Join me on Twitter as Pope St John Paul II Reflects on the Psalms

(Update, June 25, 2019: I can’t find the book listed anymore on the CTS website, so that link is caput. There are other edits at the end of the post.) I stumbled across a book a few days ago: Meditations and Catechesis on the Psalms and Canticles of Morning and Evening Prayer, by Pope St. John Paul II and Pope (Emeritus) Benedict XVI. It’s published in the UK by Catholic Truth Society, and doesn’t ship to the US. I had to get a copy through AbeBooks and they got it from Blackwell’s in the UK. (To add to the fun, my bank at first declined the transaction because it involved sending payment overseas. A phone call got them to lift the ban—for one day. Oy vey.) But I’ve got it now and it’s mine, all mine!


Join me on Twitter as Pope St John Paul II reflects on the psalms and canticles of Lauds and Vespers. [This is an old post, the Tweets may or may not pull up and the links in them may be broken.]

Morning and Evening Prayer-jpii-bxvi

Ahem. Back to what I was talking about. What was I talking about anyway? Oh! The book! Well, even if you can’t get hold of the book, you can still read the meditations and catechesis on the web. These took place at the general audiences held by the popes on Wednesdays. Pope St. John Paul II began the series by covering Morning Prayer (Lauds) and then covering Evening Prayer (Vespers). But he passed away before he could finish and Pope Benedict picked up where he left off. Pope St. John Paul II went through each day of the four-week Psalter and discussed each day in three parts, one part per Wednesday audience. (Pope Benedict didn’t adhere to that schedule the way his predecessor did.)

I’m sharing quotes and notes from the audiences (using the web versions rather than the book mainly because it’s easier) on Twitter using the hashtag #PsalmsJPII beginning with Lauds and going through Vespers. Join me and join in. Feel free to comment, too. Each session is also up at Storify — four, so far — so you don’t have to miss a scintillating minute of it. ;) See links below.

St. Augustine (hey, #CivDei peeps!) is mentioned quite a bit in the talks. Not surprising since he did write that Enarrationes in Psalmos thingy and he is a beloved Church Father and Doctor of the Church. I’ll be bringing special attention to the good doctor when we get to him, you can be sure of that! (What in the world is #CivDei, you say? Well, that’s a story for another day. Post in the works e’en now.)


Notes and Links

Follow me on Twitter: https://twitter.com/disciple96
Follow the project on Twitter: #PsalmsJPII
Follow my projects on Storify: [Sadly, Storify closed down May 16, 2018.]

Morning and Evening Prayer: Meditations and Catechesis on Psalms and Canticles:

Augustine's Expositions On the Psalms, digital, Logos-Verbum format

Also see these books/sets in the Logos/Verbum format (works with either):

(I listed those here because I pulled quotes from those sources, and others, when I was tweeting the #PsalmsJPII Project.)

Gestures and Postures of the Congregation at Mass

Well, this is helpful. Wish I’d known it was out there before now. I’m sure that in another place and time these things were noted in the rubrics. But somewhere along the way we tossed such helpful things and since then nobody ever knows what they’re supposed to do or when or how. Adoremus has a PDF file (from February 2010) called Gestures and Postures of the Congregation at Mass which is explains what we are to do, how and when. If I find an updated version, I’ll pass it along. See below for more from the Adoremus website:

**In response to reader requests,
“Gestures and Postures of the Congregation at Mass”, which originally appeared in the February 2010 Adoremus Bulletin, is now available in PDF format, or go to google document, especially formatted for printing on standard 8.5 x 11 paper (2 sides).

Permission is granted to reproduce this file for personal or parish use. For all other uses, please contact us.

**See also Church Documents page for official instructions and statements of the Holy See on these same topics.

The Mass, Salvation and the Sacraments, Baptism, Part 2

Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4. Baptism: Part 1, Part 2

This is part of a continuing series of posts on the Mass, salvation and the sacraments. Acknowledgments may be found at the end of this post.

