REFLECTIONS ON OUR FAITH AND ITS PRACTICES

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TERESA BENEDETTA
00Saturday, March 11, 2006 2:32 AM
I just realized we have no specific space to discuss our personal attitudes and reflections about the Catholic faith and its practices. So I have opened this thread for that purpose.

For those of us who were born and raised in the Faith, we often tend to take a lot of it "for granted" - in that a specific belief or practice has been so ingrained into us that it has become second nature.

Earlier this week, Discipula opened a topic in the Forum-proper of the main forum on the Holy Spirit. The initial posts indicated that the Third Person of the Trinity remains remote to many. So I posted something about my own devotion to the Holy Spirit who has been such a constant presence in my daily life that I had thought maybe He was too for most Catholics.

So let me share what I posted above in English, in the hope that you too may share your thoughts about the Holy Spirit, and any other question of faith, doctrine, practice or liturgy that interests you.

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RELATING TO THE 'DOVE'

In the Catholic school where I was raised, we were taught from the very beginning, before our First Communion even, to pray specially to the Holy Spirit every day for all things that had to do with the mind and the heart, that is, to invoke from Him the graces of wisdom and love.

Therefore, early on, the Holy Spirit became for me the patron of studying (I never begin a test without first praying to Him -I have never found the appropriate pronoun for the Third Person, but I'll stick to the traditional use of the masculine in this case), and as I grew older, the patron for right decisions, to guide me to be good and do good in the course of every day.

I always pray to Him most especially to guide and illuminate the Pope (whoever he is) and all his ministers to do what God wishes for his people, and for national leaders, especially those who hold the fate of millions in their hands, that they may be able to do 'the greatest good for the greatest number'.

And since He is the spirit of Love, I also entrust to Him all persons who commit great wrongs (terrorists, murderers, rapists and the other misguided beings who create hell on earth) that somehow, the light of God may descend on them. Meditating on the third Glorious Mystery of the Rosary, which celebrates the Pentecost (perhaps the Holy Spirit's most wondrous manifestation in history) is always an occasion to consign all these great and difficult challenges to Him. And somehow, just the very act of invoking Him gives me great comfort.

I love the "Veni creator Spiritus" (which Regin upstairs provides in the Latin version and its Italian translation), but the only 'ready-made' prayer I know by heart is what I learned first as a child: "Come, Holy Ghost, fill the hearts of thy faithful and enkindle in them the fires of thy love. Send forth thy spirit, and they shall be created, and thou shalt renew the face of the earth."

It is a quick prayer that I recite automatically whenever I find myself in any situation which requires the exercise of judgment, wisdom and charitable understanding of others. Not that I always end up acting correctly, but most of the time, He does help me overcome my egoism. Sometimes, I also offer a novena to the Holy Spirit for a specific purpose.

I must confess that the fixed image in my mind is the Dove that hovered above the head of Jesus during his Baptism in the river Jordan, and that the mystery of the Holy Trinity will always remain one for me, but it is easy for me to interpret the phrase "Holy Spirit" literally as "the spirit of God". And in that way, He has always been for me a constant and very real 'presence'.

I have always been struck by that simple alabaster image of the Paraclete set in the great amber glass window that looks down on the main altar at St. Peter's Basilica as a particularly appropriate iconic representation of the Holy Spirit reigning over us.
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Some of the posts in the "IL SANTO SPIRITO" thread on the Forum-Proper are quite illuminating on the nature of the Trinity and on the Third Person in it. I know I have an article filed in which Cardinal Ratzinger discusses "Pneumatology" in an article for Communio, I think it was, but offhand, I cannot remember if I have it in an English version. If it is and I can access the original link from where I got it, I will post it in IN HIS OWN WORDS.

