Friday, May 29, 2009

Pentecost and the Proclamation of the Gospel

There is a curious, and perhaps little known, custom pertaining to the proclamation of the Gospel during the Pentecost Mass. As you may recall, the Apostles, being drunk with new wine, were going about babbling in many odd languages,

It has been a long-time custom in the Western Church, especially at Papal Masses, to always proclaim the Holy Gospel in Latin and in Greek. Hence, at Pentecost, it has also been the custom to proclaim the Holy Gospel in as many other languages as are spoken by, and understood by, the members of the congregation. The reason being so that "each, in his own language, hears the Gospel proclaimed to him."

In my time, I have only heard this done a very few times. It is, however, a very significant reminder that the Gospel is to be preached to all nations. I understand that this might make the Service a bit longer than usual; but to hear the Gospel of Pentecost read out in Latin, Greek, English, German, French, Italian, Danish, etc., leaves a lasting impression on you. Although we are many, we are still one in the Lord.

It may be too late to try this this year; but keep it in mind for next year.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Again with St. Francis

With my last post I received a comment that said "I'm gratified when I hear Lutherans giving thanks to the Creator for these non-human and yet very much alive blessings of creation who love us and serve us as the Lord made them to do."

In this post I mentioned a Prayer Card that I happened to find which was a "Prayer for My Pet." Of course, St. Francis was on the face of this card. A while later, one of our customers asked if we could locate a source for a book that she wanted to buy. The title of this book is For God's Creatures Great & Small. It is published by Regina Press, (C) 2006, ISBN: 0-88271-226-8.

This book was inspired by Saint Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals. Francis had much love for animals with a special fondness for birds. He liked to refer to animals as his brothers and sisters. Legend has it that wild animals had no fear of Francis and even came to him seeking refuge from harm. After his death in 1226, Francis was declared a saint by Pope Gregory IX.

This little book contains "Prayers for Our Pets and Other Animals." In it is a Prayer of Welcome for New Pets", "A Blessing for Pets", a "Prayer for a Sick Pet", " A Petition for a Pet Who Has Grown Old", "Get Well Wishes for a Pet", "A Prayer for a Lost Pet", "A Blessing Over a Pet's Food", "A Prayer of Forgiveness for Pet Accidents", "An Animal Litany", and even "A Goodbye Service for a Deceased Pet." I guarantee, if you read this little book, you will become misty-eyed. If you do not, I would question your humanity.

Now, before you get all uppity, remember the canticle (Benedicite Omnia Opere Domini) that says "Let everything that hath breath praise the Lord. Praise him and magnify Him forever." Now, if these creatures were created to praise God; should we not keep them in our own prayers? If you have read my post "A Strange and Special Angel," you already know my answer.

Any of my readers that might be curious about the "Prayer for My Pet" card, or about this small book; let me know. If you cannot locate a source for either of them, I can point you in the right direction or get them for you.

Fr. Hollywood, I await your comment.

Monday, May 04, 2009

MyThanks to You and a Reference to St. Francis

I wish to extend my thanks to all who offered prayers for my recovery from my fall. Your prayers and mine have been answered. Four days after my surgery I was home. My "Strange and Special Angel" was ready to take care of me, something that he took great joy in doing. On April 13 I was back at work. On April 29, my surgeon declared me fit to return to work (never mind that I had already been working for three weeks).

This past Sunday, my Pastor was commenting on my miraculous recovery; adding that after my demise, they might need to check the state of my remains. He did, however, amend that to observe that the state of my angel's remains might be of more interest. Sainthood in either case seems to be highly unlikely.

Concerning the Saints, however, working at a Catholic book store guides my attention to many curious coincidences. While browsing our collection of Holy Cards for a customer, I discovered one for St. Francis. This one is imprinted with a "Prayer for my Pet." I will be the first to admit that this prayer includes nothing that I have not said many times over as long as my Bear has been with me.

"In Your infinite wisdom, Lord God, when You created the universe You blessed us with all living creatures. We especially thank You for giving us our pets who are our friends and who bring us so much joy in life. Their presence very often helps us get through trying times. Kindly bless my pet. May my pet continue giving me joy and remind me of Your power.

"May we realize that as our pets trust us to take care of them, so we should trust You to take care of us, and in taking care of them we share in Your love for all Your creatures. Enlighten our minds to preserve all endangered species so that we may continue to appreciate all of Your creations.

"Grant this through Christ our Lord. Amen."

With respect to Fr. Eckhartd ("I Will Consider My Cat"): The death of a pet is sometimes "Ho,Hum," and at other times quite traumatic. I can't explain it; but it happens. My current "angel" decided to go home with me even if I was not so sure I really wanted him. I am greatful for his choice. He has been my companion, guardial angel and life saver for six years. Enjoy the pets that come your way; but cherish the pets that are determined to adopt you even if you do not agree. These are God's gifts to you. I know I will feel the loss of my Bear whenever it happens.

(The Grammarian, XIV): I know that I should not revise an existing text to fit my own sensibilities; but I have a personal problem with the inclusion of "endangered species" at the conclusion of the prayer on the card mentioned above. Are these not already included among "all your creations?"

Reverend Fathers and Brothers, forgive me for rambling. I do appreciate the prayers that have been offered by all those, known and unknown to me, who have been answered by our Lord, who has granted me a gracious recovery. I always remember you all in my prayers.

May the peace and blessing of Our Lord be always with you.

Dcn. Muehlenbruch