St John's Q&A

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Who is your hero?

The following is a reflection I gave at Mass this morning; I've been giving a reflection one time after Communion each week this summer. Please pray for our hero, Maria Stefko Turner.
Years ago, I had a T-shirt with a list of celebrities’ names on the front of it– rock stars, athletes, politicians. Across the front were the words, 'Who is your hero?' Then, on the back of the shirt were the words 'Would he die for you?' with a big Cross. The point is that Jesus Christ is the greatest hero the world has ever seen. That, to live a heroic life is to live heroic love. Jesus says that heroic love is the greatest love: “to lay down one’s life for one’s friends” (John 15:13). Jesus freely accepted laying down his own life for each one of us, his friends.

If I were to make a shirt today with a list of my heroes, certainly all mothers would be on it. Every mother makes great sacrifices, as many of you here today can attest. Through pregnancy, labor, nurturing, and raising a child, every mother lives sacrificial love. There is a very short list of mothers, though, who have made the greatest sacrifice and laid down their lives for their child.

One of these women lived in Europe last century. Gianna Beretta Molla was a mother of four children. When she was pregnant with her fourth child, doctors discovered cancer in her body. They advised her to abort the child in order to save her own life. She discussed it with her husband, thought and prayed about it, and freely made the heroic choice for the life of her child. Within a year of giving birth to her beautiful fourth child, Gianna lost her battle with cancer. A few years ago, Pope John Paul II canonized her a saint for the heroic choice she made to lay down her life for her child.

There is a woman who has family in St. John’s parish who was recently confronted with a similar situation as Gianna when she became pregnant with her second child. Maria Stefko Turner had the same condition, was given the same advice from her doctors, discussed it with her husband, thought and prayed about it, and made the heroic choice for the life of her child.

Now, Maria is fighting the cancer. Today is significant because she goes for her scans - tests to see where she is with the cancer. Some parishioners here have been making a novena to St. Gianna, imploring her intercession. Please join in this novena and pray for Maria. We have great confidence in God that He will hear our prayers to restore Maria to good health.

Who is your hero?” JESUS CHRIST…..St. Gianna Beretta Molla….Maria Stefko Turner.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Your questions

1. "Miracles of the Eucharist", tonight (7/26), 7 pm, cafeteria. Please join us for this video (approx. 20 mins), which shows and explains 4 miracles that Jesus has performed in the Eucharist. Pretty amazing stuff!! Also, please bring a friend or family member! If you can't make it tonight, let me know (via email); we will have a second showing within the week.

2. Come on out for the parish party this Sunday, July 31, at 5 pm. Should be a good time! Food and fun for families from 5 pm until dark; we will have a dunking booth, and hopefully get the pastor in for a dunk or two!! Youth group bonfire begins around dark for all junior high and high school youth. S'mores and karaoke amid the raging fire!

3. Check out the new parish website at All kinds of cool parish info on the site - you can even keep track of the construction of the new Parish Hall!

I wanted to take a break from the (lengthy) notes from the sacraments' talks in order to ask for any questions you might have about the Catholic faith. They can be general questions or specific ones. Some examples might be:

- how do we know that God exists?
- what is Heaven like?
- what does the Church teach about artificial contraception?
- where is Purgatory described in the Bible?

Your questions will not only help you, but can really help others. We all want to know the Truth about God and life; this is our forum to learn the Truth. You can always post anonymously; I look forward to your questions and comments.

Friday, July 22, 2005

Confirmation - notes


Is Confirmation necessary for salvation?
- debatable; theological debate
- might say that it is necessary for those who have been offered it

- the Magisterium (teaching authority) of the Church says this:
“It must be explained to the faithful that the reception of the sacrament of Confirmation is necessary for the completion of baptismal grace. For "by the sacrament of Confirmation, [the baptized] are more perfectly bound to the Church and are enriched with a special strength of the Holy Spirit. Hence they are, as true witnesses of Christ, more strictly obliged to spread and defend the faith by word and deed." (CCC, # 1285)
- Confirmation completes baptism
- “seals” the gifts of baptism
- sends us on our journey; missionary
- mission, “receive the Holy Spirit”

“The 1st Confirmation” – Pentecost (fifty days after Resurrection / Passover - feast of weeks)

- Acts 2:1-13
- Jesus had promised that the Father would send the Spirit
-“the Paraclete, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything and remind you of all I have said to you” - John 14:26

- Acts 8
- the Apostles, began to impart the gift of the Spirit through the laying on of hands
-Peter and John went to Samaria where the people “had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Then they laid hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit (16-17)

Did the early Church celebrate Confirmation as we do??

