Sunday, January 24, 2016

SAVE THE PLANET: Post Your Sunday Sermon Notes

Sometimes, dear reader, you must take the Bear's copy in the spirit of circus hyperbole. The elephant is always "the world's largest." The lions are always "the most ferocious." The aerialist is "the bravest," performing the "most dangerous stunts." The horses are always the "most dazzling."

It's all about getting the, ah, audience in the tent. In truth, the Bear's "Your Sunday Sermon Notes" is not really exclusive to this ephemeris, but is a baldfaced theft from the wonderful and well-known Fr. Z.

However, there is a big difference. Being a priest, and therefore responsible... Let the Bear rephrase that. Being a responsible priest, he limits the reports from his readership to good sermons. The Bear enjoys reading the good and the bad, because this is a way of taking the pulse of the  Church Militant. Good and strong, or weak and thready?

So without further ado, today's sermon at the Bear's church was like being fed styrofoam.
There are a number of activities that go on here in the parish. Our Hispanic community is active, and the youth ministry, which is pretty much Hispanic, started from a youth rally in Indiana. We had nine couples attend a pre-Cana meeting to begin preparation for married life, and it is good that husband and wife are complementary. And thanks for the Knights of Columbus that provided a wonderful continental breakfast. We have a number of 12-Step programs that use our facilities, and we're happy to be able to host them.  We also have a small faith community that we're very happy with. Then there are the Ministers of Hospitality, and lectors, who do a very fine job proclaiming the Word, and then there are our Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion. [At this point the Bear is ready to gnaw his own leg off.] And today we have three readings, which were longer than usual. The bulletin always has the readings for Sunday, and the weekdays, too, which you can read at home in your Bibles. First we read about Saul. [Finally!] We can identify with him when we're jealous, or when we try to kill people. [The Bear may have dreamt that last part; he confesses to dozing off.] Then there was our second reading. But in the Gospel, it's the beginning of the Book of Luke, because it says that. Luke gathered all the different accounts and put them together so people could read them and believe. Jesus goes to the synagogue to to teach, and says, "today this is fulfilled in your hearing."
And that is just a taste, except the substantive teaching, which was indeed about that spare. Most of it was what various people and groups did at the parish. The Bear has heard worse, but...

The Extraordinary Minister of Communion almost dropped the host. The Bear believes it is because they are deathly afraid of possibly touching someone's tongue by accident, so they always get it in the general vicinity of the Bear's maw and  it's bombs away, with shocking carelessness as to accuracy. And that is the main reason why the Bear usually takes Our Lord in his hand. It's amateur hour. Today he was encumbered by a cane, though.

Or maybe they're scared of sticking their hands in a Bear's mouth. People can be funny about that.

Most of our hymns seem to be about "people." The Bear thinks they should be about God. So whenever we sing one our many self-worshipping people hymns, the Bear sings a snappy "PEEP-uhl." "We are the PEEP-uhl" is his favorite. The Bear finds this vastly entertaining. Indeed, it makes him joyful, especially if he can share the joy by making his mate crack up.

How was your Sunday sermon?

34 comments:

  1. Basic points were
    1) Need for community...many parts of one body...vine and branches, with interesting emphasis of the vine unable to bear fruit without help of branches(!?)
    2)Call for unity..to pray for those of other creeds(?!)
    3)Perhaps I'm reading too much from pewsitter (??!!)

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    1. How was number three phrased, if you don't mind my asking? The Bear doesn't want to bite the hand the feeds him, since he had three stories on Pewsitter at once a couple of weeks ago, and it sends him a lot of traffic. But I do think you can OD on bad news, even if it's all true. Good mental hygiene comes first.

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  2. Going to make the trek to this afternoon's TLM. God Bless the priest, for his foreign accent is so thick I'll catch 5% of what he says. So, I'll haven't a clue of what was said. I feel I must storm heaven after this past month's shenanigans in Rome. I'll enjoy Father Rutler's sermon in my e-mail inbox. Always incredible.

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    1. People with hard to understand accents can be trained to articulate properly. Years ago, I did this in a limited way with someone and it worked. Perhaps there can be some program set up in diocese to train foreign priests with accents in proper articulation.

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    2. Maybe print it off and stick it in the bulletin? And, Sandpiper, your Guardian Angel understands it. Maybe you'll get more out of than you think.

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    3. To be fair to Father, I listened carefully, and it's more like 50% understandable. I must avoid hyperbole in these matters. Still, much is missed. He is very holy and for that I am grateful. We had exposition of the Blessed Sacrament before Mass, with a Litany to the holy name of Jesus before Mass, and a Litany to the BVM afterward with prayer to St Michael. I tried not to look at the huge Year of Mercy 3-eyed logo to the side of the altar. I implored Our Lady to crush the head of the serpent ASAP.

