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Coverage of the Pope's Visit [Apr. 19th, 2008|12:40 pm]
Mystici Corporis Christi - Mystical Body of Christ

Overall, most of the mainstream network coverage of the Pope's visit has been OK, but I have found some glarin exceptions to that--particularly coming from CNN where anti-Catholic bigot had some less than respectful things to say about the Pope's visit--and also he expressed some annoyance that this was being covered at all because darn it, he wants to watch something else on TV.
Here's a Lou Dobbs-Wolf Blitzer exchange from the night of April 17--I found the transcript: http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0804/17/sitroom.02.html
doesn't sufficiently reflect the petulance dripping from Dobbs' voice:

BLITZER: All right. Let's talk to Lou Dobbs.

Lou, we're on the campus of Catholic University. Pope Benedict XVI is here getting ready for his next address to leaders of other faiths. What do you make of this visit?

LOU DOBBS, HOST, "LOU DOBBS TONIGHT": You know, I don't know what to make of it to be honest with you, Wolf. Every time we have a pope visit the United States the country gets very religious. There's a religiosity that takes over.

People start talking in hush tones. And not being Catholic myself, you know, I think it's a wonderful event but I'm just not sure what the import or impact is for those of us who are not Catholic and who want to watch something else on cable television.

BLITZER: It's an historic moment. It's not every day that a pope visits the United States and gets this kind of tumultuous reception as he's been getting every step of the way.

DOBBS: Right. And that's great for the Catholics. It's also, you know, my viewers, my listeners, are coming to me saying, whether they're Catholic or not, they're saying here's a guy talking finally about a sex scandal that has gripped this church for years and years. And there hasn't been sufficient response.

Dealing with the fact that this pope has entered the United States talking politics, domestic politics, U.S. politics and talking about illegal immigration, and many people are offended by it. And even some going so far as to suggest the Catholic Church should be taxed if the pope is going to act like a head of state instead of the leader of a church.

BLITZER: What would you want to see happen here? How would you want a visiting pope to be received by the U.S. government?

DOBBS: Well, I think the U.S. government -- I think it's lovely that President Bush and Laura, the first lady, met him. You know I was sort of surprised it's the first time the president has ever bothered to go down to Andrews Air Force Base and greet a guest of any kind, let alone a pope, but you know it's a nice state affair.

I think the president has done precisely as he should. I'm not so sure about the handshake and the speech line. That kind of was a little it seemed to me informal, if you will, but I think that's just fine. I think that he should greet the pope just as he does the leaders of any faith or religion who visit the United States. That's all good.

BLITZER: Lou, you got a show coming up in one hour. We'll be checking back with you then. Thanks very much.

Then if you read this one from that same night -- http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0804/17/ldt.01.html -- you find Dobbs criticizing when the Pope said What does it mean to speak of child protection when pornography and violence can be viewed in so many homes through media widely available today? asking a panelist: let me start, how's the pope doing? Could he insult anybody else? and later saying:
- The idea that the pope would come here and criticize the United States this way, I think is, first of all, bad manners. And I don't care in you're infallible or not. So that's bad manners, and No. 2, it's absolutely, out of all proportion with the world scale. This is the most welcoming, nation, the most generous nation on the face of the earth and for this pope to have this attitude and to make these comments, is in my opinion, absolutely repugnant.
-Couldn't he have sent out an e-mail to the church membership if he wanted to do that? Because he's being covered on every cable channel, all electronic news, print -- I mean, come on.
-Yeah, it seems to me that one is going to reach to the level that he did, you have to have some moral standing for it and what has been happening to the church, and I'll speak only of the Catholic church in this country for the last decade, its seems to leave open his standing, cleaning up his own house. I don't know if there's a scriptural reference there, but it seems to me that glass houses, stones, whatever it may be, it's just bad manners
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Plenary Indulgence on Divine Mercy Sunday [Mar. 26th, 2008|10:04 am]
Mystici Corporis Christi - Mystical Body of Christ

Found online--information about the plenary indulgence for Divine Mercy weekend.

