Those of you who celebrated Morning Lauds this morning sang or chanted the 42nd Psalm as the first chant, a psalm which has opening words in verses one and two that may be familiar to many Catholics, and certainly set me in a Holy Week mindset. The Grail translation, which is generally what is used in the English-speaking world for the psalter in the Liturgy of the Hours, renders Psalm 42:1-2 in this way:
Like the deer that yearns for running streams, so my soul is yearning for you, my God.
My soul is thirsting for God, the God of my life; when can I enter and see the face of God? [click to continue reading…]
I have a special place in my heart for those who are home-bound. Part of the reason for this, of course, is that I have a disability myself and I don’t drive, so I can identify on a very personal level with many of those who are confined to their home. I am fortunate to have a wife and many friends from our parish, diaconate formation, and local community who are kind to make sure that I don’t stay confined and that I remain active in church and community affairs. In addition, I am still quite physically capable of going places nearby, and I do so. However, lots of disabled people, especially older people with disabilities aren’t so fortunate. One of the things many of them miss the most is the ability to be active in church. For Catholics who might be in this situation, many of them may miss the ability to participate fully in Holy Week. [click to continue reading…]
We hear much talk, and rightly so, of the idea of the need to evangelize, and of the “New Evangelization,” the need to re-evangelize in many cases. In our part of the United States, evangelization can also mean reaching out with the right kind of spirit to many of our evangelical Protestant brothers and sisters. This doesn’t mean that we should engage in foolhardy tit for tats, because no one “wins” in that way, it only creates adversaries. Instead, Catholics need to know how to respond to the well-meaning questions that many of them will get. Chief among these questions are variations on “why do Catholics believe things/do things that aren’t in the Bible.” The first thing that has to be understood is that when people ask this question, many of them subscribe to a kind of Christianity or Christian experience that says that the Bible alone is their sole rule of faith and practice. This is called sola scriptura, and it has its roots in the Protestant Reformation. One place you won’t find this doctrine articulated is…in the Bible. It isn’t in there because if the apostles of the Lord and the early Fathers of the Church who either wrote or compiled the New Testament as we have it had held to a standard of sola scriptura, we wouldn’t have a New Testament at all. [click to continue reading…]