- yes, with external signs (oils, the laying on of hands) and with the bishop as celebrant
- no, because it was celebrated with baptism as a “double sacrament”
§ Conf. completes bapt., seals gifts of HS, indelible character

- Bishop couldn’t be present at all baptisms
- huge number of baptisms, growing number of rural parishes, growth of dioceses (among other reasons)
- West separated the 2 in order to reserve Conf. to the bishop
- East kept them as one; priests did Conf.

Did the early Church Fathers distinguish between Baptism and Confirmation:

- St. Hippolytus of Rome (235 AD) mentions the following rites of Confirmation:
- Imposition of hands by the Bishop and prayer
- anointing with consecrated oil - this unction must be distinguished from the baptismal unction performed by the priest after Baptism - together with imposition of hands and the simultaneous pronouncement of a Trinitarian form of blessing
- signing of the forehead and the kiss of peace.

What about the oils used in Confirmation?
- “Christ” = anointed one ; Christian = anointed one
- very early in the Church, an anointing with perfumed oil (chrism) was added to the laying on of hands
- continues in both East and West
- East: “chrismation”
- West: “Confirmation” (ratification of Baptism and strengthening / fulfilling baptismal grace)

- Chrism oil is used in Baptism – priesthood of Christ as p,p,k

- from OT and other ancient symbolism, oil:
- is a sign of abundance and joy
- cleanses (before or after a bath) and limbers (athletes, e.g.)
- is a sign of healing since it soothes bruises and wounds
- makes radiant with beauty, health, and strength

- those who are anointed at Baptism are cleansed and strengthened
- those who are anointed at Confirmation are consecrated to Christ and share more deeply in his mission

Confirmation seals us as Christ’s and helps us to DO God’s Will

Confirmation brings a greater familiarity with the Holy Spirit, particularly, who can be a powerful presence in our lives
- gifts of the Holy Spirit (+ charisms; 1 Cor 12; healing, prophecy, miracles, tongues)
- fruits of the Holy Spirit (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, generosity, gentleness, faithfulness, modesty, self-control, chastity)

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Baptism - notes

1. "Miracles of the Eucharist" video to be shown next Tuesday (7/26), 7 pm, school cafeteria. This powerful video will conclude the summer series. You won't want to miss this; please join us!!

2. Parish party to celebrate the upcoming groundbreaking for the new Parish hall, Sunday, July 31. Families are invited for food, drinks, and fun starting at 5 pm. Bonfire for youth (junior high and high) will start around dark. Music and games included. See you there!!

3. The following are my notes for the talk on Baptism from the summer series. Please let me know if you have any questions.

Can someone get to Heaven without being baptized?

Jesus – to Nicodemus (‘see the kingdom of God’...need to be ‘born from above’)

“In all truth I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born through water and the Spirit” - John 3:5

“whoever believes and is baptized will be saved; whoever does not believe will be condemned” – Mark 16:16

Does baptism in the Spirit only occur through water?

By desire – the good thief on the cross, e.g.
“Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom”
“in truth I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise” – Lk 23:42-43

By blood – sharing in Jesus’ baptism by blood
“The cup that I shall drink you shall drink, and with the baptism with which I shall be baptized, you shall be baptized” – Mk 10:39

Is baptism symbolic only??

- sacraments – confer the grace they signify
- no Scriptural references to baptism (or any of the sacraments) being symbolic only

“’You must repent,’ Peter answered, ‘and every one of you must be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit’” – Acts 2:38

“every one of you that has been baptized has been clothed in Christ” –Gal 3:27

“when we were baptized into Christ Jesus, we were baptized into his death. So by our baptism into his death we were buried with him, so that as Christ was raised from the dead by the Father’s glorious power, we too should begin living a new life” – Rom 6:4

Baptism prefigured in OT
- 2 Kings 5:14
Naaman immersed himself seven times in the Jordan, “and his flesh became clean once more like the flesh of a little child.”

- Isaiah 44:3
“I shall pour out water on the thirsty soil and streams on the dry ground. I shall pour out my spirit on your descendants” (water and Spirit)

- Ezekiel 36:25-27
“I shall pour clean water over you and you will be cleansed; I shall cleanse you of all your filth and of all your foul idols. I shall give you a new heart, and put a new spirit in you”

- Noah’s ark, as described by Peter – 1 Peter 3: 19-22
“ In (Noah’s ark), only a few, that is eight souls, were saved through water. It is the baptism corresponding to this water which saves you now
– not the washing off of physical dirt but the pledge of a good conscience given to God through the resurrection of Jesus Christ”

OT purification rites = almost always limited to external ‘bodily’ purity
- Ark shows the limits of the saving waters of the old covenant

- Baptism = no limits of the saving waters of the new covenant

The spiritual life begins with baptism

- Rom 6:4 - by baptism, “we too should begin living a new life”
Heaven on Earth, fullness of life

- Col 2:9 – “you have been buried with him by your baptism…you were dead, because you were sinners and uncircumcised in body; he has brought you to life with him”

- baptism and all of the sacraments are not just about getting to Heaven when our bodies die, but also about getting to Heaven on Earth

- die to self, sin
- experience the fullness of Christ on Earth in the Church (sacraments)
- Eucharist, Confession, etc.