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    4. Neither of our lectors have English as their native language, and are quite difficult to follow. Normally I bring my missal in, but I forgot it today.

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    5. At least we don't have to stare at Triclops. That thing gives me the creeps.

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  3. Many parts, One Body... Father talked how it is imperative that we must stay in the ark, otherwise we will perish like in the days of Noah. I am assuming the he meant that the ark is the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church,

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  4. The sermon today focused more on the OT reading, with the idea in the same way that Israel, who was slowly over time influenced by the pagan nations around them, to think about the gradual slipping of America and our own personal role in it's fall from morality and belief in God. However, I noted there was a anti-gun statement in the Prayer of the Faithful (a end to gun violence and the use of guns) So overall good sermon -1 for that bit of political correctness(not typical for this parish, Latin Propers and Latin hymns are used more often then when I first started attending)

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    1. Good. Bear might treat that as "may peace descend like dew and end the need for guns to defend ourselves." Bear is always wary of our frequent prayer for the unity of all Christians. He can endorse that, but probably not in the way its intended,

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    2. Our ears now vibrate when we hear "mercy", "judgment" and other assorted buzzwords. I no longer want to hear the word mercy unless it is accompanied by the word "repentance", which is rarely is.

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  5. Today, my wife turned to me during the first Communion hymn and said, "We have to leave," and I nodded. (Off to our Ordinariate parish, probably, once we can extricate ourselves from our family's lector/EMHC/altar-serving responsibilities.) It wasn't so much our priest's homily, though it was more replete than usual with psychologizing about family trauma causing people to fear God (a bad thing, apparently) rather than love him joyfully or something; no, it was the realization that the Novus Ordo Mass is constructed precisely for our comfort. Everything is designed to give us warm fuzzies, to make us feel affirmed. Nothing challenges, nothing confronts, nothing disturbs our self-regard. And our gradual recognition of this fact has too often made the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass into an occasion of sin. After I made fun of the wretched new "opening song", as our Music Minister calls it, I figured I shouldn't go up to receive.

    I've been toying with the idea for a while, but for some reason today cemented it.

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    1. The Bear hopes you fare well. He's not quite sure what an ordinariate parish is. The Bear just keeps his expectations low, and trusts that indefectibility guarantees that the Church will never lose her sacraments. Of course, it's not like we have much of a choice. You could carve that on the front of St. Peter's as the motto of the Church. "The Roman Catholic Church. Because We All Know You Don't Have Much of a Choice."

      I remember what sent me off to Orthodoxy finally (second time). They wheeled in a television in front of the altar for a taped program begging for money for the Diocesan Appeal.

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    2. BTW, I watched Au Revoir Les Infants today, one of the movies someone had recommended. My plan is to work my way through all the recommendations that are available streaming.

      I looked for Calvary with Brendan Gleeson, but couldn't find it online anywhere. Forget if I mentioned it, but Hulu is great for the classics you won't find elsewhere.

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    3. Sorry. "Ordinariate" is the Anglican Ordinariate, one of the greatest fruits of Papa Benedict's reign. Ex-Anglican Catholics in full communion with Rome, with a beautiful liturgy that is very similar to the Tridentine Rite, but in Elizabethan English with more congregational participation. (The great Father Hunwicke is an Ordinariate priest.) Non-ex Anglican Catholics cannot join the Ordinariate proper, but they can become associate members and join the parish.

      But no, I'm not leaving the Catholic Church. I just need to worship somewhere where my teeth aren't set on edge most weeks.

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    4. I'm surprised. It usually seems to be the man that gets fed up and takes his family elsewhere.

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    5. Murray, I attend the Ordinariate parish in my city once in awhile, which also happens to be the North American headquarters. I've noticed they are slowly making changes to be more in conformity with the TLM, such as now recognizing the pre-Lenten season. Msgr. Steenson also recited John 1:1 after a weekday Mass during Christmastide. A great development I'd say.

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    6. Well, I'm the prime mover in these things, but we are of one mind on the question, and I'd be reluctant to make such a momentous decision without her consent.

      pjm, agreed. The Ordinariate Divine Worship restores much of the old Calendar (Septuagesima, weeks after Pentecost, etc.) and many of the traditional prayers of the Roman Rite. Worship is performed facing God, Communion is received kneeling at the rail, and there are virtually no opportunities for the priest to ad lib. We kneel for much of the Mass, genuflect during the Creed and the Last Gospel, sing the psalms in plainchant, recite the domine non sum dignus three times (in English), and there are several congregational prayers expressing our humble thankfulness for being counted worthy to receive. And I don't believe I've encountered any hymns that were written after 1900, with many of them being medieval or even ancient.

