Contributed on Sep 11, 2010
The reform of our liturgy is not a matter of going back to pre-Vatican II forms, but of becoming more faithful to true worship as it has developed over 2000 years
Monday of 23rd Week in Course The Spirit of the Liturgy Sept 6 2010 The stories in chapter 6 of Luke are familiar enough, but we need to understand why the Pharisees were wrong–and not just incorrect, but truly evil. They did not recognize the supreme Good who stood in their midst and ...read more
Contributed on Sep 11, 2010
Liturgy is play of a special kind, the play of a child dependent on God; the purpose of being led out of slavery is right worship as God wants it, for our good.
September 13, 2010 The Spirit of the Liturgy Memorial of S. John Chrysostom Jesus came to gather together the dispersed tribes of Israel, and not Israel only, but the whole world. This is why St. Paul was so insistent that there be no factions at the celebration of the Eucharist. In the ...read more
Contributed on Sep 18, 2010
We must worship God as he wishes, not as we wish.
Monday of 25th week in Course 20 Sept 2010 The Spirit of the Liturgy Try as we might, we cannot ever find Jesus “cutting a deal,” or negotiating the Truth. He seemed always to be spoiling for a confrontation with Sadducees–the crooks who ran worship–or Pharisees, or ...read more
Contributed on Sep 26, 2010
Worship, ethics and law may not come loose from each other, or man is devalued.
Feast of St. Vincent de Paul The Spirit of the Liturgy 27 September 2010 How many of us, faced with the loss of all our property, and even all our children, would immediately fall to the ground and worship? Fall to the ground, certainly; but worship? Job does not sound like anyone I know. ...read more
Contributed on Oct 2, 2010
Cult is part of culture, even materialistic culture; our cult must be conducted as God wishes.
Feast of St. Francis of Assisi October 4, 2010 Spirit of the Liturgy Series By all testimony, including his own, Francis was a self-willed man. Even when he heard God’s call, we see over and over again his early actions as those of someone who is making his own way. The Francis of the ...read more
Contributed on Oct 9, 2010
Worship must be cosmic and rooted in history, more than an act of socialization and focused on the act of becoming images and likenesses of God
Monday of 28th Week in Course Spirit of the Liturgy Columbus Day There are two kinds of spiritual slavery–that horrible condition St. Paul warns against in today’s reading. The first is a slavish obedience to law, the kind of nit-picky legalism that the Pharisees specialized in, ...read more
Contributed on Oct 16, 2010
God separated Israel from Egypt to make that people a beacon; in the Church, that beacon is a reality to draw all men and women to true worship in Christ.
Feast of St Luke October 18 2010 Spirit of the Liturgy It is important to our study of the spirit of the Liturgy that, when arriving at a new place, the disciple of Jesus is to give the occupants a liturgical greeting–Shalom aleichem, or “peace to those who dwell here.” The ...read more
Contributed on Oct 23, 2010
The Christian experience of Christ and of worship is an unique celebration of the going out of creation and the coming home of redemption.
Monday of 30th week in course 25 Oct 2010 The Spirit of the Liturgy Today’s Gospel is ideal for reflection on true worship and the Jesus-centered vision of the Christian Sabbath. The God of the Sabbath, who became human, restored the meaning of the Sabbath as a day of liberation, a day ...read more
Contributed on Nov 6, 2010
Jesus is the true sacrifice which we re-present in our worship; he is a perfect sacrifice of obedience to the Father's will
Monday of 32nd Week in Course November 8, 2010 Spirit of the Liturgy What the New American Bible calls “things that cause sin,” and the RSV translates “temptations to sin,” is the word skandala, which is lousy Greek but good Hebrew. The word “scandal” means ...read more
Contributed on Nov 13, 2010
Jesus and the early disciples preached against the Jerusalem Temple because the new Temple is the Body of the Risen Christ, and true worship is centered there.
November 15, 2010 Albert the Great The Spirit of the Liturgy Today we commemorate St. Albert the Great, known for many years as “the Universal Doctor.” He is best known as the teacher and mentor of St. Thomas Aquinas, but his studies and teaching spanned all of what was known then ...read more
Contributed on Nov 20, 2010
The essence of the Christian liturgy goes beyond the synagogue service and has as its essential feature universality of time, place and people.
