Merciful To All

cropped-cs-holy-week-header.jpgFrom the Wisdom of Solomon:

For it is always in your power to show great strength,
and who can withstand the might of your arm?
Because the whole world before you is like a speck that tips the scales,
and like a drop of morning dew that falls on the ground.
But you are merciful to all, for you can do all things,
and you overlook people’s sins, so that they may repent.
For you love all things that exist,
and detest none of the things that you have made,
for you would not have made anything if you had hated it.
How would anything have endured if you had not willed it?
Or how would anything not called forth by you have been preserved?
You spare all things, for they are yours, O Lord, you who love the living. (11:21-26)

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Facebook Is The New Chocolate

chocolateChecking my fb feed this morning and lots of friends are planning to run silent the next several weeks. I used to refrain from reading and commenting, but this blog has always been running daily, mostly.

Laudato Si’ will return tomorrow and wrap on Sunday, but I think you’ll continue to see almost daily postings here for a few more weeks. Perhaps I can say I’ll be giving up giving up blogging for Lent.

I hope to take a few prelude days before the Big Forty to discern my options. Any good ones in your corner this year?

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Joel Ushers In Lent

lent-header1.jpgThe Liturgy Commission got a few choices from me for Lenten entrance music. They chose the plea from Joel (not Billy):

Parce, Domine, parce populo tuo: ne in aeternum irascaris nobis.

The great prelude begins tomorrow: before Lent’s first Sunday we have four days to get things realigned spiritually for the Forty Days ahead.

In my new parish, one of my multi-instrumentalists asked about retiring his mandolin for the season. I suggested not; we can adjust our accompaniment as needed. Trumpet, perhaps I could see a fast from that. But only perhaps.

Any good Lenten musical practices this year for you commentators?

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Laudato Si 240: Relationships in Creation

Earth from Apollo 8The encyclical letter Laudato Si is available here on the Vatican website. Human growth and maturity makes possible the adoption of relationships that manifest something of God’s relationships. One of these adoptions is consideration for the environment.

240. The divine Persons are subsistent relations, and the world, created according to the divine model, is a web of relationships. Creatures tend towards God, and in turn it is proper to every living being to tend towards other things, so that throughout the universe we can find any number of constant and secretly interwoven relationships.[Cf. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologiae, I, q. 11, art. 3; q. 21, art. 1, ad 3; q. 47, art. 3] This leads us not only to marvel at the manifold connections existing among creatures, but also to discover a key to our own fulfilment. The human person grows more, matures more and is sanctified more to the extent that he or she enters into relationships, going out from themselves to live in communion with God, with others and with all creatures. In this way, they make their own that trinitarian dynamism which God imprinted in them when they were created. Everything is interconnected, and this invites us to develop a spirituality of that global solidarity which flows from the mystery of the Trinity.

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Laudato Si 239: Reading the Trinity in Creation

Earth from Apollo 8The encyclical letter Laudato Si is available here on the Vatican website.

239. For Christians, believing in one God who is trinitarian communion suggests that the Trinity has left its mark on all creation. Saint Bonaventure went so far as to say that human beings, before sin, were able to see how each creature “testifies that God is three”. The reflection of the Trinity was there to be recognized in nature “when that book was open to man and our eyes had not yet become darkened”.[Quaest. Disp. de Myst. Trinitatis, 1, 2 concl.] The Franciscan saint teaches us that each creature bears in itself a specifically Trinitarian structure, so real that it could be readily contemplated if only the human gaze were not so partial, dark and fragile. In this way, he points out to us the challenge of trying to read reality in a Trinitarian key.

Bonaventure is one of our doctors. I had never been exposed to this notion before, that the human fall has clouded our sight from seeing more deeply this reality of God. Seeing does not equate to a full understanding, however.

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Our parish’s deacon preached this weekend. He pointed out the three instances of unworthiness as expressed in the readings, but he didn’t make it the centerpiece of his homily. Did you catch them in your celebration of the Word?


For I am a man of unclean lips,
living among a people of unclean lips …


For I am the least of the apostles,
not fit to be called an apostle …


Depart from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man.

But I wonder: does a sense of unworthiness help shackle Christians to a limp and ineffective ministry? In light of a bleak near-future in Chicago lamented on this thread at PrayTell, do you think our struggle with worthiness hampers a greater effectiveness? This, especially when the situation of the modern world clearly points to solutions outside the box, if not beyond continuity with the past.

Sometimes, Christians wear their humility as a badge of pride. It can also be a ready weapon, to be wielded when someone else is in disagreement. (Who thinks you’re worthy to preach to me/them/priests/Pope Francis?)

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Laudato Si 238: Trinity

Earth from Apollo 8The encyclical letter Laudato Si is available here on the Vatican website. When Pope Francis discusses the Trinity, don’t think deep and inscrutable theology, but think “relationship.” Sections 238-240 come under the heading of “The Trinity and the Relationship between Creatures.” Let’s read:

238. The Father is the ultimate source of everything, the loving and self-communicating foundation of all that exists. The Son, his reflection, through whom all things were created, united himself to this earth when he was formed in the womb of Mary. The Spirit, infinite bond of love, is intimately present at the very heart of the universe, inspiring and bringing new pathways. The world was created by the three Persons acting as a single divine principle, but each one of them performed this common work in accordance with his own personal property. Consequently, “when we contemplate with wonder the universe in all its grandeur and beauty, we must praise the whole Trinity”.[John Paul II, Catechesis (2 August 2000), 4: Insegnamenti 23/2 (2000), 112]

Not three gods, but three persons, each with an aspect of being and doing among us.

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