one I’m worried about the most, however, is receiving the Body of Christ on the tongue. Yup folks, yours truly has only ever received via hand-to-mouth. Having been raised on the ordinary form of Mass, I’ve never really tried the former practice. (*to SaintGordon: by “former” I mean the expression former/latter) Therefore, I’m thinking on receiving on the tongue for the first time during Mass on Holy Thursday. The trick I guess will be not having your tongue sticking out too much but allowing the priest to have sufficient room to actually place the Body of Christ into your mouth… ‘Tis Catholic rocket science to me.
Since I’m not well-versed in Latin, I’ll simply look to the other parishioners of St. Margaret Mary’s for guidance. Stand up during this part. Kneel down now. Sit down here. This will definitely be an interesting experience to say the least.
So who’ll be comprising the band of brave adventurers from the Central Valley willing to explore the rigors of the Latin Mass? Two Catholics (myself included), a non-serious Buddhist, and a Muslim. My, my, my. That’s a pretty interesting picture!
Any advice will be more than welcomed. Hit up the ol’ message box!
Fr. Bob Lombardo, a Franciscan Friar of the Renewal during a Lenten mission at St. Luke’s a few years ago
I went to confession during the penitential liturgy last night and I’m feeling great! It was pretty uplifting to see grown men and women shed tears after being forgiven of their sins. That’s the power of faith for ya!
St. Francis de Sales
(Off to bed for me, guys. See ya!)
- St. Josemaria Escriva, my patron saint
- Venerable John Henry Cardinal Newman, former Anglican priest turned Catholic cardinal
(Submitted by katieder)
This is video me and my friend made for a contest promoting Reconciliation. It’s short and it would mean a lot to us if you took a minute to check it out:
I hope you like it, and if you do, it would be awesome if you could share it! Thank you =)
I recommend you all give it a view. It’s a pretty funny look on sin and confession.
The Athanasian Creed (Quicumque vult)
St. Benedict of Nursia
Random British friend
Play on words anyone?
St. Camillus de Lellis
Thanks haha, I try my best.
As of right now, I’m hoping to pursue a vocation with the Congregation of Holy Cross at the University of Notre Dame. They have an undergraduate formation program named Old College (since it’s housed at the first building built on the ND campus).
I’m planning on majoring in French (and if I have enough time and money, Spanish too) because I have a love for languages. Plus I’m interested in doing some missionary work in Africa or Latin America.
I’ve thought of being a diocesan priest, but there was a certain pull towards religious life that caused me to feel called towards C.S.C. I’ll be praying for you on your path to discernment. I know it’s not easy, especially in our secularized society, but keep at it.
I’ll leave you with some advice a Dominican novice gave me once at the West Coast Walk For Life: “Keep your eyes on the prize.” We’re all called to holiness and were all called to know, love, and serve the Lord. Hopefully, the two of us can reach our respective goals in terms of discernment.
You know, I’ll pray for you. I hope that you’ll one day overcome the trials you face during these tough times. Just remember that God doesn’t give us anything we can’t handle.
I understand that nothing I say will ever convince you of the immorality of abortion and nothing you say will convince me otherwise. This is a battle that can’t be won so why fight it?
I apologize if you thought I was implying that it’s somehow your fault that you’re taking anti-anxiety medicine. I recognize that everyone has their cross to carry, their own burden to deal with and it’s not my place to judge. I myself have pondered suicide so don’t feel like I don’t understand. When I see a clear injustice (i.e. abortion) however I must speak out.
If you truly believe that the Church or my faith leads individuals to be sexually repressed then you’re sadly mistaken. Sex is a beautiful thing when not abused. There’s no doubt about that. Why should one have sex every time he’s “horny” as you put it? People shouldn’t be slaves to lust and desire. We should have more pride and self-respect than that. Sex should be reserved for one’s spouse, whose proven his or her love. And of course we’re animals, silly. How could an AP Biology student ever dispute that?
And finally, I can simply turn the question around yet again and say why don’t you care about the fetus and it’s chance at existence? Why do you wish to extinguish precious life? Why do you wish to cause pain to something so beautiful and sacred? Just because someone believes that theft or murder are the right decisions for himself doesn’t make it correct, right? I’m sorry. I don’t believe in moral relativism or ethical policies that rely solely and glorify fallible human reasoning.
I respect women and don’t see them as “walking uteruses with no minds of their own” as you so eloquently described them. Women are amazing individuals who have impacted our lives for the better. So no, I don’t buy into any blatant misogyny that would make me a chauvinistic pig.
I don’t know. I really don’t have an interest in arguing online over abortion. I really don’t see anything productive about it. But if you wish to continue, far be it from me to stop you. I’d just like to ask that you keep things civil because in the end, that’s all we should ever do when presented with opposing opinions, right?
First of all, don’t make the mistake of prejudging me. I don’t care if you support abortion or are simply pro-choice. I, as a human being, am entitled to believe in whatever I choose to believe in. If I support the concept that all life is sacred and that human dignity must be preserved in all things, then I’m allowed to believe these things. I care about the fetus because it’s still life; life begins at conception. I care about the woman as well. I understand that even contemplating abortion takes an emotional toll and that many factors will affect a woman’s decision. Still, this doesn’t take away from the fact that I consider abortion a form of murder. An abortionist essentially kills the unborn. I can turn around and ask you why not care about a fetus? Doesn’t the baby have the right to choose to live? Regardless of what you may believe, at the moment of conception (i.e. when the sperm meets the egg) the baby’s DNA is already different from his mother. Yes, a woman has the right to her own body, but the baby is already a different entity from hers. And how can you say that there will always be unplanned pregnancies? Are you some sort of psychic or just a pessimist? Of course I’m going to support abstinence, why? Because it’s the only form of birth control that gives teens and young adults the dignity that we deserve. Giving us birth control is merely another way to tell us that adults don’t trust us and that we’re so depraved that we’re always going to be in some form of heat. Disgusting. At least abstinence allows us the rights to our own bodies and to choose when the time is right for procreation. It’s a discipline that teaches that though life may be full of temptations, one should cherish his virginity all the same. On another note, don’t you realize that there exists a significant suicide rate amongst women who have had an abortion? Yes, in those cases, rather than losing just one life, we lose two. Infanticide is not the answer to any problem. To answer your scenario, I would hope and pray that you don’t get the hypothetical abortion because it’s certainly not the baby’s fault that your anti-anxiety meds harm it, causing you to succumb to withdrawals. I am sure that there are other anti-anxiety meds that can help you without being harmful to an infant. To me, temporary withdrawals is outweighed by a lifetime of happiness from the joy of having a child. That’s just my reasoning. So before you go on thinking that I have no compassion for women who get abortions, I do. Don’t be so supercilious. I respect your beliefs and I hope you respect mine. Have a Voltaire attitude about opposing opinions.