Feast of St. Cecilia Nov 22 2010 Spirit of the Liturgy On this Celebration of St. Cecilia’s Day, it is most fitting that the Book of Revelations opens up to us the vision of the Lamb on His throne. From heaven comes the voice of God–not thunder and lightning–but a sweet and ...read more
Contributed on Nov 27, 2010
In Advent, we celebrate Eucharist, which is the image that stands between the OT shadow and the heavenly reality.
Monday of First Week in Advent 29 November 2010 Spirit of the Liturgy Gospel Reading: Matthew 8:5-11 1. 5 As he entered Caper'na-um, a centurion came forward to him, beseeching him 6 and saying, "Lord, my servant is lying paralyzed at home, in terrible distress." 7 And he said to him, "I ...read more
Contributed on Dec 4, 2010
The Mass is offered in union with the once-for-all sacrifice of Jesus, his free self-offering, on Calvary. It is not a repetition, but a re-presentation of the one sacrifice, and carries forward into our work on earth.
December 6, 2010 St. Nicholas The Spirit of the Liturgy Today’s reading from Isaiah makes most sense if it was written at the time of the Babylonian exile. Because Israel had rebelled against the Lord, the covenant was voided and all the curses specified in Leviticus and Deuteronomy ...read more
Contributed on Dec 11, 2010
To understand our duty to ourselves and God, we must distinguish between seeking pleasure and seeking joy.
Third Sunday in Advent Dec 12, 2010 Spirit of the Liturgy–Sunday Series The haunting strains of chant mode 1 set the admonition of St. Paul in the Introit of today’s Mass, in both the ordinary and extraordinary form. The Church looks at the world through rose-colored vestments, ...read more
Contributed on Dec 11, 2010
In form and spirit, there is good continuity between the building and worship of the Jewish synagogue and the Christian assembly and Eucharist
December 13, 2010 Santa Lucia The Spirit of the Liturgy You just have to sympathize with Baalam the prophet. He was called by King Balak to come and curse this upstart band of nomads invading his country. He was called because he was rumored to be a prophet of the same “god” the ...read more
Contributed on Dec 18, 2010
From earliest times, the Church has worshiped in the direction of the east, toward the coming Christ, rather than toward Jerusalem.
December 21, 2010 Monday of 4th week in Advent Spirit of the Liturgy Isaiah told Ahaz: “Ask a sign of the Lord YOUR God. Ask anything you like.” So Ahaz piously responded, “no, I will not ask for a sign. I will not put the Lord to the test.” And Isaiah, in obvious ...read more
Contributed on Dec 23, 2010
John's sacramental vision was translated into a church building with two centers--a center of the Word and a center of Eucharistic celebration
Feast of St. John Dec 27 2010 Spirit of the Liturgy It is very appropriate to be preaching on the Spirit of the Liturgy on the Feast of St. John, because both the letters and the Gospel of John are so sacramental. One useful definition of sacrament is Christ touching us through sacred signs. ...read more
Contributed on Dec 29, 2010
We must have respect for the symbols of our faith, especially the Holy Name of Jesus. We must also develop a respect for the traditions of our faith, like praying in the direction of the "orient," which is a symbol of the coming of Jesus
The Holy Name of Jesus January 3, 2011 Spirit of the Liturgy “At the name of Jesus, every knee should bend, in heaven, on earth and under the earth.” The name, Jesus, or Yah-shuah, means “the Lord saves.” It is one of the principal symbols of the love of God for us, ...read more
Contributed on Jan 8, 2011
Jesus came to take away sin; the sin of the United States is a sin against life. Only prayer, fasting and clear, urgent action can move us in the right direction.
Baptism of the Lord Jesus January 9, 2010 Today’s Gospel relates one of the big questions of the early Church. All four Gospels and the Acts of the Apostles relate at least once the story of the baptism of Jesus by John. John’s baptism was a baptism of repentance. Those who came to John were ...read more
Contributed on Jan 15, 2011
How shall we acknowledge the sacrifice of Christ re-presented in the Mass: by facing together in prayer the cross--the sign of the Son of Man.
