Matrimony

ubique lucet

Summary of Catechism paragraphs 1601-66:

  • God is the author of marriage; by inscribing the complementarity of male and female into our very human nature, He created man and woman for each other, so that the two would become one flesh, in a lifetime partnership of mutual self-giving, for the procreation of children.
  • Faithful love between husband and wife mirrors the abiding love of God for His people; first developed by the Old Testament prophets, this imagery reached its fulfillment in Christ, Who weds Himself to the human race by becoming man, and invites us all to His eternal wedding feast in heaven.
  • It is deeply significant that Jesus’ first public miracle takes place at the wedding at Cana, symbolizing His active presence in the marriage of the faithful; thus the natural institution of marriage, known and celebrated by cultures from time immemorial, is elevated into a sacrament of Christian life.

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PRAYER TO ST CECILIA FOR MUSICIANS

For music ministries.

Prayers4reparation's Blog

Dear St Cecilia, heroic martyr who stayed faithful to Jesus your divine bridegroom, intercede for us for faith to raise above our persecutors and to see in them the image of our Lord.

We know that you were a musician and we are told that you heard angels sing. Inspire musicians to gladden the hearts of people by filling the air with God’s gift of music and reminding them of the Divine Musician who created all beauty. Amen.

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WHY DO WE CALL PRIESTS ‘FATHER’?

fathers

This question refers to Jesus’ teaching found in the Gospel of St. Matthew, when He said, “Do not call anyone on earth your father. Only one is your father, the One in heaven” (23:9).
Taken literally, we would have to wonder why we do use the title “Father” when Jesus seems to forbid it. First, we must remember the context of the passage. Jesus is addressing the hypocrisy of the scribes and the Pharisees—the learned religious leaders of Judaism. Our Lord castigates them for not providing good example; for creating onerous spiritual burdens for others with their various rules and regulations; for being haughty in exercising their office and for promoting themselves by looking for places of honor, seeking marks of respect and wearing ostentatious symbols. Basically, the scribes and Pharisees had forgotten that they were called to serve the Lord and those entrusted to their care with humility and generous spirit.

Given that context, Jesus says not to call anyone on earth by the title, “Rabbi,” “Father” or “Teacher,” in the sense of arrogating to oneself an authority which rests with God and of forgetting the responsibility of the title. Yes, as Jesus said, only the heavenly Father is the true Father, and the Messiah, the true teacher and rabbi.

Nevertheless, we do use these titles in common parlance: We call those who instruct us and others “teacher”; our male parent “father”; and Jewish religious leaders “rabbi.” Especially in a religious sense, those who serve the Lord and represent His authority, as a teacher, parent and especially a priest, must be mindful of exercising it diligently, humbly and courageously. To use this authority for self-aggrandizement is pure hypocrisy. Jesus said at the end of this passage, “Whoever exalts himself shall be humbled, but whoever humbles himself shall be exalted.”

Since the earliest times of our Church, we have used the title “Father” for religious leaders.

Bishops, who are the shepherds of the local Church community and the authentic teachers of the faith, were given the title “Father.” Actually, until about the year 400, a bishop was called “papa” for Father; this title was then restricted solely to addressing the Bishop of Rome, the successor of St. Peter, and in English was rendered “pope.”

In an early form of his rule, St. Benedict (d. c. 547) designated the title to spiritual confessors, since they were the guardians of souls. Moreover, the word “abbot,” denoting the leader in faith of the monastic community, is derived from the word abba, the Aramaic Hebrew word for father, but in the very familiar sense of “daddy.”

Later, in the Middle Ages, the term “father” was used to address the mendicant friars—like the Franciscans and Dominicans—since by their preaching, teaching and charitable works they cared for the spiritual and physical needs of all of God’s children. In more modern times, the heads of male religious communities, or even those who participate in ecumenical councils such as Vatican II, are given the title “father.” In the English-speaking world, addressing all priests as “Father” has become customary.

On a more personal note, the title for me is very humbling. As a priest, “Father” reminds me that I am entrusted with a grave responsibility by our Lord—His faithful people. Just as a father must nourish, instruct, challenge, correct, forgive, listen and sustain, the priest must meet the spiritual needs of those entrusted to his care, providing them with the nourishment of our Lord through the sacraments. He must preach the Gospel with fervor and conviction in accord with the mind of the Church, challenging all to continue on that path of conversion which leads to holiness. He must correct those who have erred but with mercy and compassion.

In the same spirit as the father with his prodigal son, the priest must reconcile sinners who have gone astray but seek a way back to God. As a father listens to his child, so must a priest listen to his spiritual children, providing counsel and consolation.

A priest must also be mindful of the “physical” needs of his flock—food, housing, clothing and education. While priests may be celibate, the words of our Lord to His Apostles ring true: “I give you My word, there is not one who has given up home, brothers or sisters, mother or father, children or property for Me and for the Gospel who will not receive in this present age a hundred times as many homes, brothers and sisters, mothers, children and property—and persecution besides—and in the age to come, everlasting life” (Mk 10:29-30).

All of us must pray for our priests, especially those that serve in our own parishes, that by God’s grace they may strive to fulfill the responsibility of being “Father.”
– Father William Saunders

The Joy of the Gospel – Evangelii Gaudium!

papafrancis

Francis Pope wrote his first apostolic exhortation Evangelii Gaudium!

Next Sunday, 24th November, the day of closing the Year of Faith will hold a ‘Joyful’ moment. Papa Francis will deliver the Apostolic Exhortation “Evangelii Gaudium”. This is Papa’s first official document after the encyclical “Lumen Fidei”  (The light of faith) which he co-wrote with Papa Emeritus Benedict XVI. In his Exhortation, the Pope entrusts every baptised Catholic with the mission of becoming an evangeliser.

The Church is emphasizing on her mission and if you closely watch, the word ‘mission’ is booming in church. A  missionary boom is imminent. The missionary boats started sailing and are you in the same boat?

Do not die like my secular friends, evangelise someone somewhere before you die. I pray let this be a wake-up call for all sleepy, Catholics in maintenance mode.

I am dedicating this post to all my friends and bloggers with the name ‘Joy’ because ‘Gaudium Evangelii’ means ‘The Joy of the Gospel’

Pope Francis: a society that doesn’t care for its elderly has no future

Pope Francis: a society that doesn’t care for its elderly has no future

Pope Francis on Tuesday stressed the need to respect and take care of the elderly, saying a society that didn’t do this had no future.

I have blogged about elderly people here