What do we receive at Baptism?
- Life in Christ

- Indwelling of the Holy Trinity
“Baptize in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit”
- real (vs Protestants – merely symbolic)

- Faith
-“for all of you are children of God, through faith, in Christ Jesus, since every one of you that has been baptized has been clothed in Christ” – Gal 3:26-27

- forgiveness of sins
- “by Baptism all sins are forgiven, original sin and all personal sins, as well as all punishment for sin”
- concupiscence remains (the inclination toward sin)

- gifts of the Holy Spirit
- wisdom, knowledge, understanding, reverence, fear of the Lord, right judgement, courage

- incorporation into the Church, the Body of Christ
- “for by one Spirit, we were all baptized into one body” – 1 Cor 12:13
- all the baptized share in the common priesthood of Christ
- “but you are a chosen race, a kingdom of priests, a holy nation, a people to be a personal possession to sing the praises of God who called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light” – 1 Pet 2:9
- baptized to be priest, prophet, and king

- “Having become a member of the Church, the person baptized belongs no longer to himself, but to him who died and rose for us. From now on, he is called to be subject to others, to serve them in the communion of the Church, and to "obey and submit" to the Church's leaders, holding them in respect and affection. Just as Baptism is the source of responsibilities and duties, the baptized person also enjoys rights within the Church: to receive the sacraments, to be nourished with the Word of God and to be sustained by the other spiritual helps of the Church.” – CCC, # 1269

- "’Reborn as sons of God, [the baptized] must profess before men the faith they have received from God through the Church" and participate in the apostolic and missionary activity of the People of God.’” – CCC, # 1270

- an indelible spiritual mark
- “Baptism seals the Christian with the indelible spiritual mark (character) of his belonging to Christ. Given once for all, Baptism cannot be repeated.” (CCC, # 1272)

- “do not grieve the holy Spirit who has marked you with his seal, ready for the day when we shall be set free” – Eph 4:30

- "Baptism indeed is the seal of eternal life." – St Ireneaus
- die with the seal of baptism = enter eternal life

Friday, July 15, 2005

The Eucharist - notes

The following are my notes from the first talk of the summer series on the Eucharist. Please ask any questions if they're unclear to you.
“Seven Ways to get to Heaven”

Introduction to series

A. What are the seven ways? Are there other ways?
- we don’t know of any other means (CCC, # 1257)
- baptism by desire is still baptism, e.g.

In the sacraments, we encounter Christ and receive his Grace in a special way
- this Grace gets us to Heaven
- sacramental grace = sharing in the life of God
- Can we get this Grace on our own?
- Thus, can we get to Heaven on our own?

We need the sacraments (Church, priests) to get to Heaven

B. Sacraments – all are from Christ himself
- Eucharist (“This is my body” Lk 22)
- Baptism (“Baptize in the name of the F, S, and HS” Mt 28)
- Confirmation (“receive the Holy Spirit” Jn 20)
- Confession (“whose sins you forgive are forgiven them” Jn 20)
- Anointing of the Sick (Jesus sends the apostles out - “they set
off to..anoint many sick people Mk 6)
- Marriage (“what God has united, man must not divide” Mt 19)
- Holy Orders (“do this in memory of me” Lk 22)

- Christ guarantees that we will go to Heaven if we receive his sacraments
e.g., “anyone eats this bread will live forever” (Jn 6: 51)

The Eucharist
- the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Jesus Christ under the signs of bread and wine
- the Most Holy Eucharist, the Blessed Sacrament, Real Presence

a. Eucharist is just a symbol?? No, it’s really Him

b. words of the Last Supper
- “this is my body” (Matt, Mark, Luke, Paul)
- “this is the cup of my blood. It will be shed for you and for all so that
sins might be forgiven.”
c. Jesus teaches about the Eucharist - John 6

Real Presence
- “I am the bread of life” (35)
- “I am the living bread which comes down from heaven” (51)
- “the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world”(51) - same flesh and blood on the Cross is present in the Eucharist**
- “my flesh is true food, my blood is true drink”

- “whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I shall raise that person up on the last day” (54)
- “anyone who eats this bread will live forever” (51)
- “anyone who eats this bread will live forever” (58)

- v. 54 (Christ dwelling within us = eternal life dwelling within us)
- “whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood lives in me and I in that
person” (56)
- “whoever eats me will also draw life from me” (57)

** in the Eucharist, Christ’s sacrifice on Mount Calvary is re-presented
under the signs of bread and wine
- the Mass is a re-presentation of Calvary

