- Brief homily from former Green Beret, Football All-Star, and Millionarie turned Priest ("Helpful Hints of Life")
- Pope Approves New Constitution for Synod of Bishops (Diocesan News and BEYOND)
- THIRD COMMANDMENT: QandA on Third Commandment at end of e-mail
Receiving the Gospel, Serving God and Neighbor
Family Traditions and Church Liturgy
"You shall observe this rite as a perpetual ordinance for you and your children." Exodus 12:24
Almost all of us have set patterns or rituals we go through each day or each year. We may not realize it, but this is very similar to Liturgy, what we do every Sunday as Roman Catholics.
Many families have taken their summer vacations as they do every year. I met a priest friend of mine, and he said he was getting a late start, but said that he wanted to do his spring cleaning like he does every year. Whether we admit or not, like or not, we are creatures of habit and ritual, it is our nature, the way God designed us. So Holy Mass every Sunday, further than being obligatory, is natural for us. However, unlike family tradition or daily ritual which only accomplishes something for the day or time. Holy Mass gives us what we need for a day and life, and further Holy Mass takes us to Calvary and the Last Supper, gives us Jesus fully since It is Him, and unites us to Heaven and all who love God.
Keep your good family traditions and rituals, and strive to understand more the critical and natural liturgy of your life in THEE Liturgy of the Heaven and Earth which we call the Holy Mass!
Peace and prayers in Jesus through Mary, loved by Saint Joseph,
P.S. This coming Sunday is Twenty-Fifth Sunday of Ordinary Time. >>> Readings
The wicked say: Let us beset the just one, because he is obnoxious to us; he sets himself against our doings, reproaches us for transgressions of the law
(Latin liturgia "public work", Greek leitourgía "public service, public duty")
- official public worship of the Church
[In Christian tradition it means the participation of the People of God in "the work of God." –CCC 1069 In Scripture it refers to the religious duties to be performed by priests and levites in the Temple, especially those related to the Sacrifice; in Christian use among the Eastern Churches it means the Eucharistic Sacrifice.
In present day usage liturgy is the official public worship of the Church and is thus distinguished from private devotion. It is the special title of the Eucharist, and the administration of the sacraments with the annexed use of the sacramentals. Its function, therefore, is twofold: to give honor and praise to God, which is worship and our salvation, and to obtain blessings for the human race, which is sanctification.]
I have been celebrating Mass at a local parish while the pastor is away the past few weeks. Many of the readings during that time concerned the prophets and their message and trials. I was moved to reflect once again on the prophetic dimension of our Baptism in Christ-Priest, Prophet and King. Several decades ago, the great Archbishop Fulton Sheen said, "The prophetic voice of Christ has all but been stilled in the Church today." To the degree we fail in this prophetic mission, the world will sink into oblivion under the increasing weight of its sins.
In my lifetime, the United States has gone from quite a wholesome, rational, and moral country, to one that is largely decadent, irrational, and immoral. Most people seem to be hardened to it, unconcerned that we have a death wish in process.
First it was artificial contraception, then abortion, then partial-birth abortion, then infanticide (all of which have been supported by many liberal politicians at one time or another, even some running for president) not to mention euthanasia, and outright killing of the disabled and sick. Actually, it's even worse. Terri Schiavo wasn't sick. She didn't die from an illness. They killed her by starvation, a very cruel way to die.
Now it's same sex marriage (no transmission of life, no fruit of natural love) and we call it inclusive and just. It is yet another nail in the coffin of a society that is clearly dying. Every stage of life is under assault by the forces of death. From prevention of life through artificial contraception, to abortion-which is homicide by definition in each case (the taking of the life of an innocent human being), and genocide taken as a whole. Preventing life, ending life from the youngest to the oldest. We call it progress. It is a death wish, and we had better watch what we wish for. (for the end of a culture of death is death for all!)
"All that evil requires to prosper is that good men remain silent."
The hour is late. We have had years to change course. Instead, we have obstinately refused and gone from bad to worse. May God have mercy on us, and grant us the courage and strength to act in accordance with that truth.