[Modificato da TERESA BENEDETTA 11/03/2006 2.41]

mag6nideum
00Saturday, March 11, 2006 12:38 PM
This can be a wonderful new thread
, also for people not raised in the Catholic tradition. Thanks Teresa. And may I now immediately show my ignorance of many aspects and terms in the RCC tradition? I've come upon the expression "novena" a few times on the forums, but don't have the vaguest idea of what it signifies! I hope someone can explain it or direct me to a source for that purpose.

The Trinity remains for me a difficult concept! As soon as I think I've "grasped" it in its "unity", it breaks up again in three distinctnesses...You all know the story of the atheist guy who gave his version of this dogma to another non-believer: "Christians? They believe in two men and a bird".

(In my mother tongue the word "bird" has a male sexual connotation and this making a joke of the trinity has some Christian-haters in stitches, of course.)

I also love the words and ancient melody of the Veni Creator Spiritus! For some reason, now that I'm older, I start crying every time I hear it. This has to mean therefore that the text of the Veni automatically touches a very deep need - and the recognition of a profound truth - in the depths of my being. That is when I intuitively FEEL that God-Christ-the Holy Spirit is ONE. The Spirit, for me, is the Spirit of God and his "Son" that comforts me. The Spirit as Comforter is a Christian image we all know and no wonder it's also expressed in this way, because it underlines what we have experienced.

I love reading about the development of theology around the concept of the trinity, from Christ's ascension until our own time. But this reading entails only the cognitive faculties and in the end I'm left withthe feeling thatit is a real mystery, something that can be only understood by experience.
TERESA BENEDETTA
00Saturday, March 11, 2006 6:18 PM
ON NOVENAS, ETC.
Dear Mag6nideum - Your reaction is exactly the kind I hoped this new thread would awaken. Questions, comments and discussions on Catholicism and its practices from non-Catholics, including those in the process of or thinking about converting to Catholicism, are most useful because it makes the born-and-bred Catholics among us look with new eyes on what we believe and what we do in the name of the faith.

Some specific answers -
About Novenas: A novena simply refers to any devotion, usually consisting of a set of prayers with or without other spiritual exercises, carried out over a consecutive period of nine days, usually for a specific purpose. Truth to say, I have never bothered to read up about novenas, because I simply grew up in an atmosphere of novenas galore.

As a child, I lived through a succession of deaths in the family (great grandparents, grandparents, aunts and uncles), for each of whom, starting from the day of burial, the family prayed together every night the Novena for the Dead, based on the Passion of Christ, which my grandparents conducted and taught us in Spanish, which is how they had learned it. Notwithstanding their association with the dead, these novenas were for me one of the most beautiful memories of my childhood -just thinking of it, I can still smell the candles lit before our home altar and relive that intimate atmosphere of "a family that prays together." My family continues the practice, and I last did it together with them when I went home in 2004 for the funeral of an uncle who had been my father-figure for years after my own father died.

Most of the devout Catholics I knew simply prayed novenas daily, the same one over and over, or various novenas depending on their particular devotions (to Mary or Joseph or their patron saint) and their particular intentions. You can tell from whom I offer my novenas to, the degree and kind of need I feel when I do them - Our Lady of Perpetual Help; Saint Jude Thaddeus and St. Rita of Cassia, both considered to tbe Patron Saints of the Impossible; and the Holy Spirit, as I have mentioned. My 'perpetual' novena for the past 20 years or so has been to Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal, since I picked up a prayer leaflet for the novena from the chapel in Paris's rue du Bac which commemorates her apparitions to St. Catherine Laboure. I find novenas a convenient form of spiritual exercise and meditation in addition to their value as prayer per se.