- the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass
- the Memorial of the Lord’s Passion and Resurrection
- Heavenly banquet
- Holy Communion

d. the Church and the Eucharist

Modern Church
- “the Eucharist is the source and summit of the Christian life” – Vatican II, Lumen Gentium 11
- “the Eucharist makes the Church” (CCC, # 1396)

Early Church
- “they devoted themselves to the breaking of the bread” (Acts 2:42,46)
- “the blessing-cup, which we bless, is it not a sharing in the blood of
Christ; and the loaf of bread which we break, is it not a sharing in the
body of Christ?” (1 Cor 10:16)

- rules for receiving the Eucharist in Holy Communion:
- the Didache, one of the oldest Christian documents
Let no one eat or drink of this Eucharist with you except those who have been baptized in the name of the Lord; for it was in reference to this that the Lord said, 'Do not give that which is holy to dogs.' (c. 100 AD)

- Theodore of Mospsuestia (c. 350 AD) - Communion in the hand

Do not approach with hands extended and fingers open wide.
Rather make of your left hand a throne for your right as it is about
to receive your King, and receive the Body of Christ in the fold of
your hand, responding ‘Amen.’

Church in the Middle Ages
- Council of Trent (c. 1550 AD)

First of all, the holy council teaches and openly and plainly
professes that after the consecration of bread and wine, our Lord
Jesus Christ, true God and true man, is truly, really and
substantially contained in the august sacrament of the Holy
Eucharist under the appearance of those sensible things.

e. the Saints and the Eucharist
- St. John Chrysostom (347-407 AD):
We become one with Him: we become one Body and one Flesh with Christ... Jesus, for the burning love He bore us, wished to unite Himself so closely to us that we should become one and the same with Him for such is the dream of true lovers.
When you see the Lord immolated and lying upon the altar, and the priest bent over that sacrifice praying, and all the people empurpled by that precious Blood, can you think that you are still among men and on earth? Or are you not lifted up to heaven? Is not every carnal affection deposed? Do you not with pure mind and clean heart contemplate the things of heaven?

- St Therese of Lisieux (1873-1897)

"Do you realize that Jesus is there in the tabernacle expressly for you-
for you alone? He burns with the desire to come into your heart... Receive Communion often, very often...there you will have the sole
remedy, if you want to be cured."

- St. Joseph Moscati (1880-1927)
When this busy doctor was asked how he managed to cope with his demanding schedule, he replied: "By the daily reception of Jesus in the Sacrament of The Holy Eucharist."

- Blessed Theresa of Calcutta (1910-1997)
It is labor; it is not only work-it is hard labor. But we wouldn't be able to do it unless we had Mass and Holy Communion in the morning. I know I wouldn't be able to work one week if it were not for that continual force coming from Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. All of us know that unless we believe and can see Jesus in the appearance of bread on the altar, we will not be able to see Him in the distressing disguise of the poor. Therefore these two loves are but one in Jesus."

f. St. John’s, Hollywood and the Eucharist

- Weekday Mass, 8 am
- Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament + Benediction
First Friday of the month, 8:30 am – 8 pm

- Books, videos, tapes - sacristy of Church
- list of books and internet web sites ( see attached)
- parish blog site:

1. Books
With us today – on the real presence of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist
- Fr. John A. Hardon, SJ

Praying in the Presence of the Lord
- Fr. Benedict J. Groeschel, CFR

This is my Body, this is my blood – miracles of the Eucharist

- Bob and Penny Lord

The Real Presence of Jesus in the Holy Eucharist

- Fr. Robert DeGrandis, SSJ

- St Martin’s Catholic bookstore, 2078 Crain Hwy, Waldorf, 301-645-1667
- Newman bookstore, 3329 8th St., NE DC 202-526-1036
- Pauline Books & Media, 1025 King St., Alexandria 703-549-3806
- (Heavenly Presents, 25775 Point Lookout Rd., Leonardtown 301-475-9770)

2. Internet web sites

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Confession and Anointing of the Sick - notes

Here are my notes from tonight's talk on Confession and Anointing of the Sick, which is part of our summer series, "Seven Ways to get to Heaven". Please feel free to ask any questions or make comments if something is unclear. Please join us next Tuesday (7/19) at 7 pm!!
“Seven Ways to get to Heaven”

Introduction to series
A. What are the seven ways? Are there other ways?
- we don’t know of any other means (CCC, # 1257)
- 'baptism by desire' is still baptism, e.g.

In the sacraments, we encounter Christ and receive his Grace in a special
- this Grace gets us to Heaven
- sacramental grace = sharing in the life of God
- Can we get this Grace on our own?
- Thus, can we get to Heaven on our own?