God bless you,
Fr. John Corapi
"The liturgy is the work of the whole Christ, head and body. Our high priest celebrates it unceasingly in the heavenly liturgy, with the holy Mother of God, the apostles, all the saints, and the multitude of those who have already entered the kingdom."
-Catechism of the Catholic Church #1187
Saint Michael Media – Overcoming the Darkness
Saint Michael's Media is a lay Catholic apostolate located in the Detroit area. They are dedicated to the New Evangelization and spreading the truth of the Catholic faith via the medium of television, radio, the internet and other forms of modern mass media.
ASK AND HAVE ACTIVE PARISHIONERS ASK OTHERS TO JOIN MINISTRIES OR ACTIVITIES
There is a lot of talent in parish, but some people do not know what they can offer, or may have never thought about doing certain ministries or activities. But simply asking or showing faith in certain persons can move them to become active.
When people are asked and someone feels they can contribute it can engage them and make them feel engaged at the parish making them more connected. It can also increase the amount of people involved in certain things in the parish which help in countless ways.
Look around at Mass for those who attend regularly or ask persons who currently assist in ministries if they know other persons they think might be blessed and bless the ministry. Then prayerfully discern and loving ask and invite.
Diocesan News AND BEYOND
Episcopalis Communio, promulgated by the pope on Sept. 15, establishes that the final document of a synod assembly, drafted and approved by a special commission, can to be considered part of the ordinary magisterium – that is, the official teaching of the Church – if it receives a particular level of papal approval.
The constitution does not require the publication of a post-synodal papal document to make its conclusions authoritative, though these have traditionally followed synodal sessions.
The most recent synod, which was held on the theme of the family, was followed by the 2015 post-synodal apostolic exhortation Amoris laetitia.
Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri, General Secretary of the Synod of Bishops, presented the new constitution on Sept. 18.
Baldisseri told journalists Tuesday that the pope may wish to publish a document of his own following October’s synod on young people, but that the new norms allow him to forego it in favor of adopting the synod’s final document as his own.
Should Francis decide to adopt the final synodal document, it would be published with his signature and those of the members of the synod.
The norms provide for a process similar to that followed during the 2015 synod on the family – by which a commission creates the final synodal document, before it is put before the members of the synod for a vote.
This commission is composed of the relator general and general secretary of the particular session of the synod, the secretary general of the synod’s permanent secretariat - currently Cardinal Baldisseri - and other members elected by the synod itself. To these, the pope may also add his own personal appointees
Regarding how the final document is to be approved by the membership, Episcopalis Communiorefers back to the current “particular law.” Accordingly, individual provisions to be adopted in the final document will still require the approval of two-thirds of the synod’s members, while a simple majority suffices to reject an item.
The new constitution does, however, urge the synod fathers to seek “moral unanimity” whenever possible.
Once the final document has been prepared and voted on, it is presented to the Holy Father for his approval and publication. At this point, the pope can choose to grant a particular kind of approval to the document, called “in forma specifica” in canon law, by which it would become an act of the pope and part of the ordinary papal magisterium.
Speaking at a press conference in Rome, Cardinal Baldisseri said that the process of receiving this specific papal approval does not require a strictly judicial standard, or depend upon a particular margin of approval by the synod fathers.
Quoting St. John Paul II, the new constitution says that while the synod “normally has a merely consultative function,” this “does not diminish its importance.” Rather, the vote of the synod fathers "if morally unanimous, has an ecclesial quality that overcomes the merely formal aspect of the consultative vote.” This, Baldisseri explained, is more important that a specific margin of voting.
Other sections of the constitution substantially affirm recent synodal processes and regulations, including on the synod’s composition and structure, which members have voting rights, and the three distinct synodal phases of preparation, assembly, and implementation.
In the preparatory phase, information on the announced theme of the synod is gathered through study commissions, local consultations conducted through the diocesan bishops, and a pre-synod meeting - if one is convoked. The new norms also provide the option for such pre-synodal meetings to be held at a regional level.
The second phase is the actual assembly of the synodal fathers and other members, while the third phase is the implementation of the synod’s conclusions in the particular Churches.
