The plot thickens... This was a difficult read from a believable source
“For freedom Christ set us free; so stand firm and do not submit again to the yoke of slavery.” (Gal 5:1) For Paul, true freedom was the opposite of license. God had given us the Commandments and the essence of the Commandments was love, love of God and neighbor. True love of neighbor cannot happen if you do not love God. To love someone as they are, in and of themselves, is to love them as God loves them. Another way to describe this love is: to serve.
Paul continues that a person is free when he is led by the Spirit. The Spirit enables him to overcome the inclinations of the flesh. When you are not led by the Spirit, the sensible appetites are allowed to have full reign. When you live for the flesh, you live for yourself - what you want, when you want it and how you want it. All of that is governed by love of self, giving full reign to the selfishness inflicted on us by Original Sin. Everything which stems from that disordered love for self is called “a work of the flesh.
”This doesn’t mean just simply impurity. It also means any kind of intemperance or sins against fraternal charity. Often you can find clues for some kind of impurity if the subject is also abusing the liturgy.
Living by the Spirit, one is no longer merely human, but found also in Christ, in the Divine. The gifts of the Holy Spirit are visible.
Recent days have made me most grateful for the Church’s teaching on ex opere operato. This is a little Latin expression which means “from the work worked.” This basically means that the liturgy is a bearer of divine grace and not dependent on the priest being in the state of grace. If the recipient of the sacrament is well disposed toward God’s grace, then God’s grace is abundant. A priest in the state of mortal sin does the work, but cannot be well-disposed toward grace and so he receives nothing for his work.
I remember when a priest who once served as associate at the parish where I was pastor was revealed as having abused and forced himself on several young men. Many people began to wonder whether their baptisms, confessions, and weddings were valid. I was grateful that the Church was clear on this topic. They had no need to worry.
I am not here to judge (Cardinal) McCarrick. That will be up to God at this point. But he has been a vehicle of grace even if he was never able to benefit or experience that grace. In his many years as priest, bishop and cardinal, I am sure he said Mass countless times, heard confessions, ministered at baptisms and witnessed marriages. For anyone who participated and was disposed toward the grace of the event, I am sure that grace was present. I am not talking about the memories of such events, such memories can take many forms. Go ahead and treasure the pictures, but in prayer, ask that you may receive the grace of such encounters, not with Cardinal McCarrick, but with the Lord.
Now there are several things we may disregard: his preaching, his writings and any counseling or advice he may have given. These things are not covered by ex opere operato. Only the liturgy and the sacraments have such a guarantee.
Pray for Cardinal McCarrick. If he did not receive the proper formation as a young man to realize the gifts of the Spirit and that habitual living in Christ and the Spirit is a sure antidote for living by the flesh, I am sure such a conversion will be difficult in his eighties, especially if he is off licking his wounds and feeling misunderstood and unappreciated.
“Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified their flesh with its passions and desires. If we live in the Spirit, let us also follow the Spirit” (Gal 5:24-25) It really is up to us to respond to grace and to seek the holiness to which we have been called.
In the confessional this morning, I asked guys where they were accessing porn. Almost all of them said it was on their phone. So their penance became: Find a picture of the Blessed Virgin Mary and make it the Desktop or lock screen photo on their phone. Then every time they access their phone they are to say a "Hail Mary." And I said I would put a sample on my blog that they could steal. So here are a couple of examples.
Ian and Trina, you have chosen for your wedding a favorite passage from the Gospels. I have given many mission talks on this passage, and I consider this homily probably my most important mission talk. At the wedding feast of Cana, marriage was sanctified, made holy, and it was the first sign of the coming kingdom of God. The Word made flesh came down from heaven to make human nature His own as a bridegroom takes a bride. Here human nature is the bride and Jesus is the bridegroom. Psalm 19: “he comes forth like a bridegroom from his chamber.” He came to claim all of us as He had already joined Himself to us in the womb of the Blessed Virgin. It is no wonder that He came to this house for a wedding because He had already come to this world for the marriage of heaven and earth. And by the way, this event did not take place in the halls of power or any important place in the eyes of the world. This was not in the Holy City of Jerusalem, but in Gentile territory.
People are sometimes surprised because Mary is mentioned first. Jesus and His disciples, at least initially, were a bit of an afterthought. Yes, she is first. Her “yes” is first. Hers was a gracious quality of presence. She was more than likely doing what women would do in that time: helping in the kitchen, preparing of the food, and providing hospitality to guests. This could be why she noticed that the wine had failed.
Yes, she is the one to come and present to the Son of God, “they have no wine.” Here she takes our part, she is the intercessor, the mediatrix of all graces, bearing in her human hands the possibilities, the hope and dreams of her children.
And why would she think that He could do anything about this sad situation? She had seen many and great wonders. The angel had greeted her with such honor; she had been called “Mother of my Lord” by Elizabeth; a star had announced His birth; Magi had come from the East bearing gifts; shepherds had come from the fields to worship Him; Anna had greeted her with such joy in the Temple; and she had treasured all these things in her heart.
What is a bit of wine after all these miracles? “What do you have to do with me?” He asks. The answer is, “plenty!”
Yes, this is a gospel of gracious abundance and the more deeply you dig, the more the abundance increases. “Do whatever He tells you,” is an echo of the book of Genesis when those words bring seven years’ worth of grain and here at this wedding produces 150 gallons of the best wine ever.