We need the sacraments (Church, priests) to get to Heaven

B. Sacraments – all are from Christ himself
- Eucharist (“This is my body” Lk 22)
- Baptism (“Baptize in the name of the F, S, and HS” Mt 28)
- Confirmation (“receive the Holy Spirit” Jn 20)
- Confession (“whose sins you forgive are forgiven them” Jn 20)
- Anointing of the Sick (Jesus sends the apostles out - “they set
off to..anoint many sick people Mk 6)
- Marriage (“what God has united, man must not divide” Mt 19)
- Holy Orders (“do this in memory of me” Lk 22)

- Christ guarantees that we will go to Heaven if we receive his sacraments
e.g., “anyone eats this bread will live forever” (Jn 6: 51)

3. Confession and Anointing of the Sick


Is Confession necessary to get to Heaven?

Yes, if we’ve committed a mortal sin (what’s that?) which breaks us off from God
No, if we haven’t committed a mortal sin and are always in a state of grace.

Yes, in order to live fully in Christ on Earth.

Why does the Church talk about sin so much?
Because Jesus talked about sin so much
- he gave his very life for the forgiveness of sins
-“this is my blood…it will be shed for you and for all so that sins
may be forgiven”
- he preached about sin in general (“you will die in your sins” Jn 8:24)
- he preached about specific sins (“murder, adultery, fornication, theft,
perjury, slander. These are the things that make a person unclean”
-Mt 15:19-20
- many of the diseases that he cures (lepers, blindness, etc.) represent sin
for us
- he talked about the penalty for those who leave him in sin
-“anyone who does not remain in me is thrown away like a branch – and withers; these branches are collected and thrown on the fire”
- Jn 15:6
- “I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners” (Mt 9:13)

Is Confession only about sin?
No, it’s primarily about God’s infinite mercy.

- “God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but so that through him the world might be saved” – Jn 3:17

- the woman caught in adultery: “has no one condemned you? Neither do I condemn you. Go away, and from this moment sin no more”
– Jn 8: 11

- the parable of the prodigal son

What is this sacrament called?
Conversion – the first step in returning to the Father after one has strayed from sin

Confession- we confess our sins to the priest but we also confess (acknowledge)
the goodness and mercy of God
Penance- after sinning against God, we need to convert, do penance, and make
satisfaction for our sins ( for forgiveness??)
Forgiveness – by absolution of priest, God grants pardon and peace
Reconciliation – with God and with the Church

I thought only God forgives sins. How can the priest forgive sins?

Jesus has the power to forgive sins
“all authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me” – Mt 28:18

“your sins are forgiven” – Lk 7:48 (the woman who was a sinner)
- Mt 9:2 (the paralytic)

Jesus gives the power of forgiving sins to the Apostles (the first priests)
“’As the Father sent me, so I am sending you’. After saying this, he
breathed on them and said: ‘receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive
anyone’s sins, they are forgiven; if you retain anyone’s sins, they are
retained’”. – Jn 20:21-23

“ God reconciled us to himself through Christ and he gave us the ministry
of reconciliation” (1 Cor 5: 18)

Why do I need to confess my sins to a priest? Why can’t I just confess to God privately?

- we can be forgiven of venial sins outside of Confession
- the Penitential Rite at Mass, Eucharist, sincere Act of Contrition, e.g.

- but, forgiveness of mortal sins is reserved for Confession

- mortal sins kill our relationship with God and take us out of the state of His grace (which we need to be in to get to Heaven)
- mortem = death
- “there is sin that leads to death” (1 Jn 5:16)
- Jesus’ list of serious sins from Mt 15

- if we are in state of mortal sin at the hour of our death, we will go to
Hell (CCC # 1861)
- “You have heard how it was said, You shall not commit adultery. But I say this to you, if a man looks at a woman lustfuly, he has already committed adultery in his heart. If your right eye should be your downfall, tear it out and throw it away; for it will do you less harm to lose one part of yourself than to have your whole body thrown into hell” -- Mt 5:28
- example of how serious sin can cause eternal damnation
- Jesus speaks of Hell and eternal punishment over 100 times in the Gospels
-theme, but not focus of mission
- if no sin, would He have come??

- we need Christ in order to be forgiven
- like those who lived B.C. (priests offered sacrifice for atonement of sins, but “bulls’ blood and goats’ blood are incapable of taking away sins” - Heb 10:4,5… shows ministry of priests w/forgiveness, too)
- Christ’s sacrifice on the Cross = so that our “sins might be forgiven”
- our sins are taken to the cross of Christ and forgiven in Confession in a way that we can’t do on our own (confessing privately takes Christ out of the equation?)

