The Monday after Pentecost is designated for the universal celebration of Mary, Mother of the Church. This title honors her pivotal role as a model disciple in prayer at the foot of the cross and at the coming of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost. Let us ask Mary to extend her maternal care to our Church so in need of consolation, healing and renewal.
The secular news media has given a lot of recent attention to the pope's approval of changes to the wording of the "Our Father" and the "Gloria." The verse the pope and others found problematic was "and lead us not into temptation" changed in the Italian to "do not abandon us to temptation."
Trenton's Diocesan Office of Worship points out that the changes are approved for the Italian missal texts and that although the same changes had been approved for the translation of the New American Bible (2002), the texts used at Mass in English speaking countries remain unchanged for now.
The entire text of the Our Father requires catechesis for proper understanding, so personally I have a bit of trouble understanding what all the fuss is about. Does God either abandon us or tempt us?
Hand carved statue of St. Norbert from St. Norbert Abbey in Wisconsin
St. Norbert as a young man sought ecclesiastical office for personal gain and enrichment. A conversion experience gave him, as today's opening collect said "the heart of Jesus Christ" and he began to work tirelessly to reform the clergy and sanctify the church.
May St. Norbert's spirit give all of us, especially our bishops and pope, the heart of Jesus Christ today.
His courage and zeal for spreading the faith without equivocation led to his ambush and martyrdom by a hostile crowd. Stories and legends about his life are a good balance to the doublespeak of public discourse these days.
The Irish Monk St. Kevin founded a monastery at Glendalough, pictured in the first photo. The famous tower, whose exact function is not certain, is pictured in the background of the church and cemetery. His statue depicts a famous episode from his life when a bird landed on his arms outstretched in prayer and laid an egg. Kevin reportedly kept praying in that position until the egg hatched.
The writers of the New Testament can hardly have been expected to have a scientific grasp of in-utero development. John the Baptist's recognition of the Lord's visit echoes Elizabeth's his mother's greeting to Mary. In theological and spiritual language, St. Luke conveys that the lives of the unborn deserve respect and protection while in the womb.
Today's Mass of the Ascension was celebrated with Holy Cross School students and parishioners attending together. It was the last mass of the school year where all the students will have been present, since graduations of Kindergarten and Eight Grade begin soon.
In fact, it was the last mass of Holy Cross School, since the school will change its designation to an Academy in the fall semester.
This sculpture on the ceiling of the Ascension Chapel in Our Lady of Walsingham in England (via Fr. Tim Finigan's blog The Hermeneutic of Continuity) takes the interpretation of the Ascension quite literally! We prayerfully rely on Christ's continued presence in the Church, especially His Sacraments and the guidance of the The Holy Spirit to foster the faith in our parish and school for many generations to come.
It was a difficult to get the three colors of blooms in the same frame, since the red Knockouts only opened this morning, but there were just enough to squeeze together: Red Knockouts, White Rugosa and Blue Nepeta for Memorial Day.
Join us tomorrow in the Memorial Day Parade as Holy Cross marches or cheer us on from along the line of march.
The gentle sunshine coaxed the Yellow Knockout Roses into bloom, with many more buds to come. After one recent rocky year, they seem pretty hardy, resistant to mildew and blackspot and unlike their red and pink knockout cousins, have plenty of intoxicating fragrance.
Thank you to our 8th Graders for hosting a delightful Parishioner Luncheon yesterday to show their gratitude for the parish's support of our school. Our Kindergarten, first and second grade students also impressed the guests with their singing, praying and Pledge of Allegiance.
The Knights of Columbus have commissioned an icon of Our Lady Help of Persecuted Christians. She is shown holding the child Jesus with faithful from around the world seeking protection under her maternal mantle. The feast of Our Lady Help of Christians itself was promulgated by Pope Pius VII after his release from imprisonment following Napoleon's defeat at Waterloo.
So many Christians, including Catholics around the world are being persecuted for their faith at peril of their lives. Priests, religious and lay faithful are martyred with barely a notice in the mainstream media. American Catholics are being ridiculed for our beliefs, which are seen by some as disqualifying for juridical or public office.
Mary's protection is still urgently sought to help inspire Christians to speak out against oppression and defend religious liberty around the world.
The readings from Acts of the Apostles at morning Mass have been highlighting the difficulty the early church had in reconciling Jewish Law with the reception of Gentile converts as believers of Jesus, followers of the The Way. Did Gentiles need to convert to Judaism or was Jesus seen as replacing the Jewish commandments with his two commandments of love?
The early church reached a compromise, releasing Gentile converts from the necessity of circumcision and most of the Jewish dietary proscriptions, but retaining a prohibition against eating meat sacrificed to idols. Most scholars agree that it took still longer for faithful Jews and baptized Christians to diverge into completely separate religious groups.
Dragonflies are voracious carnivores, but luckily not for people, as there have been more than I can count around the campus, especially in front of the rectory and the church gardens. The blooming nepeta always attract a lot of pollinators, but it must be the wet weather that has really given the dragonfly population a boost this year.
They eat mosquitoes and other pests and are supposed to be harbingers of spiritual growth.