It doesn’t matter what type of liturgy that you go to because the result is still the same.
You could go to a liturgy that is said in elegant Latin with a full choir of saintly dressed nuns in the coolest blackest habits singing the most beautiful articulated Gregorian Chant ever heard this side of heaven.
Or you could go to a Life Teen Mass with a band of youths and a congregation that couldn’t hit a correct note if St. Cecilia was the music director herself.
Whether you have 100 scented candles burning a light so bright you must wear shades or a few boring candles giving a slight glimmering flicker, the light of the Holy Spirit is there to transform the bread and wine into
The Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ.
Angles can scarcely take in all this super advanced Christology with their perfect intelligent minds let alone us dumb mortals with our limited brain power and corrupted sinful nature. But God identifies with our sinful nature without having the sin part of the nature. WOW.
But that is why we come to liturgy to eat and consume the incarnate word of God transformed into the Eucharist. When were not eating Him, we can come and adore Him in adoration. We can take that love poured out into our souls and distribute it among our neighbors and enemies as we are commanded to love both, probably cause they’re generally the same people. In the midst of all this love we pour out onto others, let us not forget to love ourselves as Jesus commanded. So we do so. If we don’t love ourselves how can we give that love to others. Were also made in the image and likeness of God.
When we love others and ourselves, we love life. That is why we as Catholics are Pro-Life. We love the unseen person knitted together in secret with fear and trembling in their mother’s womb. But we must be consistent in our pro-life approach and love and care for all of life starting in the womb and ending in natural death. We must look after the mother as she is the one doing all the physical work to bring the child into the world. She is also there through all nine months of pregnancy.
Postpartum bodies need healing and help. Sick bodies in general need healing and help. During this turbulent time of coronavirus, we must help others to survive this ordeal. We must help others to survive by basic common sense such as wearing masks and social dissenting . We must help stop the war that rages in our city streets due to racism and prejudice. Sometimes Christians hurt and kill other Christians.
We consume the Eucharist Love so that we can bring that Love to our world and be a witness to life in all its stages. One particular way of letting others know of this gift and mission is through the stories and writings we produce as Catholics.
Our storytelling unlocks the mysteries of liturgy into a tangible reality that we can more easily comprehend. Our personal stories and beliefs even shine in the essays and blog posts we write as Catholics. This is true of all Catholic writers both good and bad. And in this particular instant, the world of Patheos Catholic.
Below are some of our writers who have published a blog post in 2020.
The Church uses candles in many ways to represent Jesus, the Light of the World. Our scripture study group begins with lighting a blessed candle and placing it in the center of the room for all to see. It helps us to become centered and focused on the scripture passage, which is read aloud and discussed. It seems only appropriate that when the Word of God is read aloud, there should be the light of a candle present to accompany it. Catholics visit churches to light a candle and offer a prayer of petition for a sick friend or relative or to receive financial blessings, employment, or some other favor. We light the Paschal candle at Easter, Advent candles, and the all-important red tabernacle lamp, which is present indicating that Christ is truly present within the church.
Tina Mayeux Being Salt and Light for the Kingdom (February 4, 2020) The Way of the Wildflowers @ Patheos Catholic
First Post: 3/19 – Last Post: 2/4/20
It’s a safe bet that Satan could not possibly have imagined the consequences of wounding humankind’s primordial innocence, particularly that God would choose to identify with our fallen nature, rather than with the order of the angels to which Satan belonged. He could not possibly have foreseen “things more wonderful” such as the Incarnation; the Nativity; and the Redeemer rising from the dead after allowing his own creatures to brutally torture him to death, healing the ancient rift caused by the “truly necessary sin of Adam.”
Sean P. Dailey Mine instrument’ (December 7, 2018) Chaos and Old Night @ Patheos Catholic
Chaos and Old Night by Sean P. Dailey
First Post: 5/18 Last Post: 2/23/20
Book: (Introduction)(2009) The Ball and the Cross (1909)by G.K. Chesterton
(I used to attend a charismatic prayer group at St. Anthony’s Shrine in Boston with Dr. J David Franks and his wife, back in the 90’s.)
The charismatic style of prayer and worship is not for everyone; the Holy Spirit works through an infinite variety of characters and charisms. In the Eucharist, Jesus is as powerfully present to the reserved nun bowed in prayer, or the father stoically wrangling a toddler, as He is to the worshipers who lift their hands in ecstatic praise. Sadly, few realize this, so few receive His Presence frequently in faith and awe and openness to its burning transformative potential. But Jesus thirsts infinitely to pour out his True Blood into our hearts, until someday we will become like Him, and be able to behold His Presence, not as an oppressive weight, but face to face.
