Pope Francis’ words at a recent priestly ordination:
You will gather others into the people of God through Baptism, and you will forgive sins in the name of Christ and the Church in the sacrament of Penance. Today I ask you in the name of Christ and the Church, never tire of being merciful. You will comfort the sick and the elderly with holy oil: do not hesitate to show tenderness towards the elderly. When you celebrate the sacred rites, when you offer prayers of praise and thanks to God throughout the hours of the day, not only for the people of God but for the world—remember then that you are taken from among men and appointed on their behalf for those things that pertain to God. Therefore, carry out the ministry of Christ the Priest with constant joy and genuine love, attending not to your own concerns but to those of Jesus Christ. You are pastors, not functionaries. Be mediators, not intermediaries.
The Digitalnun discusses the problem of being more papal than the pope:
The so-called liberals have hailed every act of Pope Francis as a breath of fresh air, a return to the days of good Pope John. The so-called conservatives have quailed before every liturgical change and muttered darkly about infidelity. In my simple way, I think the liberals will be disappointed and the conservatives find they have nothing to fear. The pope doesn’t make it up as he goes along. There is a deposit of faith which he articulates; and the Holy Spirit is the ultimate guarantor of the Church’s fidelity to the truth. That doesn’t mean, of course, that there won’t be changes which some will find heartening and others dispiriting. In fact, it is a guarantee that there will be change. ‘Behold, I am doing a new thing’ is true in every generation; so, something to please the liberals and appall the conservatives after all? Perhaps. I’m not a soothsayer.
What really interests me is this. When did people start to think that they could call themselves loyal Catholics but believe the pope and bishops to be in error? That cuts both ways, across both liberals and conservatives. We have liberals believing they can do anything, especially if they invoke ‘pastoral necessity’, and conservatives believing that they can condemn anything, especially if it has ‘Vatican II’ anywhere in its make-up. It is a rather odd situation. I myself think it is fundamentally unCatholic, but then, I disappoint my liberal friends by being a traditionalist, and my conservative friends by sitting more lightly to maniples and birettas than they.
I write this with a smile, as befits a Saturday morning post, but underneath there is a serious question. The unity of the Church is a mark of her Catholicity. We all have a duty to preserve that unity, whatever labels we want to give ourselves. Might it be time we asked whether we do or not?
Some nice words from a departing seminarian from Sioux City:
In leaving seminary, I realize that I will be separated from some of the best men that I have ever met. The men I met in Denver called me to holiness, often times not by their expressed word but by their actions and their radical witness to Christ. These men all shared the same dreams and aspirations. When you have a group of people who are like-minded, it is easy to develop a relationship. When you add Christ into that mix, the relationship becomes solid and rock hard. My hope is to keep in contact with many of these men; I know the relationship will change, if only because a great distance will separate us.
I was once told that a good seminary has many men joining and many leaving. I have found this to be true. A good seminary brings men in as boys, immature spiritually and emotionally; however, when they leave they are formed in manhood (Men in Christ, Men of the Church, Men for Others). This is hopefully true for those men leaving seminary to pursue the lay vocation as it is for those men leaving as ordained Priests of the Catholic Church. I know I leave the seminary a changed man because I have been formed and molded in Christ. As I leave, I pray that people do not say, “What a waste. He would have been such a good priest.” The fact of the matter is that the future is unknown, I may have made a great priest and I still may make a great priest. The fact of the matter is the Church needs good and holy fathers to protect the family. I believe that seminary has helped me here as well. Even if I was only in seminary for one day I would have been a better man for the experience.
The DigitalNun has some good words about burrying the dead, too:
When we bury the dead we are doing more than disposing of ‘mortal remains’. We are marking the end of someone’s life on earth and their entry, as we hope, into eternal life, commending their soul to God and praying for mercy. As a Catholic, I naturally think that most of us pass from death into a state of purification known as purgatory, which we who are alive have a duty to aid with our prayers. So, our prayers for the dead person do not end with their death. Our connectedness remains, so much so that I would argue that each of us has a role to play in the death and funeral rites of every person on earth. In the monastery we are frequently reminded of this. Not only do we have a long Office of the Dead which we pray on certain days of the year, we remember the dead at the conclusion of every Hour of the Divine Office and at the end of every meal.
A beautiful video about a parish in Omaha I visited several times while living there several summers ago.
Animals mourn too.