Episcopalis Communio underlines the importance of bishops listening to the voice of lay Catholics, saying that “the Synod of Bishops must increasingly become a privileged instrument for listening to the People of God.”
“Although in its composition [the Synod] appears as an essentially episcopal organism, the Synod does not therefore live separate from the rest of the faithful. On the contrary, it is a suitable instrument to give voice to the whole People of God precisely through the Bishops, constituted by God as ‘authentic guardians, interpreters and witnesses of the faith of the whole Church,’” the document states.
This principle is recognized in the canonical norms of the constitution itself. Article 7 of Episcopalis Communio states that the right of the faithful to send their own contributions for the synod directly to the secretary general “remains integral” to the process.
The Synod of Bishops acts as a temporary and occasional advisory body to the pope on issues of pastoral importance to the Catholic Church. It was established by Bl. Pope Paul VI with the motu proprio Apostolica sollicitudo in 1965.
While the synod itself is a temporary body called into being by the pope, it has a permanent general secretariat in the Roman Curia.
There are three types of synod assemblies a pope can call: ordinary, extraordinary, and special. Next month’s meeting will be an extraordinary assembly, as was 2015’s synod on the family.
A special assembly is usually convoked to discuss an issue related to a particular geographical region, such as the upcoming special assembly on the Amazon, which will take place in October 2019.
-Catechism of the Catholic Church #1096
-Want to hear a pizza joke…. nah, it’s too cheesy. What about a construction joke? Oh never mind, I’m still working on that one. Did you hear the one about the rope? Skip it.
-I childproofed the house… but they still get in!
-Whenever I find the key to success, someone changes the lock.
-I just let my mind wander, and it didn’t come back.
-A day without smiling is a day wasted.
Q. What’s the worst thing about being lonely?
A. Playing Frisbee.
-After many years of studying at a university, I’ve finally become a PhD… or Pizza Hut Deliveryman as people call it.
From the Mouths of Infants and Babes:
It was the end of the day when I parked my police van in front of the station. As I gathered my equipment, my K-9 partner, Jake, was barking, and I saw a little boy staring in at me. 'Is that a dog you got back there?' he asked.
'It sure is,' I replied.
Puzzled, the boy looked at me and then towards the back of the van. Finally he said, 'What'd he do?'
While working for an organization that delivers lunches to elderly shut-ins, I used to take my 4-year-old daughter on my afternoon rounds. She was unfailingly intrigued by the various appliances of old age, particularly the canes, walkers and wheelchairs. One day I found her staring at a pair of false teeth soaking in a glass. As I braced myself for the inevitable barrage of questions, she merely turned and whispered, 'The tooth fairy will never believe this!'
I Got a Big One
When the Pope visited Colorado he was anxious to get to an important meeting. The limousine assigned to pick him up did so and off they went. The Catholic chauffeur knew it was the "Holy Father" riding in the car and wouldn't consider going faster than 55 mph. However, the Pope, anxious to get to the meeting on time, told the driver to pull over, get in the back seat, and let him drive. The impatient pontiff put the pedal to the metal and quickly reached 85 mph on the Colorado interstate. Almost immediately a state trooper hiding off the side of the road turned on his siren and lights, and gave chase. Catching the speeding car, he ordered the driver to pull over. When he saw the driver, he couldn't believe it and immediately called his captain. He said, "I really got a big one today."
The captain said, "You mean the District Attorney?"
"No, sir, much bigger than that."
"You have a Senator?" came the puzzled reply.
"No, sir, you don't understand. This is the top of the line."
"Who do you have? The President?"
"No, sir, please understand me, this is really big."
"Well, for heaven's sake, who have you pulled over?"
"Well, Captain, I'm not sure, but the Pope is his chauffeur."
Forgive me my sins, O Lord;
forgive me the sins of my youth and the sins of mine age,
the sins of my soul and the sins of my body,
my secret and my whispering sins,
my presumptuous and my crying sins,
the sins that I have done to please myself
and the sins that I have done to please others.
Forgive me those sins that I know
and those sins which I know not;
forgive them, O Lord,
forgive them all of thy great goodness and mercy. Amen.
