Why do YOU skip Mass? UPDATED

mystical-mass

Lisa Hendey posts on an interesting study on why Catholics skip mass. I've written over at First Things about a brother of mine who goes to Mass every day of the week, but never on a Sunday; the noise and the over-busyness of Sunday liturgies is beyond what his fragile nerves can endure, and rather than spend an hour being uncharitable, impatient or panicked, he just avoids mass on Sunday, and trusts that between God and his pastor, he'll get by with a stretch in Purgatory. On the rare … [Read more...]

The Battle of the Blessings: Just a Warm Up

Flowers Before His Majesty via Crescat2

Deacon Greg Kandra is an old-school newsman; his decades at CBS News has honed his ability to sniff out a story -- particularly a human-interest story sure to tug at the heart strings or impart a universal lesson -- that someone else (like me) would pass over with a sigh (if the story is sweet) or an eyeroll (if it is sour). The deacon hates confrontations; if he had his druthers, he'd live on a straight path between Disney World and Rome -- between innocence and glory -- and never mind the … [Read more...]

When Mass Rubs the Nerves Raw

CathPT_PosebyPose_1

My First Things piece this week confesses that I sometimes seek out a music-less mass at an early hour, just to escape the rambunctious irreverence that sometimes makes Sunday mass an opportunity to practice the virtue of patience...and endurance: Perhaps it is different where you worship, but in my parish—and I would count mine as one of the “quieter” and “more reverent” in our area—that sort of preparation is nearly impossible. The choir and musicians are noisily setting up, … [Read more...]

God is Not Done with You

Deacon Greg's homily for this weekend is especially good, and powerfully useful, I think: In the gospel, when the men who want to follow Jesus ask him where he is staying, he doesn’t give them a direct answer. “Come,” he says, “and you will see.” On one level, he’s inviting them to follow him.  But more importantly: he is also inviting them to see. To have their eyes opened.  The Lamb of God who will take away the sins of the world – and who will soon give sight to the … [Read more...]

“But you’re even nice to the dishwasher…”

switchblade

A Bronx mugger steps out of an idea, into wonder: Julio Diaz has a daily routine. Every night, the 31-year-old social worker ends his hour-long subway commute to the Bronx one stop early, just so he can eat at his favorite diner. But one night last month, as Diaz stepped off the No. 6 train and onto a nearly empty platform, his evening took an unexpected turn. He was walking toward the stairs when a teenage boy approached and pulled out a knife. "He wants my money, so I just gave him … [Read more...]

Reactions Found in Translation – UPDATED

pamphlet

So, the new English translation of the mass was introduced yesterday for, as the saying goes, better or worse. How did it go for you? As I suspected would be the case the ordinary folks in the pews saw all of this as much less dramatic and onerous than some seemed to want it to be; despite the hand-wringing and drama queening from some quarters (why assume that people are incapable of adapting and re-learning? We do it all the time!) it all went pretty smoothly at my parish, and everyone … [Read more...]

St Francis of Assisi and Authenticity – UPDATED

He's one of the biggies, so he gets a lot of coverage on his feastday. The Internets have been hopping and bopping on St. Francis all day. I've always thought of Francsicans as jolly folk; my cousin is a Capuchin, and he's a very joyful priest, and my Secular Franciscan friends are all joyful, too! For some fun and fantastic Franciscan lore check out Fr. James Martin at America, who celebrates the release of his latest book, Between Heaven and Mirth with some jolly stuff: This notion of the … [Read more...]

Pondering Today's Mass Readings

"The Workers in the Vineyard" by Kazakhstan Artist Nelly Bube The Gospel reading is one of my favorite of Jesus' parables, taken from Mt 20:1-16a:Jesus told his disciples this parable: "The kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out at dawn to hire laborers for his vineyard. After agreeing with them for the usual daily wage, he sent them into his vineyard. Going out about nine o'clock, the landowner saw others standing idle in the marketplace, and he said to them, 'You too go into my … [Read more...]

Deacon Greg and the Hooters Shirt – UPDATED

A few weeks ago, Deacon Greg Kandra wrote a column for Patheos, entitled No Flip-Flops in the King's House. Remember when people actually used to get dressed up to go to church? When people actually showed up early for mass? When the pew wasn't the preferred site for a family picnic? When did all this change? I must have missed the memo. Somewhere along the way, we went from neckties to tank tops, and from fasting to fast food. And it's getting worse. I recently had to tell a couple that no, … [Read more...]

UK Launches New English Translation

Via Our Lady and the English Martyrs Church and the BBC, we can listen to the liturgy here. "The Lord be with you." "And with your spirit." It seems to go off without a hitch. I was interested in hearing the confiteor. I do love hearing a (blessedly brief) homily -- and this one explains the importance of the changes, particularly that exchange highlighted above -- in such a lovely, clipped accent. Listening to the new translations has had a more powerful effect upon me than reading them has … [Read more...]


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