In the Philippines, the most widespread novena is a novena of dawn Masses we call Misa de Gallo (a Spanish term meaning "Mass of the Cock", i.e., held at cock's crow) during the nine days that precede Christmas, starting December 16. It is probably not as widespread anymore as it was in my childhood (back then there were 30 million Filipinos compared to some 80 million now!). But they were memorable - one woke up very early, got dressed and walked to church for Mass at 5:30 a.m., before the sun came out. One walked out after Mass into the dewy cool dawn (in the Philippines where there are only two seasons, dry and wet, Christmastime is not only in the dry season, it is also the coolest time of year, i.e., low 80s instead of the usual humid high 90s of the tropic zone) and got home to a special breakfast of thick hot chocolate (made from freshly ground and roasted cacao beans, not powdered cocoa!) with sweet cakes of sticky rice topped with coconut syrup, eaten with thick slices of aged Edam cheese. The culmination of the Christmas novena was of course Midnight Mass (Misa de Aguinaldo, a term which means 'gift' but with a capital A, refers to the midnight Mass at Christmas and the New Year), which was always followed by a great family banquet (a meal called Noche Buena, i.e., "the good night") and exchange of gifts around 1:30 in the morning of Christmas Day.

As an aside, let me say that reading Cardinal Ratzinger's various recollections of his Catholic childhood in Bavaria made me realize how much baroque Spanish Catholicism (which is what we Filipinos learned) has in common with Bavarian Catholic tradition. I have always been deeply grateful for the Catholic heritage that Spain gave us, and so, it pains me particularly to see what that country's current secular government is doing to undermine Catholicism.

About religious "mystery" in general: Your last sentence was most perceptive - that a mystery cannot be truly appreciated on the cognitive level (if it could, then it is not a mystery), it can only be 'experienced', or 'felt.' All spiritual teachers, including those of Eastern religions, say that. And so, when contemplating a mystery of the faith, I do not seek to understand it through the limited prism of my mind, but simply hope I can keep myself open enough so that God may make me feel a sense of it - I don't know if I am expressing myself well.

About the Trinity: I stick to my 'understanding' of it from my earliest catechism lesson as a 6-year-old, that the three Persons of the Trinity are different aspects of one and the same God, and I never thought to question it. Later, when I had the capacity to think about it, I started to think of the Trinity this way: God the Father is the Eternal Principle from whom all things flow; God the Son is God made man in Jesus Christ (God inserting himself into human history, as I would read much later in Cardinal Ratzinger's vivid words); and God the Holy Spirit is the spiritual manifestation in our lives of His many graces, intangible as such, but made real through their effects. [I suddenly realize that I have never verbalized this before! How strange - I now look back and realize that even Student Catholic Action at university was concerned with social (in the sense of charitable) activity and engagement rather than discussing matters of the Faith - I guess simply because everyone took doctrine for granted, literally, and no one questioned it.]

To NanMn and other "Catholics-in-process": It would be so good to hear about your experiences and thoughts in this connection. In the German forum at RFC, the girls there have been closely following the experiences of Doomina who is about to be baptized in the Church, and I find her accounts fascinating, as I have never had personal experience before with a conversion.

[Modificato da TERESA BENEDETTA 11/03/2006 23.46]

mag6nideum
00Sunday, March 12, 2006 12:04 AM
Some more musings
.... Dear Teresa -- when you narrate the way in which you've lived and experienced the Catholic faith since childhood, you have me reading with bated breath!! Some of it correlates with my childhood as a Protestant (the Christmas eve scenes, meal after midnight service (not the wonderful chocolate and Edam cheese, alas!) But, needless to say, Protestantism, especially dear old Calvin(?) had thrown out the baby with the bathwater, after Herr Luther broke away. Let me just say this: I blush when reading Luther's fulminations against the RCC (sorry Lutheran- guest! What can you do about it?!) but I can understand some of his reactions in those times, and we all realise that he was the eventual spokesman for many people who had serious problems with [especially] the buying of indulgences; something that hasn't previously been a part of Catholic tradition, and has thankfully vanished since then.