From Private Devotions (1560)
THE THIRD COMMANDMENT OF GOD
Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor, and do all your work; but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God; in it you shall not do any work. You shall not do any work, either you, your son or your daughter, your male or female slave, your work animal, or the resident alien within your gates. For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them; but on the seventh day he rested. That is why the LORD has blessed the sabbath day and made it holy. -Ex 20:8-11
The sabbath was made for man, not man for the sabbath; so the Son of Man is lord even of the sabbath. Mk 2:27-28
1. Why are we commanded to keep Sunday as the Lord's Day?
The Church commands us to keep Sunday as the Lord's day, because on Sunday, the first day of the week, Christ rose from the dead, and on Sunday the Holy Spirit descended upon the apostles. (Saturday night is considered part of the Lord’s Day.)
Jesus rose from the dead "on the first day of the week." Because it is the "first day," the day of Christ's Resurrection recalls the first creation. Because it is the "eighth day" following the sabbath, it symbolizes the new creation ushered in by Christ's Resurrection. For Christians it has become the first of all days, the first of all feasts, the Lord's Day (he kuriake hemera, dies dominica) Sunday. (CCC 2174)
And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had done. (Genesis 2:2)
2. Are the Sabbath day and the Sunday the same?
The Sabbath day and the Sunday are not the same. The Sabbath is the seventh day of the week (Saturday), and is the day which was kept holy in the old law; the Sunday is the first day of the week, and is the day which is kept holy in the new law (because on it, Jesus rose from the dead).
Sunday is expressly distinguished from the sabbath which it follows chronologically every week; for Christians its ceremonial observance replaces that of the sabbath. In Christ's Passover, Sunday fulfills the spiritual truth of the Jewish sabbath and announces man's eternal rest in God. For worship under the Law prepared for the mystery of Christ, and what was done there prefigured some aspects of Christ:
Those who lived according to the old order of things have come to a new hope, no longer keeping the sabbath, but the Lord's Day, in which our life is blessed by him and by his death. –St. Ignatius of Antioch (CCC 2175)
3. What is meant by the Old and New Law?
A. The Old Law means the law or religion given to the Jews; the New Law means the law or religion given to Christians.
4. Why does the Church command us to keep the Sunday holy instead of the Sabbath?
The Church commands us to keep the Sunday holy instead of the Sabbath because on Sunday Christ rose from the dead, and on Sunday He sent the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles.
5. Do we keep Sunday instead of Saturday holy for any other reason?
We keep Sunday instead of Saturday holy also to teach that the Old Law is not now binding upon us, but that we must keep the New Law, which takes its place and fulfills the Old Law.
6. What are we commanded by the third commandment?
By the third commandment we are commanded to worship God in a special manner on Sunday (by the Jewish reckoning, which Catholics follow, Saturday night is considered part of Sunday), the Lord's Day. We are commanded to keep holy the Lord's Day and the holydays of obligation, on which we are to give our time to the service and worship of God.
‘The Sunday Eucharist (Holy Mass) is the foundation and confirmation of all Christian practice. For this reason the faithful are obliged to participate in the Eucharist on days of obligation, unless excused for a serious reason (for example, illness, the care of infants) or dispensed by their own pastor. Those who deliberately fail in this obligation commit a grave sin (mortal sin).’ (CCC 2181)
Keep you my sabbath; for it is holy unto you. (Exodus 31:14)
7. What are holy days of obligation?
Holydays of obligation are special feasts of the Church on which we are bound, under pain of mortal sin, to assist at the Mass and to keep from servile or bodily labors when it can be done without great loss or inconvenience. Whoever, on account of their circumstances, cannot give up work on holydays of obligation should make every effort to assist at Mass and if appropriate should also explain in confession the necessity of working on holydays.
8. How are we to worship God on Sunday (or Saturday night) and holy days of obligation?
We are to worship God on Sundays and holydays of obligation by assisting at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, by prayer, and by other good works. (Holy Mass on a Saturday night is considered a Sunday.)
