[Edited Dec 6: At the end of this post I listed some related posts from around the web. Edited Dec 8: I’m making this a featured post since we’re still getting used to the new translation of the Mass. See the comments at the end for a discussion that represents two very different reactions to the translation.] I went to Mass this morning [Note: This post was originally written on the First Sunday of Advent.] at the chapel at EWTN. The first day of the liturgical season of Advent, the first day using the new English translation of the Roman Missal, and the first day using the new Mass cards showing the changes in the responses of the congregation. (See notes at the end for more resources.) Thank goodness we had these cards. Continue reading

Yesterday I spent the holiday with my best friend and her boyfriend and their parents. We enjoyed a wonderful home-cooked meal in my friend’s new apartment and hours later I was home with enough food to last me a couple of days. One of the best Thanksgiving holidays I’ve ever had. I usually go to Mass on Thanksgiving, but this year I didn’t. I felt like something was missing in the midst of all the good food and good company, and I think next year I’ll have to plan my time better so that I can attend Mass at the start of the day.

I haven’t even thought about shopping so far this weekend and I’m pretty sure I won’t go anywhere near a mall. No Black Friday for me. No stampeding horde of shoppers doing bodily harm to each other while buying Christmas presents, the ultimate lunacy. Advent begins this Sunday and I’m looking forward to focusing on the real meaning of the season, preparing for the celebration of the birth of Christ, looking ahead to His return at the end of time. I’m also looking forward to discovering what the new translation will be like since the new missal goes into effect this Sunday too. Yay! It’s about time!

May your own Thanksgiving holiday be filled with warmth and joy and may you remember to thank Him through Whom all things were made. May the peace of Christ be with you, now and always. Amen.

Remember, O, man, that thou art dust and unto dust thou shalt return“Remember, O, man, that thou art dust and unto dust thou shalt return.”

With these words the priest made the Sign of the Cross on my forehead with the ashes of last Palm Sunday’s palm fronds. A few minutes later I received Holy Communion with the Sign of Christ’s Redemptive Act marking me as His. A few minutes after that I was once again out in the world, still bearing His Mark on my forehead, still bearing His Presence within.

So began the Lenten season marking my fifteenth year as a child of Holy Mother Church. May I become ever more faithful, ever more devout, ever more aware of what it truly means to be His disciple. May I truly be filled with the spirit of Christ. And I pray all of these things for you, too. For the Greater Glory of God. In the name of Christ, His Son. In the fellowship of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Lenten Workshop at CatholicCulture.org.
Meditations on the Stations of the Cross, Belmont Abbey

Remember, O, man, that thou art dust and unto dust thou shalt return

In the Bleak Midwinter...Amidst all the the mad dashing and rushing, the pushing and shoving, the shopping, the wrapping, the sorely missed napping—it’s easy to forget that Christmas is a time of celebration of the birth of a tiny child on a cold winter’s night in the long long ago. And a time of preparation for the day when our King will return in glory to judge the living and the dead. To help us both, you and me, keep the true meaning of Christmas in mind, here’s a poem (see below) that was also written long ago by one of my favorite poets. Gustav Holst set the poem to music and the result is one of the most beautiful Christmas carols ever.

Have a very Merry Christmas, dear Reader, whoever and wherever you are! May your heart be filled to overflowing with the love of Christ Who is the Source and Summit of all love and all truth and all goodness, all beauty and all joy, forever and ever. Amen. (Poem follows.) Continue reading