So - I just have to accept that this thing called the Reformation happened in history, that I was born into a Protestant family and environment, and had never before met a living Catholic older than 18 years! The last mentioned person was in of my classes; I didn't even realise she was Catholic but got to know it in a humiliating, shattering way after I played a CD of a motet (Assumpta est Maria) and had to explain - haltingly - to a class of Protestant students what the text was about. They were totally perplexed; and I must have showed my own doubt in a small but perceptible manner, because this little student waited for me after class! She was furious and in tears, attacking me head on for not believing that the Holy Mother ascended to heaven. ( I never SAID that, but she could sense it.) Well, you could imagine my surprise! A Catholic in my class! And such a brave girl! We had a long chat, I asked her forgiveness for not realising her denomination and tried to explain that IF I had shown a sign of disbelief, it was the "natural" reaction of a Protestant. I felt absolutely TERRIBLE, believe me, when seeing her hurt soul. And how much did I admire her for defending her faith in this brave manner... We became good friends.

NOW I can continue with my real story! There is a big difference between the Catholic and Protestant religious "cosmos" and experiental world, I think. On the one hand I have immense admiration for the way the Reformers zoomed in on the central CORE of the Gospel, and by saying that, I want to include the central reason for our existence, the IS of the IS. (And, needless to say, Benedict XVI has that same ability.) Therefore, if one also meets a 20th century Reformed theologian like Karl Barth, and realises the truth and implications of the Incarnation, it really is breathtakingly radical AND simple in all its paradoxicality. Protestantism [in its most ideal form]has/had definite pro's in the history of Christianity, and it brought the Counter-Reformation which forced the RCC to get rid of excesses etc

But -- (sigh) one is also born with a particular kind of psyche.... Mine (no, I think every one's!) has always been searching for wholeness. I want to feel part of a whole. A total (or holistic?) sense-making universe, where the atomistic aspects of life and thought can be integrated by means of the affective, feeling, inner me. Many people today think it isto be found in the New Age movements or Oriental systems. But I've always, just by means of Catholic music and visits to European cathedrals, sensed that the RCC encapsules the "cosmic unity" in a Christian mode.

For this very reason I can completely identify with the traditions you have painted so poetically in your upstairs post, Teresa. I have begun to understand your cosmos, populated by saints, [dead and alive - I know one German saint-Pope, still alive [SM=x40790] And I couldn't care less if your praying to(?), reverence of, and inclusion in your daily life of all these "dead" people, are viewed by Protestants as a diminishing of the one saving act of grace by Christ. It may be so, but that is an academical question. We are living human beings with ancient inborn spiritual-psychic needs that no amount of scientism and rationality will - I think - ever eradicate. And we have again entered a stage in modern life where people intuitively realise that spirit is part of life, of the living, that spirit continues to exist when we have stepped out of our bodily shell into the other realm.

I have made an honest assessment of my inner life and thoughts, of the chattering of my mind, and came to realise that I haven't cut off the "dead" from my world of thought and prayer. I've never done that. It is the most natural thing in the world to pray to Jesus/God to still look after them! For me my dead parents and friends are alive; just in another dimension or place.
This helped to explain to me the Catholic incorporation of saints in their prayer life - your whole "pantheon" of souls already "there"! Admittedly, I can't now, at 61, start praying to, or revering figures other than the Triune God. I think, Teresa, when you in your daily schedule and at difficult times, adress these different saints with a full knowledge of their relevance to your specific "plight", and with - I presume - a marvelous feeling of touching and slotting in to the community of heavenly Saints - I (as an example of a non-Catholic) - talk directly to God at least once every hour; and this happens of course mostly when I'm not kneeling down to pray!! I wonder if that is seen as "wrong" by Catholics? But this is where I understand Papa when he says Jesus Christ is our best friend. Another problem I personally have with praying to saints boils down to my feeling too bloody bad to bother anybody already finished with our "earthly vale of tears" with my stuff! I have this feeling they deserve a break.... [SM=x40797] even if one includes them in one's remembrances and as models for a life of faith in Christ. Now, by saying all this, you can understand the mind of someone not brought up Catholic.
Oh heck! I've opened a part of my soulto you girls,and the post has become immensely long-winded while I haven't even reached the main point of this reply!!!