- in Confession, we receive Christ’s sanctifying grace can’t get on our own (ala Baptism, Anointing of the Sick )
- if mortal sins kill our soul, the grace of Confession brings it back to life
- participation in the Paschal Mystery

Keep in mind:
- it is Christ in the Confessional; in persona Christi
- “whoever hears you, hears me” (Lk10:16)

- we hear and know we are forgiven
-“I absolve you in the name of the F, S, and the HS”

- Christ’s grace in Confession heals us and gives us the strength to overcome future sins (MT, JP II)
- the priest can give us advice on how to avoid the sins in the future

- confessing on the lips = shows true contrition
- as when I sin against a friend; need to go face to face

What is the difference between a mortal sin and a venial sin?
1) Grave matter – it’s wrong
2) Full knowledge – I know it’s wrong
3) Full consent – I freely choose to do it

I’m afraid to go to Confession
- been many years (you are especially welcome)
- forgot how (the priest will help you)
- priest will judge me (he will show you Christ's mercy)
- priest will tell others my sins (he is excommunicated if he breaks the Seal)
- I will forget some sins (if by accident, you're still forgiven)
- I wouldn’t know where to start with my sins
- brochure to help with Examination of Conscience)

How do I make a good Confession?
- examination of conscience
- contrition
- confession
- do your penance

How often should I go?
- at least once a year (req.)
- whenever in mortal sin or think you may be (before Comm.)
- once a month?? (MT, JP II)
- grow in grace and holiness; frequent Confession helps us to
‘forgive those who trespass against us’ so that we will be
- see our sins as they are (gossip, e.g.) and see ourselves as we are: “Lord, have mercy on me, a sinner”

What are indulgences?
- CCC, # 1471

Anointing of the Sick

What happens in this sacrament?
- spiritual strength through the grace of the sacr. From the HS
-against temptations of devil, to discouragement and anguish in the face of death (CCC, 1520)

- spiritual healing; physical, too, if God wills it

- the sick person unites him/herself more fully to Christ’s Passion, and participates in the saving work of Jesus
- Col 1:24
“Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up with is lacking in the afflictions of Christ on behalf of his body, which is the church”

- prepares us for the final journey
- just as Baptism began our conformity to the crucified and risen Christ, so Anointing completes it
- also completes the anointings we received at Baptism and Confirmation

- immediate entry into Heaven??
- sacrament can remove the remains of sin and temporal punishment
- if person is fully cooperating with the grace and is alert and free
- suffering removes Purgatory?
- many theologians in the Middle Ages said yes

Where is Anointing of the Sick in Scripture?

- Mark 6:
Jesus sends the Apostles out on mission
- “so they set off to proclaim repentance, and they cast out many devils, and anointed many sick people with oil and cured them” (12-13)

- James 5:
- “any one of you who is ill should send for the elders (presbyters) of the church, and they must anoint the sick person with oil in the name of the Lord and pray over him”(14-16)

- Mark 16:17-18
- “in my name…they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover”
- Peter cures a paralytic, e.g.

Who should be anointed?
- “those Christians whose health is seriously impaired by sickness or old age”
- may be repeated:
-when sick person recovers after being anointed, and becomes sick again
-during the same illness the condition becomes more serious
- with chronically ill person, if priest decides to repeat
- priest should not delay; person should be active participant
- but should not give to just anybody who feels sick; needs to be
“seriously impaired”

(specific cases)

How is Anointing celebrated?

Matter – olive oil or other oil derived from plants if necessary

Form – “Through this holy anointing…”

Sunday, July 03, 2005

"Parts of the Mass" - III

1. "Seven ways to get to Heaven" continues this Tuesday, July 5, at 7 pm in the schol library. All are invited!

2. Please see the introductory note for the other two posts on the parts of the Mass. The following is the third and final part:

72. At the Last Supper Christ instituted the Paschal Sacrifice and banquet by which the Sacrifice of the Cross is continuously made present in the Church whenever the priest, representing Christ the Lord, carries out what the Lord himself did and handed over to his disciples to be done in his memory. For Christ took the bread and the chalice and gave thanks; he broke the bread and gave it to his disciples, saying, "Take, eat, and drink: this is my Body; this is the cup of my Blood. Do this in memory of me." Accordingly, the Church has arranged the entire celebration of the Liturgy of the Eucharist in parts corresponding to precisely these words and actions of Christ:

At the Preparation of the Gifts, the bread and the wine with water are brought to the altar, the same elements that Christ took into his hands.

In the Eucharistic Prayer, thanks is given to God for the whole work of salvation, and the offerings become the Body and Blood of Christ.

Through the fraction and through Communion, the faithful, though they are many, receive from the one bread the Lord's Body and from the one chalice the Lord's Blood in the same way the Apostles received them from Christ's own hands.

The Preparation of the Gifts
73. At the beginning of the Liturgy of the Eucharist the gifts, which will become Christ's Body and Blood, are brought to the altar.

The offerings are then brought forward. It is praiseworthy for the bread and wine to be presented by the faithful.

