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Archive for September, 2007

Someone (a non-Catholic) asked me this question recently. I was a little startled because the question I would want to know is “Why would anyone NOT want to take their kids to a Latin Mass?” I quickly forget how different my perspective is from many of the folks in my life. In fact, I was so startled, that the best response I had at the moment was about the beauty of the Latin language and the desire to expose our kids to beautiful things. While that’s true, my answer just wasn’t enough….for me at least. 😉

This afternoon, the Runningkids and I did a rare thing. We sat in front of the television together. Every Wednesday, you can watch the Papal Audience on EWTN and see the Pope greet, exhort, pray for and pray with the masses of folks who are on pilgrimage to Rome. Each visiting group is recognized by their country and city of origin. in today’s crowd were folks from England, Ireland, New Zealand, Thailand, Canada, and the U.S. The U.S. contention included a group from our parish so we were looking for familiar faces…..and we saw them! After greeting his audience and giving them some words of encouragement, the Holy Father began to pray the Lord’s Prayer. In Latin. And ALL in the crowd joined in. All the English. All the Irish. All the Thai. All the French Canadians. All prayed together with one voice. In Latin.

There’s more that could be said about the use of Latin in the Mass, but for now, I’m thankful to have been able to pray today with those pilgrims who came from all parts of the world.

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I live in a beautiful portion of the Eastern United States, not far from the homes of some very noteable, past presidents of our country. How do I know those men actually lived in those impressive estates or if those are just tales contrived to bring tourist dollars into the area? Fortunately, many details (good, bad, and ugly) of these mens’ lives are recorded for antiquity in their letters and journals. Although I can’t personally vouch for the authenticity of these documents, the proponderance of evidence offered by historians seems to validate that these men did indeed take up residence on these historic farms.

The question of how to determine truth fluttered in and out of my mind for years….sometimes plaguing me but usually getting pushed aside. I just couldn’t understand, with all the differing ideas within christianity about baptism, how we’re saved, how we’re to worship, etc., that anyone could really know….really, REALLY know the truth. Eighteen months ago, I was again wrestling with this question as I was meditating on John 17. It was almost as if I was reading these verses for the first time.

“I do not pray for these only, but also for those who believe in me through their word, that they may all be one, even as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. The glory which you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you have sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.”

Our oneness needs to be visible to the world that they “may believe”. Our oneness should reflect the oneness of God the Father and God the Son. The Father and the Son never bickered or disagreed about anything. This felt like a major newsflash to me. I was dumbfounded. I really had read these verses before but this time was different. It was almost as if I was reading them for the first time. That was the first time I began to feel challenged that all the various denominations and divisions among Christians were not what God intended. For this oneness to exist, truth must be discernable, visible and complete, not vague or contradicting.

Jesus says He is “the way, the truth, and the life”(Jn 14:6) and that “the truth will make you free” (Jn 8:33). To be set free, we must know the truth. But how?

For most of my christian life, I had prayed that the Holy Spirit would guide me into truth whenever I meditated on the Scriptures. Yet how did I make sense of things when “my truth” contradicted “your truth”? Even the most knowledgeable and godly scripture scholars dispute one another. Peter even acknowledges this when he says that some things are “hard to understand” (2 Pt. 3:16). But God wouldn’t put such a high priority on truth and yet make it unattainable.

“….but I am writing these instructions to you so that……you may know how to behave in the household of God, which is the Church of the living, the pillar and bulwark of the truth.” (1Tim. 3:16)

I had found my answer. The Church was the preserver of truth. Now, if I could just determine which church…..

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Sorry for the long silence around here.  I don’t like to post anything I haven’t thoroughly put my mind into….and my mind, by necessity, has been elsewhere these days.  I hope to have some more thoughts up soon.

I’m linking something I read today that was really thought provoking for me.  I’m not sure if I agree with all of the authors assertions, but the post, and the many comments that follow are worth mulling over.

HT:  Standing on My Head

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