Anyhow,in a nut shell: your lovely tradition speaks to my innermost being, I've identified with much of Catholicism since I can remember; especially with the RCC liturgy.

Teresa's "exegesis" of the Trinity is how I (and Reformed Protestantism) understand it. And it is heart warming that we share the exact Credo.

If you want to hear my instinctive plea, a rather feministic one, here it is: WHY, OH WHY did the MEN in the sixteenth century split the Church, the body of Christ?
TERESA BENEDETTA
00Sunday, March 12, 2006 1:31 AM
STOP ME - I'M CARRYING ON TOO MUCH!
Dear Acama - You have given me much to think about and will reply later.

For now, I would just like to clarify something about "praying" to the saints... All prayers are ultimately directed to God, but concrete evidence, through the centuries, of effective 'intercession" by saints on behalf of living human beings has led to the Catholic practice of invoking the saints, the angels, and the dead who have gone before us, to intercede for us to God, to act as mediators between the divine and the human. Indeed, one of the many titles for Mary is "Mediatrix of all graces".

Devotion to the saints is supplemental to our direct relation with God, and there is no more beautiful and complete prayer, common to all Christians, that one finds onself saying easily and naturally throughout the day, than the Lord's Prayer, the ultimate prayer, as it were, because it says everything there is to say. One can go through life praying nothing but the Pater Noster and that is fine. But we practice what we are born into, and so we also invoke the communion of saints.

And no, one does not have to kneel in order to pray (I pray the rosary on the subway and in the bus or walking along the street), but I am an advocate of kneeling at Church (more about that later)...

As to why the Church was split, dissent is part of human nature, so there will always be dissenters who feel strongly enough about their dissent to do something concrete about it. At least, the Protestants were honest about their dissent and simply broke off to start something more agreeable to them. Which we can't say for the liberal dissenters in the Catholic Church today, who want the Church with its 2000 years of tradition behind it to change the way they want it to do - and that is a deliberate misunderstanding of what the Roman Catholic Church is.

If they are honest, they should stop calling themselves Catholic and join another religion more compatible with their beliefs, or found one as many are doing all the time, instead of arrogantly saying, "My way is better, and the Church and the Pope better follow!"

Or they can continue being "Catholic", keep their views private instead of preaching them as "Catholic" views, or if they are teaching in schools that have a Catholic charter, refrain from teaching and preaching views which are clearly not part of the Magisterium (or go teach in a secular school).

But most dissenters are too full of themselves to have humility, so they usually do not see this as an option. And they fulminate when the Church tells them, "Well, if you persist in being stridently public about your views which do not accord with the Magisterium, don't call yourself a 'Catholic' theologian because you are preaching and teaching against the Church!" What could be more reasonable? Yet even super-intellects like Hans Kueng cannot accept it (though in his case, he has over the years carved out his own path and come to realize that he cannot expect the Church to rescind its disciplinary action over his doctrinal insubordination).

And forgive me because I let myself carry on again...

[Modificato da TERESA BENEDETTA 12/03/2006 1.34]

mag6nideum
00Sunday, March 12, 2006 3:15 AM
Thanks!!
teresa - I forgot to thank you for the explanation of "Novena"!
Thanks! I should have been able to work it out myself, seeing novena is so near to "nine"...