ACCIDENTAL MYSTIC The Real Presence of Jesus (June 3, 2018) Beyond All Telling @ Patheos Catholic
When the email circulated that there would be a traditional Latin Mass at our parish for the Feast of the Assumption on August 15, I immediately and foolishly wrote back that I wanted to be in the Schola Cantorum, the chant choir.
I’d read somewhere that chant comes so naturally, anyone can do it. But the Mass of the Assumption is a High Mass, with propers and antiphons trotted out only on the Marian feast days, some of them so complicated on the first listen that I laughed out loud. I was in way over my head.
When I showed up for the first practice, I did not find monks or choir nuns with years of experience. I found two other women, a Sony Megabass jambox, and a CD from the monks of Solesmes, one of the best chant choirs in the world. This is actually how it’s been done for centuries—not by CD, but viva voce, following the example of another’s voice, chants acquired by immersion, by many years of ex perience in a Schola Cantorum. We had exactly three weeks.
We practiced as often as we could, working around my infant’s erratic schedule, the other ladies driving well out of their way to accommodate me. I’d rush through dinner, hurriedly nurse the baby down, grab my rumpled and coffee-stained music and drive to the church, listening to the CD in the car.
Jessica Mesman Griffith I took a crash course in Gregorian chant. Literally. (September 21, 2016) Sick Pilgrim @ Patheos Catholic
Jesus is the music of eternity, and the liturgy is the place where the Church comes together to dance to the rhythms of his grace. The liturgy is a participation in the life of heaven for it is a participation in Christ.
If one were to accept my thesis that the liturgy is the place where the church dances to the melody of Jesus Christ himself, then it opens up a whole new set of lenses through which the history of the liturgy can be seen. Each development is a natural evolution of the dance as it encounters new cultures, places, and times, which bring with them their own dance steps. The melody is deepened, the dance becomes a improvisatory promenade of peculiar people from poles apart. In the liturgy we join hands with Christians from fourth century Jerusalem, ninth century Rome, thirteenth century Bavaria, and twenty-first century Colombia, each place and time helping to form, and reform, the dance with their own particular genius and style. The music is a form of call and response. God calls us in the person of Christ, and the Church responds my embodying Christ in their own time and culture throughout history. No matter who you were, within the life of the church, one could find people who danced with Jesus in your language and culture.
Billy Kangas In the liturgy, the the music of heaven has already begun (November 20, 2013) The Orant @ Patheos Catholic
First Post: 11/07 – Last Post: 4/10/20
Book: How the First Christians Changed Dying– (November 1, 2012) by William E Kangas
Loving Our Enemies
Over the past couple of weeks, there’s been an unusual amount of drama in my particular corner of the social media world and it’s got me thinking about the problem of loving one’s enemies.
Christ clearly commands us to do this. He doesn’t say that we have to be friends with everyone, but He does say that we have to love everyone. He models this Himself in a truly astonishing way, praying for the guys who are literally driving nails through His hands. Not only does He forgive these men, but He prays that God will forgive them “for they know not what they do.”
One of the difficulties, of course, is that we don’t have the ability to read hearts. We have no idea whether the people who hurt us know exactly what they’re doing, or whether they are completely clueless. This is especially true when the folks who hurt us are strangers. With a close friend or relative, I can pretty easily step outside of myself and see why they are behaving in a way that causes me pain. But with a stranger? I have no idea.
Melinda Selmys Love Your Ideological Enemies (APRIL 21, 2018) Catholic Authenticity @ Patheos Catholic
Loving Our Self
As a mental health advocate and a Catholic christian who suffers from General Anxiety Disorder (GAD), I believe that this example can be a very powerful tool for understanding that there is no room for worry nor negative self talk and low self esteem when it comes to the unconditional love God has for us in the hear and now.
God wants us to have compassion for ourselves as he has compassion and mercy for us; I believe he wants us to apply the Good Samaritan model to our lives and those exact moments our inner critics try to sneak in some very hurtful low blows to our morale.