Why do we get baptized or baptize our children? Why do we even need to go to church? I often hear people ask these questions of various believers, some of them teachers of the faith. Rarely do I hear them receive a good answer. Even more rarely do I hear them receive a true answer. I’ve heard people say that we go to church because we need the fellowship of other believers in order to stay faithful on our walk with the Lord. I’ve heard people say that we get baptized to show the Lord that we’re serious and ready to commit our lives to Him. I’ve heard that we Catholics baptize children because of some silly notion that baptism actually does something when anybody can see that it is merely symbolic of a decision made by a person who can reason about such things; so obviously a mere child isn’t capable of benefiting from it, much less, a baby.

Continue reading “The Mass, Salvation and the Sacraments, Baptism, Part 2”

The Mass, Salvation and the Sacraments – Baptism, Part 1

Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4. Baptism: Part 1Part 2

Journeying Toward God in the Barque of Peter
Journeying Toward God in the Barque of Peter

The following is part of a continuing series on the Church, salvation and the Sacraments. We’re beginning our exploration of the Sacraments themselves and where better to begin than with Baptism, the Sacrament by which we become members of the Body of Christ.

In the series to follow this one we’ll be looking more closely at the Old Testament background of the Church and the Sacraments, but I want to spend some time reflecting on the Church as the Barque of Peter, carrying the faithful safely across the crashing waves of the world, guiding them on their journey home to the Father. I’ll base these reflections mostly on the sources listed below in the acknowledgements. I offer the drawing below in the hopes that it will help you to visualize what I’m saying and will help me too.

Let’s look first at the entry into the Church, the Sacrament of Initiation par excellence: Baptism.

Continue reading “The Mass, Salvation and the Sacraments – Baptism, Part 1”

The Mass, Salvation and the Sacraments, Part 4

Economy of Salvation, The Crucifixion

Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4

The following is Part 4 in a continuing series which began as a write-up of a talk by Fr. Justin Nolan, FSSP, but instead took on a life of its own and has become some rather broad reflections on salvation history as it leads up to the founding of the Church by Christ, and the Church’s role in salvation. In the next set of posts we’ll go deeper and into more detail.* Come along with me now as we join the disciples of the Lord at this, the darkest time of their lives. Acknowledgments at the end of this post.

Continue reading “The Mass, Salvation and the Sacraments, Part 4”

The Mass, Salvation and the Sacraments, Part 3

Economy of Salvation, The Annunciation and Incarnation

Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4

The following is Part 3 in a continuing series which began as a write-up of a talk by Fr. Justin Nolan, FSSP, but instead took on a life of its own and has become some rather broad reflections on salvation history as it leads up to the founding of the Church by Christ, and the Church’s role in salvation. In the next set of posts we’ll go deeper and into more detail.* Notes and credits at the end of this post.

Continue reading “The Mass, Salvation and the Sacraments, Part 3”

The Mass, Salvation and the Sacraments, Part 2

Economy of Salvation, The Fall

Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4

The following is Part 2 in a continuing series which began as a write-up of a talk by a talk by Fr. Justin Nolan, FSSP, but instead took on a life of its own and has become some rather broad reflections on salvation history as it leads up to the founding of the Church by Christ, and the Church’s role in salvation. Soon we’ll go deeper and into more detail.* In this part we are still looking at how mankind got itself into a situation wherein it needed to be saved. Acknowledgments at the end of this post.

Continue reading “The Mass, Salvation and the Sacraments, Part 2”

Diagrams for the audio of the Mass workshop

(Update May 22 2019: Links to the Una Voce audio of the workshop are currently broken, again.)

