January 12, 2008

Special guests at the monastery

Sunday, 13 January A.D. 2008
The Feast of the Baptism of the Lord, Final Day of the Christmas Season


Since last Monday, thirteen of the bishops from U.S. Region IX— the states of Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska, and Kansas— have been on retreat here at my monastery. This is the last day of their retreat. Their retreatmaster, Fr. Raniero Cantalamessa, O.F.M.Cap., preacher to the pope and his household, has been preaching daily at our Mass, and he will preach for us this Sunday.

I have posted a homily I wrote several years ago for this feast.
Click HERE for it.

January 09, 2008

African saint turns Oregon death-row inmate's life upside down

[From Catholic News Service, January 7, 2008]


Portland, Oregon.
From a windowless cell at the Oregon State Penitentiary, a Catholic death-row inmate evangelizes across the world. A former white supremacist, Jeff Tiner is now inspired by a humble Sudanese saint. He resists publicity for himself, saying he wants only to spread far and wide the story of St. Josephine Bakhita. He uses most of this time and resources to support the Canossian Sisters, the religious community St. Bakhita joined more than a century ago. At one time, Tiner had other priorities. In 1993 in Springfield, Ore., according to court records, he shot a man and disposed of his body in a remote area of the Cascade Range. He had been in trouble with the law before and bore tattoos of a swastika and the words "White Pride." But, after reading about St. Bakhita's life, the condemned man felt hope. "I came to understand that I, too, could come back to life, spiritually," he wrote in a 2006 article for the Canossian Sisters' magazine. "I could be rescued from slavery to sin and find redemption and joy in the arms of Jesus and Mary." More information is available on the Web site www.sainteds.com, by clicking on "The Bakhita Project" in "featured pages."


January 08, 2008

On Sunday: several Christian places in Iraq suffered attacks

[From Zenit.org, January 8]


Cardinal Delly Considers Violence a Message to West


The auxiliary bishop of the Chaldean Archdiocese of Babylon reported seven terrorist attacks against places of Christian worship in Iraq on Sunday, resulting in two injuries.
Auxiliary Bishop Shlemon Warduni said the attacks were centered around Mosul and Baghdad.
In Mosul, the places damaged were the Chaldean Church of St. Paul, the monastery of the Dominican religious sisters, the orphanage of the Chaldean religious nuns, and the Chaldean Church of the Holy Spirit.
In Baghdad, Bishop Warduni reported that the attacks took place against the Greek-Orthodox Church of St. George of Saha Al Taharriyat, the Chaldean Church of Mar Ghrogihis in Ghadir, and the Chaldean Church of St. Paul in Zafaraniya, which is joined to a monastery of Chaldean religious sisters.
Cardinal Emmanuel III Delly, patriarch of Babylon of the Chaldeans, criticized the attacks "because places of worship are places of peace and tranquility; they are places of prayer."
"If people attack them, perhaps it is to send a message to the government: Still, there is no peace," he told Vatican Radio.
"They want to call the attention of the West and the others, because there have also been attacks against mosques and other places of worship, although no one spoke about them."
"Therefore, these acts have certainly been committed to draw the attention of the West, so it does not think the situation in Iraq has calmed down."
The patriarch concluded his appeal requesting prayers of all Christians of the world for his country.
"This is a duty for each one of you," he said, "to ask the Lord of Peace to give us peace. That is all. We can do nothing more."


Year, Decade, Century, Millennium

WHEN DID THE THIRD MILLENNIUM
OF OUR LORD BEGIN?



FIRST YEAR OF OUR LORD
A.D. 1

FIRST DECADE [10 years] OF OUR LORD
A.D. 1 through A.D. 10

FIRST CENTURY [100 years] OF OUR LORD
A.D. 1 through A.D. 100

FIRST MILLENNIUM [1,000 years] OF OUR LORD
A.D. 1 through A.D. 1000

SECOND MILLENNIUM OF OUR LORD
A.D. 1001 through A.D. 2000

THIRD MILLENNIUM OF OUR LORD
A.D. 2001 through A.D. 3000

So, the third millennium of our Lord did not begin with January 1 A.D. 2000.

Rather, the third millennium began with January 1 A.D. 2001.

Accordingly, the Vatican’s published official calendar had the following:

DECEMBER 31, 2000
ST. PETER’S BASILICA
PRAYER VIGIL FOR THE
PASSAGE TO THE NEW MILLENNIUM

The Vatican marked the passage from the second millennium of our Lord to the third on the night between December 31, A.D. 2000, and January 1, A.D. 2001.