Here are the details about the plenary indulgence that is possible to gain on Divine Mercy Sunday, the Sunday after Easter.

In a decree dated August 3, 2002, the Apostolic Penitentiary announced that in order "to ensure that the faithful would observe this day (Divine Mercy Sunday) with intense devotion, the Supreme Pontiff himself established that this Sunday be enriched by a plenary indulgence…so that the faithful might receive in great abundance the gift of the consolation of the Holy Spirit. In this way, they can foster a growing love for God and for their neighbor, and after they have obtained God's pardon, they in turn might be persuaded to show a prompt pardon to their brothers and sisters."

The plenary indulgence is granted under the usual conditions (sacramental confession, Eucharistic communion and prayer for the intentions of Supreme Pontiff) to the faithful who, on the Second Sunday of Easter or Divine Mercy Sunday, in any church or chapel, in a spirit that is completely detached from the affection for a sin, even a venial sin, take part in the prayers and devotions held in honor of Divine Mercy, or who, in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament exposed or reserved in the tabernacle, recite the Our Father and the Creed, adding a devout prayer to the merciful Lord Jesus (e.g. Merciful Jesus, I trust in you!).

Additional provisions are offered for those who are impeded from fulfilling these requirements, but wish to acquire the plenary indulgence.

The Second Sunday of Easter in the new Missale Romanum bears the name, "DOMINICA II PASCHÆ seu de divina Misericordia." While the readings and prayers for Mass on this day remain unchanged, the decree of the Apostolic Penitentiary gives guidance to preachers as they reflect on the mystery of Divine Mercy:

The Gospel of the Second Sunday of Easter narrates the wonderful things Christ the Lord accomplished on the day of the Resurrection during his first public appearance: "On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being shut where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, ‘Peace be with you.' When he said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples were glad to see the Lord. Jesus said to them again, ‘Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I send you,' and then he breathed on them, and said, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained'" (Jn 20,19-23).

In addition, the decree requires that parish priests "should inform the faithful in the most suitable way of the Church's salutary provision. They should promptly and generously be willing to hear their confessions. On Divine Mercy Sunday, after celebrating Mass or Vespers, or during devotions in honor of Divine Mercy, with the dignity that is in accord with the rite, they should lead the recitation of the prayers that have been given above. Finally, since ‘Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy' (Mt 5,7), when they instruct their people, priests should gently encourage the faithful to practice works of charity or mercy as often as they can, following the example of, and in obeying the commandment of Jesus Christ, as is listed for the second general concession of indulgence in the Enchiridion Indulgentiarum."
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southern catholicism [Mar. 25th, 2008|07:10 am]
Mystici Corporis Christi - Mystical Body of Christ

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another aomaly in the Catholic Tradition here in Louisiana.....i'm curious as to whether anyone else has experienced this.

on Good Friday, during the Veneration of the Cross, instead of a crucifix, a plain wooden cross was used. the Rite itself was done according to tradition and was very beautiful, but i missed kissing the feet of my Beloved and had to "make do" with kissing His cross instead.

everywhere else i've ever worshipped (and that's been a fair amount of parishes across the US and in Ireland) we always venerated the crucifix even though the words to the right proclaim "This is the wood of the Cross..."


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Not Really [Feb. 26th, 2008|09:14 am]
Mystici Corporis Christi - Mystical Body of Christ

From the blog of Fr. Rob Johansen at http://thrownback.blogspot.com/

Homily for the First Sunday of Lent

Genesis 2:7-9, 3:1-7
Romans 5:12-19
Matthew 4:1-11

In our Gospel we heard about Satan's temptation of Jesus. Notice that Satan didn't beat around the bush with Jesus. He didn't try to get into subtle arguments; he came at Jesus "head on" and offered him power, dominion, and the rest. Now usually Satan is more subtle with us - he tries to seduce us, to trick us. That's what we heard in our first reading, from Genesis. Satan says to Eve "Did God really tell you not to eat from the Tree?" And the implication is clear: "Oh, no, God didn't really mean for you not to eat of the fruit..." And it all went downhill from there.