January 17, 2011 St. Anthony of the Desert Spirit of the Liturgy New wine does not go into old wineskins, so the synagogue-Temple services, on which the Catholic Mass is based, have been replaced by the Liturgy of the Word and the re-presentation of the Calvary sacrifice. Here, the great High ...read more
Contributed on Jan 22, 2011
The two real presences of Christ in the Eucharist are really one.
January 24, 2011 St Francis de Sales The Spirit of the Liturgy The whole of the New Testament can be summarized in one sentence. In the words of Athanasius, God became human so that humans could become divine. The problem, of course, with that plan is that we are sinners. We are born with ...read more
Contributed on Jan 29, 2011
The Middle Ages gave us an understanding of the Real Presence of the personal Christ in Eucharist that demands a special place.
Memorial of St. John Bosco January 31, 2011 Spirit of the Liturgy What could be better than being approved by God for our faith, as the author of the letter to the Hebrews says about our spiritual ancestors? Yet he says that God sees something better for us. It is something so great that we ...read more
Contributed on Feb 4, 2011
The Sunday celebration, that of the new Sabbath, is the eighth day described by the Fathers of the Church.
Monday of 5th week in Course 7 February 2011 Spirit of the Liturgy The great myths of Mesopotamia were myths of creation. Gods battled and slew each other, and the cosmos was formed from the dead body of a god. And it was pretty rank and fetid. That’s the way pagans look at their ...read more
Contributed on Feb 5, 2011
As C.S. Lewis said, while we are wondering where our feet go next, we are not dancing; thus we need rubrics and familiar prayers in our worship.
Sixth Sunday in Course February 13, 2011 Spirit of the Liturgy Today we are challenged to consider the place of law in our lives. In the psalm we prayed for divine understanding, so that we may keep God’s law and observe it wholeheartedly. The Offertory verse pleads “Blessed are you, O Lord, ...read more
Contributed on Feb 12, 2011
Abel worshiped in faith, and so should we.
Ss Cyril & Methodius February 14, 2011 The Spirit of the Liturgy For a few months now we have been considering, with our Holy Father, the spirit of the liturgy. And so it is fitting that we hear today, and on Valentine’s Day, this marvelous lesson from Genesis, the story of accepted ...read more
Contributed on Feb 26, 2011
Depictions of events from the Bible in image are in no way a violation of the first commandment, but help the events transcend the passing of time and become present in our midst.
Monday of 8th Week in Course Feb 28 2011 Spirit of the Liturgy The young man arrived full of enthusiasm, and he went away sorrowful. The English can’t do proper justice to the original meaning of the Greek. The same word is used of the disciples when Jesus told them he would ultimately ...read more
Contributed on Mar 3, 2011
Change is inevitable; growth is optional, morally, spiritually, liturgically.
First Sunday of Lent 2011 The Spirit of the Liturgy The fruit was, she had to admit, highly attractive. Over the weeks since her creation, she had time to ponder it, to wonder why the fruit of this one tree was off-limits to her and her new husband. She had even invented a foil for her ...read more
Contributed on Mar 12, 2011
Our good works for our brothers and sisters are icons of Christ in our culture.
Monday of First Week in Lent 14 March 2011 Spirit of the Liturgy At various times in the history of the Church, Judaizing elements in and outside the Church have risen up and waved the second half of the first commandment at the Church, and accused us of worshiping images and idols. ...read more
Contributed on Mar 19, 2011
In the icon of the crucifixion we find the same spiritual orientations we discovered in the eastward direction of our prayer.
Monday of 2nd Week in Lent 2011 Spirit of the Liturgy Over and over again the OT repeats the theme: God is merciful; His people are faithless. Original sin has not corrupted our natures entirely, but it has weakened them so that we find it an uphill climb to do good and avoid evil. Without ...read more
Contributed on Mar 26, 2011
From the iconoclast controversy we can derive the five principles that should inform our church art
Monday of 3rd Week in Lent 28 March 2011 Spirit of the Liturgy The onset of a dreaded disease is one of the most stressful events of any life. Today, cancer is the most dreaded, but in the time of the prophets, when no one knew about viruses and few people lived to an advanced age, it was a ...read more