76. The priest then washes his hands at the side of the altar, a rite that is an expression of his desire for interior purification.

The Prayer over the Offerings
77. Once the offerings have been placed on the altar and the accompanying rites completed, the invitation to pray with the priest and the prayer over the offerings conclude the preparation of the gifts and prepare for the Eucharistic Prayer. The people, uniting themselves to this entreaty, make the prayer their own with the acclamation, Amen.

The Eucharistic Prayer
78. Now the center and summit of the entire celebration begins: namely, the Eucharistic Prayer, that is, the prayer of thanksgiving and sanctification. The priest invites the people to lift up their hearts to the Lord in prayer and thanksgiving; he unites the congregation with himself in the prayer that he addresses in the name of the entire community to God the Father through Jesus Christ in the Holy Spirit. Furthermore, the meaning of the Prayer is that the entire congregation of the faithful should join itself with Christ in confessing the great deeds of God and in the offering of Sacrifice. The Eucharistic Prayer demands that all listen to it with reverence and in silence.

79. The chief elements making up the Eucharistic Prayer may be distinguished in this way:

Thanksgiving (expressed especially in the Preface): In which the priest, in the name of the entire holy people, glorifies God the Father and gives thanks for the whole work of salvation

Acclamation: In which the whole congregation, joining with the heavenly powers, sings the Sanctus.

Epiclesis: In which, by means of particular invocations, the Church implores the power of the Holy Spirit that the gifts offered by human hands be consecrated, that is, become Christ's Body and Blood, and that the spotless Victim to be received in Communion be for the salvation of those who will partake of it.

Institution narrative and consecration: In which, by means of words and actions of Christ, the Sacrifice is carried out which Christ himself instituted at the Last Supper, when he offered his Body and Blood under the species of bread and wine, gave them to his Apostles to eat and drink, and left them the command to perpetuate this same mystery.

Anamnesis: In which the Church, fulfilling the command that she received from Christ the Lord through the Apostles, keeps the memorial of Christ, recalling especially his blessed Passion, glorious Resurrection, and Ascension into heaven.

Offering: By which, in this very memorial, the Church—and in particular the Church here and now gathered—offers in the Holy Spirit the spotless Victim to the Father.

Intercessions: By which expression is given to the fact that the Eucharist is celebrated in communion with the entire Church, of heaven as well as of earth, and that the offering is made for her and for all her members, living and dead, who have been called to participate in the redemption and the salvation purchased by Christ's Body and Blood.

Final doxology: By which the glorification of God is expressed and is confirmed and concluded by the people's acclamation, Amen.

The Communion Rite
80. Since the Eucharistic Celebration is the Paschal Banquet, it is desirable that in keeping with the Lord's command, his Body and Blood should be received by the faithful who are properly disposed as spiritual food. This is the sense of the fraction and the other preparatory rites by which the faithful are led directly to Communion.

The Lord's Prayer
81. In the Lord's Prayer a petition is made for daily food, which for Christians means preeminently the eucharistic bread, and also for purification from sin, so that what is holy may, in fact, be given to those who are holy.

The Rite of Peace
82. The Rite of Peace follows, by which the Church asks for peace and unity for herself and for the whole human family, and the faithful express to each other their ecclesial communion and mutual charity before communicating in the Sacrament.

The Fraction
83. The priest breaks the Bread and puts a piece of the host into the chalice to signify the unity of the Body and Blood of the Lord in the work of salvation, namely, of the living and glorious Body of Jesus Christ. Communion

84. The priest prepares himself by a prayer, said quietly, that he may fruitfully receive Christ's Body and Blood. The faithful do the same, praying silently.The priest next shows the faithful the Eucharistic Bread, holding it above the paten or above the chalice, and invites them to the banquet of Christ. Along with the faithful, he then makes an act of humility using the prescribed words taken from the Gospels.

85. It is most desirable that the faithful, just as the priest himself is bound to do, receive the Lord's Body from hosts consecrated at the same Mass and that, in the instances when it is permitted, they partake of the chalice (cf. below, no. 283), so that even by means of the signs Communion will stand out more clearly as a participation in the sacrifice actually being celebrated.

88. When the distribution of Communion is finished, as circumstances suggest, the priest and faithful spend some time praying privately. If desired, a psalm or other canticle of praise or a hymn may also be sung by the entire congregation.

89. To bring to completion the prayer of the People of God, and also to conclude the entire Communion Rite, the priest says the Prayer after Communion, in which he prays for the fruits of the mystery just celebrated.

90. The concluding rites consist of:

Brief announcements, if they are necessary;
The priest's greeting and blessing, which on certain days and occasions is enriched and expressed in the prayer over the People or another more solemn formula;
The dismissal of the people by the deacon or the priest, so that each may go out to do good works, praising and blessing God;
The kissing of the altar by the priest and the deacon, followed by a profound bow to the altar by the priest, the deacon, and the other ministers.

