Sunday, June 12, 2011

Happy Birthday to the Catholic Church!

Today we celebrate Pentecost and the birth of the Catholic Church!  "If you love Me, you will keep My Word!"  It is in the valid celebration of the Mass (and/or Divine Liturgy) that we truly have this continuation of THE Church which Jesus Christ Himself built - just as He promised He would do upon His Apostles as the 12 foundations with primacy given to St. Peter.  Salvation is found through THAT CHURCH.  

Todays Readings (according to the Extraordinary/Traditional Rite)...

Epistle Acts 2:1-11
When the days of the Pentecost were accomplished, they were all together in one place: And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a mighty wind coming: and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. And there appeared to them parted tongues, as it were of fire: and it sat upon every one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost: and they began to speak with divers tongues, according as the Holy Ghost gave them to speak. Now there were dwelling at Jerusalem, Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven. And when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded in mind, because that every man heard them speak in his own tongue. And they were all amazed, and wondered, saying: "Behold, are not all these that speak Galilean? And how have we heard, every man our own tongue wherein we were born? Parthians and Medes and Elamites and inhabitants of Mesopotamia, Judea, and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews also, and proselytes, Cretes, and Arabians: we have heard them speak in our own tongues the wonderful works of God."

Holy Spirit, come and shine
On our souls with beams divine
Issuing from your radiance bright.
Come, O Father of the poor,
Ever bounteous of your store,
Come, our heart's unfailing light.

Come, Consoler, kindest, best,
Come our bosom's dearest guest,
Sweet refreshment, sweet repose.
Rest in labor, coolness sweet,
Tempering the burning heat,
Truest comfort of our woes.

O divinest light, impart
Unto every faithful heart
Plenteous streams from love's bright flood.
But for your blest Deity,
Nothing pure in man could be;
Nothing harmless, nothing good.

Wash away each sinful stain;
Gently shed your gracious rain
On the dry and fruitless soul.
Heal each wound and bend each will,
Warm our hearts benumbed and chill,
All our wayward steps control.

Unto all your faithful just,
Who in you confide and trust,
Deign the sevenfold gift to send.
Grant us virtue's blest increase,
Grant a death of hope and peace,
Grant the joys that never end.
Amen. Alleluia!

GOSPEL John 14:23-31
At that time, Jesus answered and said to him:
"If any one love me, he will keep my word. And my Father will love him and we will come to him and will make our abode with him. He that loveth me not keepeth not my words. And the word which you have heard is not mine; but the Father's who sent me. "These things have I spoken to you, abiding with you. But the Paraclete, the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring all things to your mind, whatsoever I shall have said to you. Peace I leave with you: my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, do I give unto you. Let not your heart be troubled: nor let it be afraid. You have heard that I said to you: 'I go away, and I come unto you.' If you loved me you would indeed be glad, because I go to the Father: for the Father is greater than I. And now I have told you before it come to pass: that when it shall come to pass, you may believe. I will not now speak many things with you. For the prince of this world: cometh: and in me he hath not any thing. But that the world may know that I love the Father: and as the Father hath given me commandments, so do I. Arise, let us go hence."

Eastertide is almost over - the Ordinal (counting) Sundays after Pentecost begin with next Sunday.  This is the longest season of the liturgical year, lasting 24-28 weeks, and several very high feast days occur within the weeks after Pentecost.  This year, 2011, due to a rather late Easter, has 24 weeks with Advent beginning on Sunday, November 27th.  Some of the other more major feast days during this ordinal period are:
June 19 - Trinity Sunday (movable feast, based on Easter)
June 23 - Feast of Corpus Christi (Body of Christ)
June 29 - Feast of Sts. Peter and Paul
July 1 - Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus
July 4 - Feast of the Most Precious Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ
August 3 - Feast of the Finding of St. Stephen's Body (first Christian martyr)
August 15 - Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary
August 29 - Beheading of St. John the Baptist
September 14 - Exaltation of the Holy Cross
October 30 - Feast of Christ the King
November 1 - Feast of All Saints
November 2 - Feast of All Souls

I like to also remind our readers - though this period is commonly called "Ordinary" - it is ANYTHING BUT ORDINARY!  The more PROPER word is "Ordinal" because these are the "counting weeks" after Pentecost (though in the modern lectionary they start counting with the weeks after Epiphany and continue that counting for the weeks after Pentecost).


  1. One thing I would concede too on the matter of "ordinary" v. "ordinal," they both are of the same root so it COULD be argued that "ordinary" still means "counting" - but in today's usage (English is a "living language, after all) the term "ordinary" is taken to mean "common" or "customary." Again, "counting" weeks is a "custom" - but the word has connotation which seems to diminish this season in the ecclesial calendar - so I propose we say "ordinal" - or "these are the weeks in ordinal time."

  2. While sometimes ordinary or ordinal time becomes routine, I very seldom find going to Mass "ordinary". As of late, I have come to feel every visit to Our Lord in the Eucharist to be a special privilege. I feel the grace of God each and every time I go to Mass. I can't wait to go. I go two times a week--minimum--more when I can.


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