Adam Paterno The Importance of Self Compassion; Making the Good Samaritan Story Work for Your life (November 23, 2019) On the Upside @ Patheos Catholic
First Post: 10/19 – Last Post: 2/16/20
Loving Our Neighbor
Our brothers and sisters are hungry, tired, overworked, commodified, drugged, abused, exploited, thirsty, naked, unwelcome, homeless, violated, killed. To evangelize requires that we honor and exalt the dignity of our neighbor. Let us come to satisfy every need – spiritual and material.
Keith Michael Estrada Our Lady of Guadalupe (December 11, 2017) Proper Nomenclature @ Patheos Catholic
First Post: 12/15 – Last Post: 3/18/20
Postpartum bodies don’t just snap back immediately after giving birth. Pregnancy changes our bodies in some dramatic ways. It takes time to heal from the intense, and painful, experience of giving birth.
For a mother, giving birth isn’t the end of the pregnancy. The recovery time takes at least 6 weeks, while many women require much more time for their bodies to fully heal, especially if they’ve experienced complications. Pregnancy isn’t just a nine-month commitment like we think. A mother spends almost an entire year either growing a human being inside of her or healing from that experience.
Kristy Burmeister Sacred Forms: The Postpartum Body (December 13, 2019) Way Station in the Wilderness @ Patheos Catholic
As a pro-lifer myself, I passionately believe that we need to defend the unborn, but let’s not stop there: let’s also defend and support the mother, the poor, the minority, the bullied, the immigrant, the refugee, the religious persecuted around the globe, the death-row inmate, and everyone else suffering from injustice and inequality in our country and in our world.
JOEL DE LOERA BY Pro-Lifers: Let’s Get Consistent! (MARCH 6, 2019) Among Thorns, Eucharist and Pizza @ Patheos Catholic
First Post: 2/19 Last Post: 4/4/20
Mercy and justice, unfathomable and one of us, omnipotent and nailed to a cross, the natural world and the transcendent, are hard to grasp, apparent contradictions. But what if we’re not enslaved by the laws of nature or a rigid lawgiver? What if we have the freedom to make choices that have temporal and eternal consequences?
A fantastic story we hear, a novel we’ll never forget, a bolt from the blue while we’re walking, helping us to unlock truth. Storytelling can pry this vise open. Stories that depict radical mercy, servant leadership, what friendship entails, the persistent and often painful call to “conversion”, hope that surpasses mere optimism or disposition, the insidiousness and ravages of evil. Showing us—not telling us through the lips of sock puppet characters—how these things vitalize or destroy human lives.
Guest Contributor How Stories Unlock The Truth (October 13, 2016) The Font Where Many Catholics Dip @ Patheos Catholic
First Post: 9/14 Last Post: Current
We’ve been through this before, you know, thanks to all the apocalyptic literature. A Canticle for Leibowitz (1959) has the Catholic Church again collecting books, copying texts, and preserving knowledge for thousands of years following a full world nuclear exchange. One Second After (2009) reduces U.S. population in successive 90-day die-offs from 300 hundred million to 30 million following an electromagnetic pulse assault.
Being an insulin-dependent diabetic my own survival beyond the first 90-day die-off is unlikely, but I know how to make “survivalist insulin.” All I need is a pig and its pancreas, five c.c. of concentrated sulfuric acid and, oh, an anatomy book to show me exactly what a pancreas might in fact look like. But a centrifuge, electricity to run it, a gun to protect it, and a supply of pigs and I am good to go.
Russell E. Saltzman Let ’em find doomsday on their own (February 7, 2020) The Vatican II Lutheran @ Patheos Catholic
First Post: 1/ 19 Last Post: 2/28/20
Sitting there in the darkened theater, seeing for the first time the Tommies and Fritzes in the full flower of youth, I couldn’t help but reflect that nearly everyone on the screen – both German and British – was a baptized Christian, as were the princes and politicians that created such hellscapes. This was brought home in what for me is the most sickening footage, a scene where bodies are being lowered into improvised graves while an Anglican priest commits them to the ground, “in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” No doubt the same prayers of committal were being offered on the other side of No Man’s Land, just past the wire and the mines. I was struck by the obscenity of it all: putative disciples of Christ killing their baptized brothers, and being killed by them. “This is no place for Christians,” I said again and again in my mind. But sadly, in Leonard Cohen’s words, “the blizzard of the world has crossed the threshold and has overcome the order of the soul.” That is truer nowhere than on the battlefield, where the ontological mark of Christian baptism is the first casualty.
Book: Forty Days, Forty Graces: Essays by a Grateful Pilgrim
Vox Nova by various
First Post: 5/07 – Current