David Ancell's Virtual Home

Ratzinger in Review

  /   Monday, September 29, 2003   /   Comments(0)

Here is a review in the New Oxford Review on Cardinal Ratzinger’s book The Spirit of the Liturgy. I highly recommend the book, but it is a difficult read.

I’m planning to write a piece on what we need in our catechesis today, and teaching on the meaning of the Mass is way up at the top of my list. I run into a number of people who say “I like this!” to things that do not belong in the liturgy. These people have little understanding of why new liturgical laws are developed that prohibit some practice that they enjoy. Often times the need for authentic worship is cast aside in favor of “whatever inspires us.” Rather than conforming our lives to the Mass, we prefer to do the reverse. This book, or at least some teaching based on it, ought to be required reading for all Catholics.

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  /   Monday, September 29, 2003   /   Comments(0)

Someone just spammed my comments section. On top of that, it was a disgusting little advertisement as well. Never fear, I deleted the offending comment and banned that IP (first IP that I’ve banned). I’m sure they will be back with another address, but at least I’ve stopped that one.

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The New Liturgical Document

  /   Thursday, September 25, 2003   /   Comments(0)

I’ve read a few articles on the supposed new liturgical document that is eventually going to be released. I have shamelessly stolen this link from Jeanetta who stole it from someone else. The rumors are that many bishops view the document as too harsh.

I really think that the main things that are needed are a ban on changing any words of the approved texts for any reason whatsoever and a better English translation of the Mass. Those would be ideal starting points. Dancing is already prohibited, so I don’t know what the Vatican thinks it will accomplish by sending another document. I’ve heard other rumors that the document will prohibit sacriliegious acts such as consecrating hosts for a black Mass. Again, these things are already extremely illicit.

Interestingly enough, the document also bans applause in the church. Well, I find clapping during Mass to be inappropriate because we are at Calvary. However, the number one place where I find this practice is none other than Franciscan University of Steubenville. They can hardly be considered a lunatic fringe.

My main concern in all of this is the way in which it will end up being presented in those places where it is obeyed. I can see it enforced in a “Yeah, I know, but the Vatican said . . . ” (aka wink and nod) manner. It’s quite possible that many priests may themselves not really know what they are doing at Mass. Where is the catechesis on what the Mass is about? I can’t tell you how many people whom I have run into who think it is no big deal for the priest to change a few words around in the Mass or even to mess with the consecration itself (or, in the case of the sacrament of Penance, the words of absolution). It goes without saying that we are in desparate need of sound liturgical catechesis lest we deny the sacrificial nature of the Mass, the Real Presence, and the importance of going to Mass.

The Mass cost Jesus his life. It is the very difference between Heaven and Hell, and it ought to be treated as such. I will leave the judgment on the need for new legislation to Rome, but they had better plan to enforce and back it up with catechesis if they want it to have an impact.

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To Prove I’m a Nut

  /   Wednesday, September 24, 2003   /   Comments(0)

I now want to prove to the world that I am a nut. I just bought a new Sony DCR-TRV70 digital camcorder, and I was playing with it a bit. I haven’t put a tape in it yet (saving this for when the battery is fully charged and there is something to record). However, I did hook it up to my computer and recorded the only subject I had nearby – myself.

If you want proof, here it is in Windows Media format. I hope you enjoy!

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Did I Ever Mention?

  /   Monday, September 22, 2003   /   Comments(0)

I really like Russell Shaw’s commentary. Here is the latest from Catholic Exchange. He dissects a New York Times article that criticized the Assumption of Mary as an irrational “mystical” approach to faith. Sadly, this kind of viewpoint, though declining as Shaw says, seems to be ever present among many Christians who have intellectualized the faith to the point that it becomes a concept rather than the worship of the living, personal God.

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The Law

  /   Saturday, September 20, 2003   /   Comments(0)

It seems that most people I encounter on a daily basis think that rules are made to be broken. Few have any respect for the rules. Perhaps this article demonstrates why. I found this on Jeanetta’s blog about the Missionaries of Charity who happened to have been affected by this very issue.

As soon as people in my generation get into government, we are going to have a lot of work to do to undo the garbage.

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Archdiocese Sues Fraudulent Group

  /   Saturday, September 20, 2003   /   Comments(0)

Here is an interesting story about the Archdiocese of Atlanta suing a fraudulent Catholic group. I have to wonder if the secular court will truly understand the issue. If this succeeds, maybe the Church could sue “Catholics” for a Free Choice.

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Anger Management

  /   Saturday, September 20, 2003   /   Comments(0)

The perpetual adoration chapel that I frequent has gone through some hard times lately. The monstrance was removed, and in its place is the tabernacle with an open front so that the Blessed Sacrament can be seen behind a glass. Someone took out some of the statues. The Divine Mercy image in the back was replaced with the lion and the lamb. Even the information sheets and registration forms were removed from the chapel, and in their place was a pamphlet entitled “Dealing with Anger.” I have to wonder if that last one was some kind of cruel practical joke. Was it intended for the person who removed this stuff, or was it placed there by this person as a way of saying “Get over it!”

P.S. I know that this is pure speculation, and it is primarily intended in jest. Please treat it as such.

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Busy Busy

  /   Wednesday, September 17, 2003   /   Comments(0)

I haven’t been here in a while. I’ve been running around big time. I’ve started a project of recording the RCIA classes and burning the audio to CDs for my parish. I even edit them using Adobe Audition. Anyway, I thought this was really good food for thought.

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Expect God to Answer

  /   Friday, September 12, 2003   /   Comments(0)

The Lord has given me another insight that I feel that I must share . . . .

Have you ever dealt with a religion teacher who thinks truth is a cuss word and teaches content-free religion? Have you ever dealt with a priest who preaches fluff homilies, if not outright false teaching? Have you dealt with a friend who consistently misrepresents that Catholic faith? Have you prayed for any of the above and found that they slowly, but surely, started to change?

Indeed, when we pray for the people mentioned in the above paragraph, we should not be surprised if we see a change. In fact, if we perservere in prayer, we should expect it, especially in those who are well-meaning. At this point, three questions arise.

First, were we grateful for any good that we did find the person was doing? Second, do we bother to take notice of the change, or do we refuse to acknowledge it? Third, what is our attitude towards the change? Are we rejoicing as Heaven rejoices over a repentant sinner, or are we resentful of the change? The answers can tell a lot about our motivation and our attitude towards a wayward brother.

If our attitude towards the wayward is resentful even in the face of the good that we see, then I dare say that our disposition is like that of Satan. Satan desires are condemnation, or, barring that, he desires that we not become as holy as we can be. However, if we rejoice in the truth and in the conversion of sinners, our attitude is like that of Our Lord himself. We should always rejoice in the conversion or spiritual growth of all people, even our enemies.

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