Remember! In A.D. 1582 Pope GREGORY XIII promulgated in the version of the calendar— the GREGORIAN [Papal!] calendar— that the Western world has been using ever since. It must be admitted that no one knows the precise date of Christ’s birth. Nonetheless, the Gregorian calendar is an attempt to count the passage of time since his birth. It’s what we have. It’s what we use. Yes, it’s papal. Don’t like that? It’s simply history. Get over it!

The official and logical first day of the third millennium of our Lord was
THE FIRST OF JANUARY A.D. 2001.

You may recall that the news media, the entertainment industry, and practically everybody in the world celebrated the millennial passage on the night of December 31 A.D. 1999 to January 1 A.D. 2000. They were all wrong.

By the way, the correct placement of “B.C.” is AFTER the number of the year, while that of “A.D.” is BEFORE the number of the year.

Examples

613 B.C.
six hundred thirteen years BEFORE CHRIST

A.D. 2008
Anno Domini (“In the year of the Lord”) two thousand eight


Me Monk.
Me Persnickety.


January 07, 2008

CHARTER OF THE RIGHTS OF THE FAMILY

Presented by the Holy See to all
persons, institutions and authorities
concerned with the mission of
the family in today's world
October 22, 1983



This year will be the twenty-fifth anniversary of this Church document.
Click HERE for it.

Head of an Eastern Catholic Church that ordains married men to the priesthood says married men won't solve the vocations crisis in the Church

[From Catholic News Service, January 4, 2008]


Ukrainian cardinal says married men not answer to vocations crisis


Ordaining married men is not a guaranteed way to solve a vocations crisis, and it will not automatically improve the quality of priests, said Cardinal Lubomyr Husar of Kiev-Halych, head of the Ukrainian Catholic Church. "The quality of the priest does not depend on whether or not he is married," the cardinal said in a Jan. 4 interview with the Vatican newspaper. The cardinal, whose Eastern-rite church ordains married men, spoke to L'Osservatore Romano about the Ukrainian bishops' decision to proclaim 2008 "The Year of the Christian Vocation." "We are not limiting ourselves to vocations to religious life and the priesthood, but are focusing on the Christian concept of vocation," he said. "This is because we have seen a serious instability both in the family and in religious life." The rate of separation and divorce, as well as the rate of priests and religious asking to be released from their vows, has increased, the cardinal said.


January 06, 2008

The Solemnity of the Epiphany of Our Lord Jesus Christ

I have posted a homily for the occasion.
Click HERE for it.

Epiphany. Apocalypse. Revelation.

Epiphany
from Greek epiphainein
from
epi- ‘upon, near to, in addition’
+ phainein ‘to show’


Apocalypse
from Greek apokalupsis
from apokaluptein
from
apo- ‘from, away, quite, un-’
+ kaluptein ‘to cover’


Revelation
from Latin revelare
from
re- ‘back, again’ (expressing reversal)
+ velum ‘veil’


The Church commemorates three epiphanies on Epiphany...

... one epiphany to the PAGANS, the magi, in Bethelehem...

... a second epiphany to the JEWISH PEOPLE OF GOD at Christ’s baptism in the Jordan River...

... and a third epiphany to the first CHRISTIANS at the wedding feast in Cana.


The Church’s ancient hymn for Vespers (Evening Prayer) on Epiphany mentions all three epiphanies.
The Magi, following as guide
The star that goes before,
By light they seek the Light, and God
With mystic gifts adore.

The Lamb of heaven steps into
The limpid, cleansing flood,
By washing us he takes away
Our sins in bath of Blood.

A novel kind of force is seen:
The water blushes red,
And what the waiters pour from jars
Is luscious wine instead

Furthermore, just before and after praying the Canticle of the Blessed Virgin Mary at Vespers on Epiphany, the Church invokes again the same three epiphanies.
We keep holy this day adorned with three miracles:
today a star led the Wise Men to the manger;
today wine was made from water at the wedding feast;
today Christ chose to be baptized by John in the Jordan that he might save us,
alleluia.

After Epiphany the Church extends its celebration of the three epiphanies by observing the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord (usually on the Sunday after Epiphany) and, on the Sunday after that, the Gospel of the Cana Wedding Feast (formerly every year, but now only in Cycle A of the Sunday Readings).