This is what I call "not really" kind of thinking. We've all heard that sort of thing: "Surely God didn't really mean that." "Of course, nobody really believes that sort of thing anymore." Notice that when people say that sort of thing, they don't actually make an argument or give reasons why one shouldn't believe this or that. No, the trick here is to imply that such beliefs are stupid or silly, and that if you believe them, it's because you're silly or just not very bright.

A few years ago I was on airplane flying out East on vacation. I usually wear my clerics when I fly. Not that it gets me any special treatment - in fact I'm more likely to get put in the "special" security line at the airport when I am wearing my clerics than if I'm dressed in lay clothing. Go figure...

But after we took off and had been flying for a little while, the gentleman across the aisle from me leaned over and said "Excuse me, but are you a Catholic priest?" "Yes, I am", I answered. He then said "Wow, I haven't actually met a Catholic priest in years. And to meet one so young! I figured all you guys were getting old and dying out." I answered saying, "well, no, there are quite a few of us still around." We talked for a few more minutes, (it was clear he was not Catholic) and then went back to our own pursuits. After a few more minutes, he leaned over again and said "Excuse me again, I'm sorry to bother you, but I just have to ask, do you really believe all that stuff?" I was somewhat put-off by this, but I figured he wasn't trying to be offensive, so I answered him, saying "I'm not sure what you mean by "all that stuff", but yes, I believe in the Catholic faith. I wouldn't be dressed like this if I didn't." He then said "well, you know, heaven, angels, the devil, sin, all that stuff." I responded "Yes, I believe that the Catholic faith is true." We chatted for a few more minutes, and then he went back to his magazine.

As soon as I read our first reading from Genesis, I thought of that gentleman and our conversation. But the fact is, that kind of "not really" thinking has permeated, has filtered into, even our thinking as Catholics. You don't have to look very hard or very far to find it. Unfortunately, you can even find priests here and there that will talk that kind of "not really" talk. I'm sure we've all heard it, and maybe we've even said things like this ourselves: "Oh, the Church doesn't really teach that anymore". "You don't really have to do that." "You don't really have to go to confession". "We don't really have to do what the Church asks of us in the liturgy." And so on. A few weeks ago, I read that in a survey of Catholics, again, let me stress these are people who identify themselves as Catholic, that over 70% of them said that you could be a good Catholic without attending Mass regularly. There it is: "You don't really have to go to Mass on Sunday. You can stay home, or go play golf, and still be a good Catholic."

Now, that's not the thinking of a disciple. A disciple doesn't ask "how little can I get away with doing?" A disciple asks "how can I be more faithful?" And this season of Lent is the antidote to "not really" thinking. "Not really" thinking is just one more way we try to put Self in front of God. It's just one more way we try to shape the Gospel according to my priorities and desires. And Lent, and the disciplines of Lent, are given to us to get our attention off of our Selves and on to Christ.

By our Prayer, we draw closer to Christ. We learn not only to talk to Him and give ourselves to Him, but we learn to listen to Him, so that His mind and will become my mind and will. By our almsgiving we do without things for ourselves in order to serve the needs of others, in whom we serve Christ. And by our fasting we join ourselves to Christ's Passion, and train ourselves to put aside the clamor of our appetites and desires, in order to allow Him to become more truly our Lord.

The challenge before us this Lent is this: Will I put my self aside for Him? Will I refocus my heart, mind, and will, on Him? Will I be a more faithful follower of Christ?

What are we going to be? Wholehearted disciples of Christ, or "not really" disciples?
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Latin [Feb. 22nd, 2008|07:45 am]
Mystici Corporis Christi - Mystical Body of Christ

Latin was the perfect language for the Mass. It's the language of the Church, which allows us to pray a verbal prayer without distraction. See, the purpose of the Mass is to pray and to be associated with the crucifixion and with that glorious banquet that we partake of in Holy Communion. He is there. But so much is spoiled in the vernacular.