      Catholic apologists like to say that the Mass is one big prayer, but that was never brought home to me until I attended the Latin Mass and the Ordinariate Divine Worship. By contrast with these, the four-hymn sandwich Novus Ordo is choppy and disorganized.

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    7. The Novus Ordo God is everywhere. So our priest celebrates facing God, too. ;-)

      But I agree that the music seems bolted on and breaks up the flow. One thing I'll give our priest, for all his suboptimal homilies, he doesn't mess with the Mass.

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    8. I know that it is nearly always the man when it come to Orthodoxy. Orthodox is very manly what with beards and women being banned from the altar.

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  6. Father tied together the reading from Nehemiah with the reading from Luke, encouraging us to let the Word do its work in us every Sunday. Do not fall into thinking of the Liturgy of the Word as "the slow part" of the Mass.

    So I have been thinking about the wisdom of Paul's message to the church in Corinth. Very salient in my life right now.

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  7. Bear your comments are entertaining me so much that I have taken to reading them aloud to my mate!
    My sermon was fine. Why was it fine you ask? Because we were in the middle of a Holy Mass in the Extraordinary Form, a low mass, so no bells and whistles, but earnest, edifying prayer for God to allow the priest to approach the altar on our behalf, and to offer supplication for us, to allow the bread and wine to be turned into His Precious Body and Blood, which we then received, Bread of Angels. All in quiet, no "Gather us In", no dreaded sign of peace, no political correctness, no admonitions about mercy and judgment.
    We were instructed on Septuagesima Sunday, and the need to begin to prepare for Lent.
    I do not believe we could any longer attend a NO Mass with the nonsense we are witnessing in Rome.
    Now that we have enjoyed it's beauty for a few months, it's all over for us at the NO Mass. Even if one had to drive far, drive it at least once a month to make life bearable. (pun intended)

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    1. I'm sure he is vastly entertained ;-) The thing to always remember about the new form of the liturgy is that, whatever else is going on, Jesus Himself, the Second Person of the Holy Trinity gives us Himself to eat and drink. That's pretty special, too. That's what the Bear is there for. At least that's what makes sense to his simple 450 gm. brain.

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  8. I have found a way out of the NO problem that so many of us seem to have - for some time now I have been attending, on Sundays, the Divine Liturgy in the Ukrainian Catholic Rite in an absolutely beautiful church (here in Australia). I don't know Ukrainian, but there was a time (remember) when we all went to Mass in Latin, even though many of us didn't know the language. The priest faces the Lord and the whole thing is sung - truly beautiful and focussed solely on the One we worship. And I was made most welcome. Try it and see.

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  9. This is my take-away from Sunday's Mass. Before Mass began our Rector reminded everyone they must be in a state of grace to receive Holy Communion. He also said the Host is to be received reverently and indicated that he has scratch marks all over his hands from folks grabbing the Eucharist from him rather than cupping their hands to receive it. The other point was that people who receive the host on the tongue should not keep their mouth in the form of a mail slot. Scratches and mail slots! We've come a long way since Vatican II. I love it.

    As far as the homily was concerned the most memorable was our Priest's observation when commenting on the Book of Nehemiah was how remarkable it was for the Jews to listen to the word of God for four long hours. He explained that since they had just returned from the Babylonian captivity a lot of this was new to them. His point was that if the Jews could spend four hours standing in the heat listening to scripture we should be able to do it at home for 15 minutes or so. Good point!



    T

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  10. ABS has two goals in life and he has met both of them.

    #1 Never camp out

    #2 Never receive communion from other than a Priest.

    Our Presider talked about Les Miserables. Nope not joking; Les Miserables.

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    1. Well, I can imagine where that MIGHT not be bad by way of illustration. But only after he had thoroughly exhausted the readings.

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    2. You are wise not to camp out. There are Bears in the woods.

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  11. I was disturbed, to put it politely, to hear in the Homily what a great leader Martin Luther King was, and the way he lived in accordance with his words, as opposed to just saying them. I was so, as I've stated, "disturbed", that I contemplated not taking the Host, but I was just able to clear my mind.

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    1. Yikes! His various observances were passed along, but that was all we had about him. But it pleases the Bear that he does not suffer alone. (Sorry, but that's the way Bears are. Horrible, I know.)

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