New Divine Mercy Program DVD

Over the years, there have been some important videos produced about the Divine Mercy Message and Devotion. One recent video (March, 2007) that is quite well done is Tell All Soulsthe latest version of Tell All Souls About My Mercy. Older versions have been simply a recording of the live presentation of Dave and Joan Maroney, but this is actually a video, with numerous sources, that is based on the presentation.  It introduces the viewer to the life of St. Faustina and elements of the Divine Mercy devotion, along with some important passages from her Diary.

I strongly recommend this newest version of Tell All Souls About My Mercy, especially to people who don’t know much about the message and would like to learn more.  The Time for Mercy video is badly outdated, and this helps as an “update.”

In Washington, DC

The ol’ stomping grounds:  our Scholasticate.  I spent five years here… one as a postulant and four as a seminarian.  The place hasn’t changed all that much.  There are some furniture moves here and there, but overall, it’s as I remember it.

There is a new superior, however:  Fr. Mark Baron.  He’s just a bit older than me.  The word is that he’s doing well as a brand new superior.

Thrift Store LP find

The St. Vincent de Paul store in Wheeling, WV, has some rather unusual records for sale, for all of $.25 each.

My most unusual find is “Short Stories of O. Henry” read by Robert Donley. It’s a set of two 12″ LPs that run at 16 2/3 RPM. This was the first time I’ve ever run into LPs that play at this speed. I remember my dad’s record player had the speed as an option back in the 1970s, and by that time such records were already out of print. A quick check of Ebay shows them to be quite rare–maybe 8 or 9 sets for sale, and many of them 7″ records.

I looked at the set and thought for a moment. Although I don’t have that speed on my record player, I could play the records at 33 1/3 and transfer them into the computer. Then, I could reduce the speed by 50%. I did this with the free program Audacity, and it worked great!

It was an excellent $.50 investment.

Motu Proprio

I mentioned the importance of “careful wording” in the Motu Proprio in a prior entry, and now I see that Pope Benedict did indeed make careful distinctions. In fact, my previous references to the “Tridintine Rite” must be changed to the “1962 Missal” as an extraordinary form of the Roman Rite. I still see many saying “Tridintine Rite” in reporting on the Motu Proprio, but the Pope is saying that there is one Roman Rite with an ordinary form and an extraordinary form which can be celebrated now.

This does make sense. The Roman Rite is the Roman Rite, and there have been different forms of it down through the centuries. The idea of “two forms at once” seems unusual, but there are plenty of good reasons for it.  There are going to be some curious contrasts, such as the use of two different calendars at once, that will make for some interesting parish bulletins.

Overall, I see a brighter future for the Liturgy of the Roman Rite, both in the Novus Ordo in English (when will we get the new translation?) and Latin, and in the extraordinary form of the 1962 Missal.

Looking to the Past for the Future

I was recently reading a blog by a priest which said basically, “Don’t look to the past, but look to the future.”  He referred to the “Golden Years” of Catholic practice and expression from 1930-1965 and said basically we are fooling ourselves if we think they are coming back and we should not try to emulate them.

Having visited the Holy Land recently, I recognize that it is a wonderful thing to look to the past.  Celebrating Holy Mass in the grotto where the Annunciation took place is definitely looking to the past–to a very crucial event in salvation history.  Every memorial, feast, and solemnity looks to the past, and every Mass looks back to the Last Supper, the Crucifixion, and the Resurrection.  In fact, it does more than that–it makes these events truly present here and now.
Every time we celebrate the memorial of a saint, we look to the past–to the life of the saint.  We do so to remind ourselves of what they did–they gave their lives for God in obedient service to the Church and to their neighbors.

Indeed, the “golden years” are not coming back, but there are even now young saints that are living out the Gospel in their lives, and how are they doing it?  They are looking to the past for the future.

If we look too much to the recent past (1965-present), we will be like a record that keeps skipping back to the last 1/2 of a second.  How quickly we forget that 98% of the history of the Church is before 1965.  A 1/2 a second of music is quite monotonous, but to hear the entire piece can be quite pleasant, and to focus on those points where the infinite God enters into history is to focus on infinite variations of music.

So, we must focus on the past.  They tried not to 40 years ago.  The results are…

Abortion and Slavery

It is interesting to try to compare the problem of abortion with the problem of slavery.

If one does so, then one has to compare the “slaveowner” to the “unborn one.” I use “one” in order to get some common ground on a term here.

It is the “unborn one” that holds the woman in slavery. The question becomes, can she be freed from this “slaveowner”? As a matter of fact, both sides say “yes.” It is just a matter of timing.

For those who argue for “choice,” they are really arguing for “choice during pregnancy.” In this case, the “unborn one” can be done away with (“terminated”) at any time, but it must be prior to the end of pregnancy, at least from the perspective of many who take this side. Some will go farther, but they don’t have the law backing them… yet.

Those who argue for “life”, argue that a woman can put the “born one” (baby, now most would agree) up for adoption and thus be “free” of the “slaveowner,” but that the “slaveowner” has the right to life, so she has to agree to carry the “unborn one” to term.

In fact, taking the argument to its logical conclusion, anyone who has been a slaveowner can be done away with at any time. From the 19th century slaveowning time perspective, this is tempting, but not Christian. In fact, all of us were “slaveowners” of our mothers in the womb from this perspective, and thus, well, you get the point.

Alan Keyes can take over from here, and much more eloquently.