During the Latin Mass you had the missal if you wanted to follow it in English. It was almost mystical. It gave you an awareness of heaven, of the awesome humility of God who manifests Himself in the guise of bread and wine. The love that He had for us, His desire to remain with us, is simply awesome. You could concentrate on that love, because you weren't distracted by your own language. You could go anywhere in the world and you always knew what was going on. It was contemplative because as the Mass was going on you could close your eyes and visualize what really happened. You could feel it. You could look to the east and realize that God had come and was really present. The way it is today with the priest facing the people, it's something between the people and the priest. Too often it's just some kind of get-together and Jesus is all but forgotten.

- Mother Angelica
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Repentance [Feb. 15th, 2008|04:31 pm]
Mystici Corporis Christi - Mystical Body of Christ

Some passages from Bishop Sheen's book Life of Christ on repentance and the betrayal of Peter and the betrayal of Judas:

Though in English we have both Peter and Judas "repenting," the Greek words used in the original are different for Judas and for Peter. The word used in connection with Judas signifies only a change of feeling, a regret of the consequences, a desire of undoing what had been done. This kind of repentance did not ask for pardon, for even the devils in hell repented the consequences of their sin of pride. The reason for his betrayal of Christ now seemed utterly evil and base; the political Messiah whom he expected now seemed unworthy of thought. Before a sin, the devil makes light of it; after the sin, the devil becomes an accuser inciting despair and worse crimes in the guilty. Evidently the devil "left him for a time," which gave Judas time to regret his action and to return the money. But later the devil returned to drive him to despair....

Judas was repentant unto himself, but not unto the Lord. He was disgusted with the effects of his sin, but not with the sin. Everything can be pardoned except the refusal to seek pardon, as life can forgive everything except the acceptance of death. His remorse was only a self-hatred, and self-hatred is suicidal. To hate self is the beginning of slaughter. It is salutory only when associated with the love of God. Repenting to oneself is not enough. Conscience speaks lowest when it ought to speak loudest. It is a lamp which sometimes goes out in darkness.

When a man hates himself for what he has done and is without repentance to God, he will sometimes pound his breast as if to blot out a sin. There is a world of difference between pounding a breast in self-disgust and pounding it with the mea culpa in which one asks for pardon. Sometimes this self-hatred can become so intense as even to pound the life out of a man, and thus it leads to suicide. Though death is one of the penalties of original sin and though it is something to be universally dreaded, nevertheless there are some who rush into its arms. A warning conscience came to Judas before the sin, but the gnawing conscience followed after, and it was so great that he could not bear it.....

An interesting parallel can be drawn between Peter and Judas. There are similarities and yet such tremendous differences. First, Our Lord called them both "devils." He called Peter "Satan" when he rebuked Him for saying He would be crucified; He called Judas a devil when He promised the Bread of Life. Second, He warned both that they would fall. Peter said that even though others would deny the Master, he would not. Whereupon, he was told that during that very night, before the cock crowed, Peter would deny Him thrice. Judas, in his turn, was warned when offered the dipped bread; and he was also told, in answer to his question, that he was the betrayer. Third, both denied Our Lord; Peter to the maidservants during the night trial; Judas in the garden when he delivered Our Lord to the soldiers. Fourth, Our Lord tried to save both: Peter through a look, and Judas by addressing him as "Friend." Fifth, both repented: Peter went out and wept bitterly; Judas repented by taking back the thirty pieces of silver and affirming the innocence of Our Lord.

Why, then, is one at the head of the list, the other at the bottom? Because Peter repented unto the Lord and Judas unto himself. The difference was as vast as Divine-reference and self-reference; as vast as the difference between a Cross and a psychoanalytical couch. Judas said he had "betrayed innocent blood," but he never wished to be bathed in it. Peter knew he had sinned and sought redemption; Judas knew he had made a mistake and sought escape--the first of the long army of escapists from the Cross. Divine pardon presupposes but never destroys human freedom. One wonders if Judas, as he stood beneath the tree that would bring him death, ever looked around the valley to the tree that would have brought him life. On this difference beween repenting unto the Lord and repenting unto self as did Peter and Judas respectively, St. Paul would later comment in these words:

For the wound which is borne in God's way brings a change of heart too salutary to regret; but the hurt which is borne in the world's way brings death. II Corinthians 7:10

The tragedy of the life of Judas is that he might have been St. Judas.
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Favorite Prayers [Jan. 30th, 2008|08:27 pm]
Mystici Corporis Christi - Mystical Body of Christ

Just curious--does anyone here have any favorite prayer or prayers that they would like to share?
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in preparation for Lent [Jan. 28th, 2008|08:49 pm]
Mystici Corporis Christi - Mystical Body of Christ

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[Current Mood |prayerful]
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Sacred Heart of Jesus

Act of Reparation to the Sacred Heart

Most sweet Jesus, whose overflowing charity for men is requited by so much forgetfulness, negligence and contempt, behold us prostrate before Thee, eager to repair by a special act of homage the cruel indifference and injuries to which Thy loving Heart is everywhere subject.

Mindful, alas! that we ourselves have had a share in such great indignities, which we now deplore from the depths of our hearts, we humbly ask Thy pardon and declare our readiness to atone by voluntary expiation, not only for our own personal offenses, but also for the sins of those, who, straying far from the path of salvation, refuse in their obstinate infidelity to follow Thee, their Shepherd and Leader, or, renouncing the promises of their baptism, have cast off the sweet yoke of Thy law.

We are now resolved to expiate each and every deplorable outrage committed against Thee; we are now determined to make amends for the manifold offenses against Christian modesty in unbecoming dress and behavior, for all the foul seductions laid to ensnare the feet of the innocent, for the frequent violations of Sundays and holydays, and the shocking blasphemies uttered against Thee and Thy Saints. We wish also to make amends for the insults to which Thy Vicar on earth and Thy priests are subjected, for the profanation, by conscious neglect or terrible acts of sacrilege, of the very Sacrament of Thy Divine Love; and lastly for the public crimes of nations who resist the rights and teaching authority of the Church which Thou hast founded.

Would that we were able to wash away such abominations with our blood. We now offer, in reparation for these violations of Thy divine honor, the satisfaction Thou once made to Thy Eternal Father on the Cross and which Thou continuest to renew daily on our Altars; we offer it in union with the acts of atonement of Thy Virgin Mother and all the Saints and of the pious faithful on earth; and we sincerely promise to make recompense, as far as we can with the help of Thy grace, for all neglect of Thy great love and for the sins we and others have committed in the past. Henceforth, we will live a life of unswerving faith, of purity of conduct, of perfect observance of the precepts of the Gospel and especially that of charity. We promise to the best of our power to prevent others from offending Thee and to bring as many as possible to follow Thee.

O loving Jesus, through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mother, our model in reparation, deign to receive the voluntary offering we make of this act of expiation; and by the crowning gift of perseverance keep us faithful unto death in our duty and the allegiance we owe to Thee, so that we may all one day come to that happy home, where with the Father and the Holy Spirit Thou livest and reignest, God, forever and ever. Amen. 
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Just joined! [Jan. 8th, 2008|10:30 am]
Mystici Corporis Christi - Mystical Body of Christ

Hi everyone.  I just joined this group.  I'm really interested in the Traditional Latin Mass.  My parish offers a TLM weekly, Sunday evenings at 6:00pm.  It's only been going on for about two or three months, and I've only had the opportunity to attend a couple of times because Sunday evening isn't always the most convenient time for me.  Still, it is an amazing experience and I'm hoping to attend much more often.
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Latin Mass [Jan. 7th, 2008|04:58 pm]
Mystici Corporis Christi - Mystical Body of Christ

So Saturday while at a Catholic bookstore in the area, I picked up a Latin-English Sunday Missal that includes the 1962 Latin Mass approved by B16 and includes the Latin and English for the Traditional Nuptail Mass, Requiem and Rite of Baptism.

So now when the opportunity to celebrate the Mass in Latin comes up, I'm set!

Right now there are no such opportunities in my diocese.

Has anyone else here attended such a Mass recently? What were your thoughts on the experience?
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