Thanks also for the passages on the saints. I DO understand that very well. Have read about the background and philosophy around it. It is part of what attracts me - the oneness of the Catholic universe and its population here and "there". I just wondered if the saints can really "hear" us when we ask for intercession. But if I could have been raised in that tradition it would have seemed absolutely natural, of course.I'm seriously considering to start with Cathegesis at least but don't know if, after all these years, I'll be able to ask the saints for intercession and whether it is "compulsory" to do it sometimes.
lutheranguest
00Sunday, March 12, 2006 12:37 PM
Thanks!
for this informative new thread!
I didn’t realise it until I read the “cluelesschristian” blog, but I probably suffer from phantom pain!!!! (- the sensation or pain caused by an amputated limb) I was deprived of the RCC in the 16th century, but it’s neurons still fire. [SM=g27828]
If you have any interest in European history, how can you not be fascinated by the RCC? It’s the main part of it.
One of the problems in the protestant–catholic relationship is the lack of knowledge about one another. I can’t remember learning much about church history between Peter, the Apostle and Martin Luther at school, as if nothing significant happened during 1500 years. [SM=g27825]
Last summer I visited Tallinn in Estonia with friends. Sadly, one of my friends lost her 14-year old son the year before. On one of our countless shopping rounds, we discovered a lovely Orthodox Church and decided to go inside to light a candle for him. The majority of the population in Estonia are Protestants, but the Orthodox Church was the only one open to the public at that time. Most people in the church were “Tallinners”, and it seemed only natural to them to stop and pray at the church on their way home from work or shopping. I lit my candle, said my prayer in front of an icon of Mother Mary and finally left the church, feeling deeply, deeply touched. It was my first prayer to a “saint”. I'm not sure it was “right” to do so – but it felt good.
Thanks, again for your contributions, Teresa and mag6nideum! [SM=g27811]

[Modificato da lutheranguest 12/03/2006 12.40]

TERESA BENEDETTA
00Sunday, March 12, 2006 7:36 PM
CHURCHES, ETC.
Dear Liv - Thank you for your historical insight about Catholicism and European culture, which unfortunately, many Europeans appear to forget or ignore these days. I wish there wre more like you, and I wish young Europeans could start to be "inculturated" properly once again in classical European (i.e., Christian) values.

And I was very touched by your story from Tallinn. How appropriate that your first prayer to a saint was to the Madonna! She is truly a comfort for anyone.

I hope the Orthodox Church was also appropriately right. I love Orthodox churches and Orthodox services (even if they can be very lengthy) because they are pregnant with tradition - the icons, the garments, the rites, the chanting - everything is evocative and conducive to lifting your spirit up to God.

As for the habit of stopping by a church whenever one passes by it, I can do it rarely here in New York, because I travel by subway, or by buses along routes that have no Catholic churches near bus stops. But I try to do it whenever possible, and it can be quite an undertaking (but very comforting, and often serendipitous because you discover things you never expected*) in places like Rome or Warsaw where there is a church practically on every block! It is best, though, if there is one church that you always pass by so you know you can always drop in and say a quick prayer.

[*That is how I came to a church in Warsaw that has the heart of Chopin 'enshrined'. It's not a religious relic, but relics in general deserve another discussion, including many relics distinguished by a phenomenon which is unexplainable. Is it only the Catholic Church that has such phenomena?]

Catholic churches - their architecture and their history - that's another passion that I truly delight in. That is why I so enjoy the Roaming Roman's blog because she has the same passion, visits every church she can possibly get to, and takes the most beautiful pictures as well.

Amy Wellborn during her recent trip to Rome managed to visit quite a few in such a short time, despite her crowded schedule. [BTW, she visited a church where the uncorrupted body of a cardinal lies inside a sarcophagus for all to see - she has the picture! - It's one of those stories I mean to track down. See what I mean about relics and phenomena?] Her husband, Michael Dubruiel, has been blogging, too, on that Roman visit, and I love his story of going to St. Peter's everyday at 7 a.m. for the early morning Masses at the side altars. He is so right when he observes that if you want to see Michelangelo's Pieta without scores of other tourists in the way, that's the time to do it. That's's how I saw it to my heart's content (long before it was placed behind bulletproof glass) the very first time I ever entered St. Peter's Basilica.