Friday, July 01, 2005

"Parts of the Mass" - II

The following is part 2 (of 3) of the "parts of the Mass", as explained in the General Instruction of the Roman Missal (the official rules and details of the Latin Rite), and abbreviated for purposes of this site. Please click on the orange arrow next to the title of this post for the full text.
55. The main part of the Liturgy of the Word is made up of the readings from Sacred Scripture together with the chants occurring between them. The homily, Profession of Faith, and Prayer of the Faithful, however, develop and conclude this part of the Mass. For in the readings, as explained by the homily, God speaks to his people, opening up to them the mystery of redemption and salvation and offering them spiritual nourishment; and Christ himself is present in the midst of the faithful through his word.

56. During the Liturgy of the Word, it is also appropriate to include brief periods of silence, accommodated to the gathered assembly, in which, at the prompting of the Holy Spirit, the word of God may be grasped by the heart and a response through prayer may be prepared. It may be appropriate to observe such periods of silence, for example, before the Liturgy of the Word itself begins, after the first and second reading, and lastly at the conclusion of the homily.

The Biblical Readings
57. In the readings, the table of God's word is prepared for the faithful, and the riches of the Bible are opened to them. Hence, it is preferable to maintain the arrangement of the biblical readings, by which light is shed on the unity of both Testaments and of salvation history. Moreover, it is unlawful to substitute other, non-biblical texts for the readings and responsorial Psalm, which contain the word of God.

58. In the celebration of the Mass with a congregation, the readings are always proclaimed from the ambo.

59. By tradition, the function of proclaiming the readings is ministerial, not presidential. The readings, therefore, should be proclaimed by a lector, and the Gospel by a deacon or, in his absence, a priest other than the celebrant. If, however, a deacon or another priest is not present, the priest celebrant himself should read the Gospel. Further, if another suitable lector is also not present, then the priest celebrant should also proclaim the other readings.

60. The reading of the Gospel is the high point of the Liturgy of the Word. The Liturgy itself teaches that great reverence is to be shown to it by setting it off from the other readings with special marks of honor: whether the minister appointed to proclaim it prepares himself by a blessing or prayer; or the faithful, standing as they listen to it being read, through their acclamations acknowledge and confess Christ present and speaking to them; or the very marks of reverence are given to the Book of the Gospels.

The Responsorial Psalm
61. After the first reading comes the responsorial Psalm, which is an integral part of the Liturgy of the Word and holds great liturgical and pastoral importance, because it fosters meditation on the word of God.The responsorial Psalm should correspond to each reading and should, as a rule, be taken from the Lectionary.

62. After the reading that immediately precedes the Gospel, the Alleluia or another chant indicated by the rubrics is sung, as required by the liturgical season. An acclamation of this kind constitutes a rite or act in itself, by which the assembly of the faithful welcomes and greets the Lord who is about to speak to them in the Gospel and professes their faith by means of the chant. It is sung by all while standing and is led by the choir or a cantor, being repeated if this is appropriate.

The Homily
65. The homily is part of the Liturgy and is strongly recommended, for it is necessary for the nurturing of the Christian life. It should be an exposition of some aspect of the readings from Sacred Scripture or of another text from the Ordinary or from the Proper of the Mass of the day and should take into account both the mystery being celebrated and the particular needs of the listeners.

66. The Homily should ordinarily be given by the priest celebrant himself. He may entrust it to a concelebrating priest or occasionally, according to circumstances, to the deacon, but never to a lay person. In particular cases and for a just cause, the homily may even be given by a Bishop or a priest who is present at the celebration but cannot concelebrate. After the homily a brief period of silence is appropriately observed.

The Profession of Faith
67. The purpose of the Symbolum or Profession of Faith, or Creed, is that the whole gathered people may respond to the word of God proclaimed in the readings taken from Sacred Scripture and explained in the homily and that they may also call to mind and confess the great mysteries of the faith by reciting the rule of faith in a formula approved for liturgical use, before these mysteries are celebrated in the Eucharist.

The Prayer of the Faithful
69. In the Prayer of the Faithful, the people respond in a certain way to the word of God which they have welcomed in faith and, exercising the office of their baptismal priesthood, offer prayers to God for the salvation of all. It is fitting that such a prayer be included, as a rule, in Masses celebrated with a congregation, so that petitions will be offered for the holy Church, for civil authorities, for those weighed down by various needs, for all men and women, and for the salvation of the whole world.

70. As a rule, the series of intentions is to be
For the needs of the Church;
For public authorities and the salvation of the whole world;
For those burdened by any kind of difficulty;
For the local community.

Nevertheless, in a particular celebration, such as Confirmation, Marriage, or a Funeral, the series of intentions may reflect more closely the particular occasion.

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