Fr. Nolan drew some diagrams on the whiteboard during his presentation last week (a workshop for the Mass in the Extraordinary Form). I’ve made some graphics of my own based on his drawings. If you’re reading the series on the Mass and salvation that began in the last post, or if you’re planning on downloading and listening to his talks, you might find these useful. I still have a couple more to go, but I’m posting what I’ve got so far. Just trying to be helpful, don’t you know. We’ll explore this more fully in the other posts, but here are some things to think on the next time you’re preparing for Mass:

At Baptism we enter the Church (both figuratively and literally) and then we are on the way to becoming eligible to receive the other sacraments, as far as we are able. We enter the long boat of the Church, the Barque of Peter, and start out on our journey toward God.

As members of the Body of Christ we participate in His Death and Sacrifice on the Cross and receive the grace (and graces) we need for salvation. As Fr. Nolan said, this is how it works. This is how we are saved. By the action of Christ on the Cross. And by His grace allowing us to participate in His action by allowing us to unite with Him in His sufferings and death. We die to ourselves and offer ourselves along with Him as He offers His sacrifice throughout all time and beyond all time as our Eternal High Priest.

Diagrams, revised set.

The Mass, Salvation and the Sacraments, first in a series

In the Beginning

Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4

(Updated again, May 22 2019, currently all links to the Una Voce Northern Alabama site appear to be broken. Updated: Aug 14 2017: Fixed broken image links. Updated links to the workshop audio as of Oct 19 2012.) The following is Part 1 in a continuing series which began as a write-up of a talk by Fr. Justin Nolan, FSSP, but instead took on a life of its own and has become some rather broad reflections on salvation history as it leads up to the founding of the Church by Christ, and the Church’s role in salvation. After we gain a broad overview, we’ll go deeper and into more detail.* Acknowledgments at the end of this post.

Sacraments: Rivers of Grace

Prayer and the sacraments (and the Eucharist, the Mass, among them) are the foundation of the serious Catholic disciple’s way of life. We don’t just go to church or go to Mass on Sunday or even daily. We pray the Mass. We study it, reflect on it, we try to live a life that pre-disposes us to receive Holy Communion worthily, which doesn’t mean that we consider ourselves worthy, far from it.** We learn about the faith to deepen our faith, to give God the worship He deserves to the best of our ability, so that, through our worship and active participation in the sacraments, God can give us, and we can receive, His sanctifying grace necessary for our salvation. As Fr. Nolan says, This is how we are saved. It all comes from God, from Christ Jesus, from whom all grace and graces flow as rivers of grace from His wounded side.

We need to go deeper now to discover the real meaning of the Mass, to explore and understand and develop this life of prayer and study and reception of Christ’s grace in the sacraments. This is the heart of Catholicism, of Christianity. Without this, the rest of it has no meaning whatsoever. So let’s go back to the beginning, to the creation story in Genesis.

Continue reading “The Mass, Salvation and the Sacraments, first in a series”

Solemn High Mass in the Extraordinary Form workshop downloads

Una Voce Northern Alabama now has all the homily, Mass instructions and workshop talks available for download on their site. (I corrected the links just now, Jan 6, 2015, as Una Voce redid their site. Again.)

Solemn High Mass, Extraordinary Form, Saturday, August 22

I was watching my favorite network last night when what to my wondering eye should appear but a notice that there will be a Solemn High Mass in the Extraordinary Form at the Shrine of the Blessed Sacrament in Hanceville AL this coming Saturday, August 22 2009, which is also the Feast of the Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The Mass will be televised, so it’s an early one, 7am CDT. Argh. More info at EWTN’s Facebook page or at Una Voce Northern Alabama on their calendar page. Continue reading “Solemn High Mass, Extraordinary Form, Saturday, August 22”

Things I thought I knew

I may have mentioned that I’m sponsoring a friend in the RCIA program*. So I’ve been brushing up on my knowledge of all things Catholic and I learned a few things this past week. After studying Catholicism for fifteen years and being Catholic for thirteen years, I learned that my friend can not go through the Communion line to receive a blessing. (I’ve seen this done since I started going to Mass back in the mid-90’s.) And I learned that for her to use Holy Water would be a bit more useful if she were baptized already. (Which she isn’t.) Continue reading “Things I thought I knew”