Tradition preserves the memory of an ever-timely exhortation: Come to Church early, approach the Lord, and confess your sins, repent in prayer. . . . Be present at the sacred and divine liturgy, conclude its prayer and do not leave before the dismissal. . . . We have often said: "This day is given to you for prayer and rest. This is the day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it." –Sermon on the Lord’s Day from the Early Church
9. How serious is it to deliberately miss the Holy Mass on a Sunday (Saturday night) or holy day of obligation through our own fault?
If committed freely with full consent of the will and with full knowledge of God’s command, to deliberately miss the Holy Mass on a Sunday (Saturday night) or holy day of obligation is a mortal sin, which means through this sin, one’s relationship with God is severed. Sacramental Confession (Reconciliation) would then be the step to confess this sin and restore our relationship with God.
Any deliberately less contact with God than once a week in the Holy Mass causes our relationship with God to die on its own accord from lack of union with God in the intimacy of the Holy Mass. Thus, sickness, care for children or the infirm, work scheduled for us by employers during Sunday Mass, distance from the offering of a Holy Mass, or the equivalent are factors beyond our control and thus are mitigating circumstances which keep this from being a mortal sin in one’s life.
10. What is forbidden by the third commandment of God?
The third Commandment forbids all unnecessary servile work and whatever else may hinder the due observance of the Lord's Day.
On Sundays and other holy days of obligation, the faithful are to refrain from engaging in work or activities that hinder the worship owed to God, the joy proper to the Lord's Day, the performance of the works of mercy, and the appropriate relaxation of mind and body. (CCC 2185; CIC, can. 1247)
Six days shall you do work; in the seventh day is the sabbath, the rest holy to the Lord. (Exodus 31:15)
Six days you may labor, but on the seventh day you shall rest; even during the seasons of plowing and harvesting you must rest. Exodus 34:21
11. What is servile work? Servile work is that which requires labor of body rather than of mind.
12. From what do servile works derive their name?
Servile works derive their name from the fact that such works were formerly done by slaves. Therefore, reading, writing, studying and, in general, all works that slaves did not perform are not considered servile works. God set Israel free from slavery in Egypt, and God has set us free from slavery to sin.
13. When is servile work allowed on Sunday?
Servile work is allowed on Sunday when the honor of God, our own need, or the good of our neighbor requires it.
14. Give some examples of when the honor of God, our own need, or the good of our neighbor may require servile works on Sunday.
The honor of God, our own need, or the good of our neighbor may require servile works on Sunday, in such cases as the preparation of a place for Holy Mass, the saving of property in storms or accidents, the cooking of meals and similar works.
15. Name some of the good works recommended for Sunday.
Some of the good works recommended for Sunday are: The reading of religious books or papers, teaching Catechism, bringing relief to the poor or sick, visiting the Blessed Sacrament, attending Vespers (Evening Prayers offered by Priests or Nuns), Rosary or other devotions in the Church; also attending the meetings of religious sodalities or societies. It is not necessary to spend the whole Sunday in such good works, but we should give some time to them, that for the love of God we may do a little more than what is strictly commanded.
16. Is it forbidden, then, to seek any pleasure or enjoyment on Sunday?
It is not forbidden to seek lawful pleasure or enjoyment on Sunday, especially to those who are occupied during the week, for God did not intend the keeping of the Sunday to be a punishment, but a benefit to us. Therefore, after assisting at Holy Mass we may take such recreation as is necessary or useful for us; but we should avoid any vulgar, noisy or disgraceful amusements that turn the day of rest and prayer into a day of scandal and sin.
Sanctifying Sundays and holy days requires a common effort. Every Christian should avoid making unnecessary demands on others that would hinder them from observing the Lord's Day. Traditional activities (sport, restaurants, etc.), and social necessities (public services, etc.), require some people to work on Sundays, but everyone should still take care to set aside sufficient time for leisure. With temperance and charity the faithful will see to it that they avoid the excesses and violence sometimes associated with popular leisure activities. In spite of economic constraints, public authorities should ensure citizens a time intended for rest and divine worship. Employers have a similar obligation toward their employees. (CCC 2187)