Thursday, September 13th, 2012
13 September 2012
I composed this psalm for friends over twenty-seven years ago. I noticed the comment from a visitor asking about a musical setting of Psalm 33 for a wedding. I have an audio of my psalm setting here:
The Goodness of the Lord
Using this for a parishioner’s wedding last year gave me an opportunity to update with the Revised Grail text and adjust a musical awkward spot or two. I found the Grail text to be very conducive to a metrical music setting. At least this one. Eloise, or any others, if you want a copy of this setting, please contact me.
Note: Gratis permission is granted to Todd Flowerday to post to the Internet individual audio files of musical settings of the Revised Grail Psalms. These digital files may be distributed to, and downloaded by, the general public for use within their religious communities, provided no remuneration is exchanged for this use. Any composer wishing to sell his/her settings of the Revised Grail Psalms, whether at cost or for a profit, should contact GIA for permission. All other policies regarding copyright notice and other licensing stipulations must be observed; visit www.giamusic.com/RGP for more information.
13 September 2012
What is that Franciscan principle? Preach the Gospel–use words if necessary.
21. Above all the Gospel must be proclaimed by witness. Take a Christian or a handful of Christians who, in the midst of their own community, show their capacity for understanding and acceptance, their sharing of life and destiny with other people, their solidarity with the efforts of all for whatever is noble and good. Let us suppose that, in addition, they radiate in an altogether simple and unaffected way their faith in values that go beyond current values, and their hope in something that is not seen and that one would not dare to imagine. Through this wordless witness these Christians stir up irresistible questions in the hearts of those who see how they live: Why are they like this? Why do they live in this way? What or who is it that inspires them? Why are they in our midst? Such a witness is already a silent proclamation of the Good News and a very powerful and effective one. Here we have an initial act of evangelization. The above questions will ask, whether they are people to whom Christ has never been proclaimed, or baptized people who do not practice, or people who live as nominal Christians but according to principles that are in no way Christian, or people who are seeking, and not without suffering, something or someone whom they sense but cannot name. Other questions will arise, deeper and more demanding ones, questions evoked by this witness which involves presence, sharing, solidarity, and which is an essential element, and generally the first one, in evangelization.”[Cf. Tertullian Apologeticum, 39: CCL, I, PP. 150-153; Minucius Felix, Octavius 9 and 31: CSLP, Turin 1963, pp. 11-13, 47-48]
All Christians are called to this witness, and in this way they can be real evangelizers. We are thinking especially of the responsibility incumbent on immigrants in the country that receives them.
Consider those “baptized people who do not practice,” presumably the target of the “new evangelization.” Some of those believers were turned off by repulsive behavior within Christian communities. An antigospel witness, in other words. It’s a difficult burden for us who remain–some of us who may well have participated in such behavior. How do we correct and reform ourselves and then wait patiently for others to notice? Vatican II was an act of evangelical witness. We have undone much of that, sadly, by taking the path of the elder son.
Dissatisfaction with just living a Christian life is understandable. It is a witness that depends on patience and faith. Patience that we might well be in an era of planting seeds, not harvesting a bounty. And faith that God truly works through us in unexpected ways, and by methods that confound human logic. However, it is essential that Christian continue to witness, and also to be prepared for those who approach us with these questions.
My younger brother, alienated from the Church, once asked me why I stayed. And more–why I worked for it. I don’t know that my younger self was prepared to give an evangelical answer. I hope I would be for the next person who asks me. What about you? What is the reason for your hope? And is that hope evident in your life? And if not, how can you get there?
13 September 2012
Rod Dreher and a few on the Catholic Right are waxing outraged over this piece of the Fr Benedict Groeschel fallout: firing NCReg interviewer John Burger.
I’ve known a lot of colleagues in ministry get fired in far pettier circumstances. Often
orthodox conservative Catholics crow when someone they dislike loses a job. Deal Hudson was famous for engineering it. And getting cheered on about it. If this latest episode is poignant for some of my brother and sister believers, then good for them.
I’m more sympathetic to John Burger than you might expect. But still: I hesitate getting fully onboard Rod’s train on this one.
