Some Concluding, Year-End Musings on 2012

Logos: Logos Bible Research scored huge in my estimation this year. I had struggled to be productive with earlier versions of their software, but version 4, released just about 3 years ago, represented a dramatic improvement in usability and performance, and I started drifting toward it then – especially since they were also beginning to release quality Catholic resources (e.g. works by Aquinas). Then, this Spring, they put together a series of terrific Catholic base packages, all of which included an outstanding edition of the Catechism of the Catholic ...

We have the duty and joy of sharing in this prayer whenever possible

Quote of the Day for Sunday, May 29th, 2011: Taken from the website of an Anglican priest in New Zealand, Bosco Peters, on the proper place of the Liturgy of the Hours in the prayer life of the life of the Christian believer: Many who pray the Daily Office have a personal Rule of Life, or even an expectation or vows that require that regular discipline. These can often end up feeling guilty when a particular Hour has not been prayed by them. Some, in fact, will then try to "catch up" what they have missed – even gluing a number of Hours ...

The USCCB Swings & Whiffs on the NAB Revised Edition

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has announced the release on this coming Ash Wednesday (March 9th) of what amounts to the completion of a Revised version of the New American Bible, which will be known as the New American Bible Revised Edition (NABRE). I should be happy to see the publication of what is being touted as a more formal translation of the Old Testament for the NAB, but I can’t help but feel that the USCCB has bungled this. This will be the fourth release of the NAB family of translations. The original translation was ...

More Hope, Less Stress: Better Living

Today was Yom Kippur, the Jewish Day of Atonement. I’ve been fittingly pensive and reflective lately, almost to the point of feeling haunted. This is a time of year that used to fill me with energy, but these days seems more likely to leave me thinking about lost opportunities. I became starkly aware last night, while driving downtown to teach my CCD class, of how short a fuse I was on, and how much stress I was feeling. That’s not a good thing for me, and I quickly had to coax myself back off the ledge. Thinking about how to go about lowering my stress ...

Funerals and Community

Today was the Feast of All Saints. I slept a little late this morning, and went to Mass across town at St Linus (as I not infrequently do on Saturdays). I was surprised to see a Hearse in front of the church when I pulled up. It’s not unusual for the Saturday morning Mass at St Linus to be a funeral Mass, but with today being a Solemnity, I thought it was peculiar. But this funeral turned out to be quite different from the other Saturday morning funerals I’ve attended at St Linus. The difference? In this case, Msgr Giggi knew the deceased, ...

There’s Bozos and There’s Bozos

I have to begin this entry by confessing that, when I heard last week of George Carlin’s earthly demise, I reacted to the news with a feeling of subdued satisfaction and relief, one that was very similar to the feeling of watching the trash collectors drive away from the house after a weekend of cleaning. There was a mild sense of losing something familiar, but more a sense of being done with that which finally had to go. Now, I realize that was not at all a charitable reaction, nor do I offer any justification for it. I didn’t know George C...

Just Griping Over Liturgy…

Saint Augustine Church in Andover has gone onto a summer schedule. The weekday liturgies have all been moved out of the church and into a room in the new Ministry & Education Center they recently built across the parking lot from the church, one that might best be described as a cross between a foyer and a small seminar room. It features a rolling altar, which I’m guessing is usually stored behind a nearby collapsible, sliding false wall – like you see in hotel function rooms. At least there’s a small tabernacle built into the real...

One Foot Out the Door, the Other in the Mouth

I was rather taken aback by the explanations put forth by recently retired Saint Paul & Minneapolis Archbishop Harry J. Flynn, as conveyed in this article in last week’s Boston Pilot, as to why he was putting an end to the practice in his diocese of lay preachers delivering homilies during Mass. In the interest of full disclosure from the outset, I have no intention of agitating for permission for laity to preach during the Mass, and if I ever sink to suggesting that anyone somehow possess a “right” to such a role, please shoot me b...

Recovering from the Papal Mass

As evidenced by my last post, I tried very hard to get myself pumped up for yesterday’s occasion of attending the papal Mass at Yankee Stadium. The Mass was very nicely done, and it was wonderful to hear a stadium full of people thunder “Amen” and the other responses, but it was still a massive crowd attending an orchestrated “event,” and both these factors, unsurprisingly, wore on me greatly. I think it probably would have been an unmitigated pleasure for me had the organizers of the event chosen to focus solely on the pope...

Good Friday Intercessions

While listening to the general intercessions today during the Good Friday liturgy, I couldn’t help but think about all the hubbub that was raised recently when Pope Benedict made the Latin-rite Mass more widely available. I had some good, mentally stable, friends tell me that it was the beginning of the end of the Second Vatican Council reforms; that the priests would soon turn their backs – literally and figuratively – on the people (which I guess I’m supposed to think is self-evidently worse than priests turning their backs on t...

A Good Hymn is Hard to Find

The parish Lenten Mission began tonight, and I got to the church a minute or so late for the start. The congregation was singing the opening hymn – what it was I have blessedly forgotten, but it was one of those carnival tunes of fairly recent vintage that we used to sing fairly regularly, not too long ago. As I ducked into a pew near the back, I was met by the distinct aroma of moth balls. The presider was a retired bishop, who seemed to give a very thoughtful reflection (I had trouble hearing a lot of it), but the music we used all night was awfu...