So, for your wedding today, what do I propose that you take from this?
First, the wine has failed. The world is against us. The world opposes the kind of commitment you are making today. The world stands squarely against your devotion to the sacredness of life. There will be trials and difficulties in this life, many of which are in the distant future. The Church, the world, society, economics, our sin, the worldly powers will always fail us; and you will fail each other.
The ability to pray together and the ability to develop an interior life will bring you face to face with the only person you may trust, Jesus Christ. If you both keep your eyes on Him the communion between you cannot but grow stronger. The six stone water jars for the Jewish rites of purification speak of a dependence on externals that do not bring fulfillment and do not purify. Without Jesus they remain just empty jars. With Jesus, the water becomes rich wine, the life in the womb of Mary is revealed as the second person of the Blessed Trinity and the defeated criminal in the tomb rises to the fullness of life as the Lord of Glory.
Secondly, “Do whatever He tells you.” The word of God must have a special place in your home. I am not speaking about a big bible enshrined on an end-table that no one opens. I am speaking of a couple of worn out, marked up bibles with memories of great discussions and even arguments over what it all means. You will lead busy and productive lives, so this means some discipline. Open the bible or the breviary both when you feel like it and when you don’t. Make time for this. My own experience tells me that when I make time for listening and adoration I have time for everything else. When I try to do it all by myself, I run out of time and often nothing gets done. Couples who don’t pray and listen to God often communicate about events and details and projects. But couples who do pray (and pray together) will communicate on a much deeper level that feeds the intimacy and communion that the world thirsts for.
And finally, “draw some out now and take it to the steward.” Many people don’t think of baptism when they read this. But the Apostolic Fathers sure do. Baptism is the first sacrament and it is the basis for everything else. It is what makes what you do today a sacrament. Baptism places you inside the Trinity and is what makes this unbreakable bond of love and peace unbreakable. Baptism is what makes this union a sign of Christ’s gift of grace. The steward had no idea where this rich wine came from, but the servants do know. If you remain humble servants of this love it will promise to change into the new wine of the Covenant each and every day of your lives. So always draw from your baptism and participation in Christ for the strength you will need in the days ahead.
His Hour had not yet come. When the Hour came, He was pierced by a lance; his side was opened, and what pours forth even now is the blood and water, the new wine of salvation flowing continually, bringing life through the sacraments. In the mysteries of the cross and resurrection, untrammeled by the limits of space and time, this Blood is still poured out from his side, now sanctifying and making Holy this marriage. In your consent the Love that is the gift of the Savior becomes tangible and real. My prayer for you is that this love will grow and each day you are more and more transformed into his likeness.
On this feast of St. Joachim and Anna, we blessed a new chalice and consecrated it for sacred use. This chalice, purchased with funds left over from my silver jubilee and other vacation funds, is solid sterling silver and will be considered my silver jubilee chalice.
St. Anne was prayer to by wood cutters in the middle ages, she was considered the root of the tree, Mary was the flower whose fruit was Jesus.
So I prayed for the silversmiths who handmade this chalice. Mary being the Chalice, Christ the saving blood.
You may not take the pill, but how else do you participate in the Contraceptive/Abortive culture?
I want to offer thanks and homage to Pope Benedict XVI who on this day eleven years ago issued the Moto Proprio Summorum Pontificum. It was not until 2012 that I took advantage of it, but I must profess that it has change my life, it has changed my prayer, it has changed my priesthood, It has changed the way I celebrate the Ordinary Form. It, I believe, was the principal cause of the liberal ire that got me ousted as Pastor, but it has opened so many doors to life and experience. I would not change any of it. So Her are the picture of my first Extraordinary Form Mass in September of 2012, and pictures of other evens and places from Rome, San Francisco, Norwalk and Santa Rosa. Here also is the story of my Extraordinary Life
First EF Mass, September 2012
An Extraordinary Life after 2015
But I still had time to take pictures. I was able to dine again at a favorite restaurant, took so picture of favorites, Antipasto di Mare, al Fettuccine Salmone. I had to text the picture to John who had to leave for the airport before pranzo.
It was a full day. First we drove across the Italian peninsula to the Adriatic Sea to visit Lanciano. There is the oldest Eucharistic Miracle. It occurred around the year 700. It is still an on-going miracle because the human flesh and blood is still fresh and living some 1300 years after the event. You cannot be in the presence of this miracle without realizing just how close and present God desired to be with his people, and how Eucharistic Adoration is the key to just about everything else. After spending a couple of hours there we decided to seek a place to have pranzo. Since we were near the Adriatic we decided on Fish and went searching. We found a delightful place on the water. The food was great and the Ambiance was stunning. Then we headed to Mannopello, another miracle. We were impressed with the devotion shone by a few Italian kind. We got an informational and inspirational tour of the veil by Sister Petra-Maria Steiner. According to Paul Badde she is the best guide for the Holy Veil in the World. We returned to Rome in the early evening and retreated to our favorite wine bar.
Omnia Christus Est Nobis
Christ is everything for us!
I am a Roman Catholic Priest from California. I spent 13 wonderful years years as a member of the Province of the Pacific in the Missionaries of the Precious Blood. The outline of my life can be traced here.