That Fr Groeschel interview was an in-house puff-piece. It was conceived, it seems, as a feel-good feature about a popular guy who worked for the same outfit as the interviewer/editor. It wasn’t serious journalism as portrayed by the Sally Field character getting grilled by her newsroom colleague here. NCReg and EWTN and their followers were supposed to all read it, and feel a little bit better about themselves. There’s nothing wrong with good news, mind you. Until it ran off the rails of good public relations and became a wedge among those on the Catholic Right, and an occasion of shock elsewhere. In that light, Mr Burger didn’t do his job. His mistake was that he didn’t seem to recognize when the interview morphed from a friendly chat into a minor blockbuster hitched to Jerry Sandusky and the disgraced Fr. Marcial Maciel Degollado.
Let’s say a food reporter visits a restaurant and sees a fly land in the soup. Maybe that’s news if the whole room is having an Amityville moment. Maybe not if a single wayward insect found its way onto the outdoor terrace. There’s a judgment to be made about what is essential to the story. With a feature that focuses on local restaurants as good places to eat, maybe the journalist just asks for another bowl, please, and reports on the blend of meat, veggies, and spices. The entomology not so much. Unless, of course, the newspaper is part of a conglomerate that owns a rival local restaurant chain. Then the whole story would be journalistic fodder. Maybe the same is true of NCReg and their handling of John Burger.
I’m usually not happy to hear of a person getting fired. A solid, experienced, qualified person is hard to replace, and involves its own costs: search committees, temporary work loads for colleagues, orienting a new employee. Not to mention moving vans, home sales, and change-of-address forms.
I’m sure the employees at the NCReg have gotten a message loud and clear: don’t screw up or you’re next. The only problem from a Christian viewpoint is that the message is to protect the organization at all costs. That doesn’t seem to be very different from the US bishops, the Legion of Christ, or Big Time College Football.
13 September 2012
Let’s wrap up the discussion on altars. First the US bishops advise a careful balance between visibility and perceived remoteness:
§ 59 § During the Liturgy of the Eucharist, the altar must be visible from all parts of the church but not so elevated that it causes visual or symbolic division from the liturgical assembly. Methods of elevation can be found that still allow access to the altar by ministers who need wheelchairs or who have other disabilities.
And this discussion on saints’ relics we alreayd had when looking at the dedication rites.
§ 60 § In the Church’s history and tradition, the altar was often placed over the tombs of the saints or the relics of saints were deposited beneath the altar. The presence of relics of saints in the altar provides a witness to the Church’s belief that the Eucharist celebrated on the altar is the source of the grace that won sanctity for the saints.(Cf. RDCA IV, 5) The custom of placing small relics of martyrs or other saints in an altar stone and setting this in the mensa has changed since the Second Vatican Council. Relics of martyrs or other saints may be placed beneath the altar, as long as the relics are of a size sufficient for them to be recognizable as parts of a human body and that they are of undoubted authenticity. Relics are no longer placed on the altar or set into the mensa in an altar stone.(Cf. RDCA IV, 11c)
All texts from Built of Living Stones are copyright © 2000, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Inc. All rights reserved. Used with permission.
13 September 2012
Posted by catholicsensibility under Politics Leave a Comment
I see some of my Facebook and
orthodox conservative Catholic friends are waxing I-told-you-so on “top director” Nick Cassavetes’ suggestion that incest is okay. It’s all the fault, so we are told, of the gay marriage movement. And it was all entirely predictable.
The comments come after he unveiled his latest movie “Yellow” – in which a woman had an incestuous affair with her brother that is in prison – at the Toronto Film Festival. The movie does not yet have a distributor in the states.
A guy who has directed seven films in sixteen years is not a “top” Hollywood director. He seems closer to being the Joe Shlabotnik of Tinseltown. And wonder of wonders–he has a movie made about incest.
So let’s review. A guy who wants to get his film shown in US movie theatres makes an outlandish statement or two about sex between consenting adults. The dude seems to want attention. In a capitalistic, wanna-make-money way. So the Catholic Right complies with the request, and the publicist earns a paycheck for the week.
I’d say Mr Cassavetes has more in common with Jerry Springer or Howard Stern than same-sex couples. Looks like simple exploitative, opportunistic entrepreneurship to me–the kind of stuff that political candidates favored by the
orthodox conservative are lining up with this cycle.