I'm a great fan of both early-morning Masses (there are only a few people, and it's always serene) and side-altar Masses, especially in the large cathedrals, because it is so intimate, and in many churches in Europe, the side altars do not have a Vatican-II altar, so the priest says the Mass on the real altar, for a change.

The great thing about travelling on a Eurailpass is that, if you choose to, you can plan to wake up in a new town or city every morning and go to early-morning Mass to any church near the train station (before breakfast, so you are properly fasting if you intend to receive Communion)...and visit more churches for the rest of the day. Not that churches are the only places to visit, but they usually are among the major tourist "sights" anyway, if only because most old churches are also major repositories of art.

[Modificato da TERESA BENEDETTA 13/03/2006 0.27]

TERESA BENEDETTA
00Sunday, March 12, 2006 10:47 PM
THE JOYS OF THE TRIDENTINE MASS
This Sunday post by Gerald Augustinus on his blog
closedcafeteria.blogspot.com/
captures the joy of faith and beautiful liturgy so well, and is so right for this thread,
so I am posting it in full. He lives in San Diego, California
.
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Sursum Corda! [Lift up your hearts!]
The Joys of the Tridentine Mass


(Disclaimer: No, I am not completely against the 'Novus Ordo', I think it is done in very solemn fashion by the Pope. However, in most parishes I've been to, and I've been to many...not so much....)

I feel rejuvenated. We went to the indult Tridentine Mass at Holy Cross this morning. They now have two Masses every Sunday, and 9am was packed, with the average age lower than a regular parish Mass. Also, in case some people think otherwise, the girls are by no means wallflowers. In essence, it's not a bunch of 'unreformed' oldtimers. The priest is in his early 30s.

Well, what can I tell ya - no lame jokes, no pandering, no hand holding, no fearless song-leader - instead a Schola Cantorum, no blaring of loudspeakers. Six acolytes - in traditional garb, two priests. The schola sang Gregorian Chant (they also sing Palestrina, Victoria, Mozart etc) this time. Everyone gets a Missal (1962 Mass) in Latin and English.

One of the most important things: the priest chanted the whole Mass. I LOVE that. It gives a solemn feeling to it. He chanted very well, not rushed at all. The reading and the Gospel were chanted in Latin and then read in English by the priest before he started his homily.

The homily was a gem, no pandering, no homiletical group hug, but not fire and brimstone either. Father encouraged us to do Scripture studies, read Catholic spiritual literature, the Catechism and to bear witness to the world. He said that if someone had not, say, read anything Catholic in a couple of months he should be ashamed of himself. Father used terms I have never heard in a church - 'true faith' (that which should be studied and defended), 'false religion', blasphemy (Da Vinci Code) and 'apostasy'. *gasp* !!! He said that if one did not know one's faith properly one might easily be swayed into falling into apostasy or be attracted to false religions. Imagine THAT ! Without heaping guilt or anything, Father rallied the troops, so to speak. This is our faith. Study it. Teach it. Profess it. I was about to start singing the Battle Hymn of the Republic!)

There were no cheesy 'how bout them Red Sox' remarks, no dumb jokes, no 'give the band a hand', no 'thanks for coming'.

The Mass reminded me a lot of Pope Benedict's liturgies. With difference in the text of course. But the reverence and attention to detail and solemnity were just like it.

It is interesting that the Tridentine Mass nowadays is celebrated with such reverence - I guess you don't know what you got till you lose it.

Again, the chanting of the Mass, that's the key. The perfunctory thing American priests do - the chanting of the "Through Him" really doesn't cut it. Mass OUGHT to be special and not every-day. However, the liturgical 'innovators' of the last half century have done nothing but make it more common and more like every-other-thing. SHAME on them. SHAME. Of course, Vatican II didn't demand ANY of the things we suffer from today, usually the contrary. Vatican II said to teach the people Gregorian Chant basics in Latin, to name just one thing. Anyway. Back to the Tridentine Mass.

Receiving Communion - boy, I got nervous! You REALLY are made to feel the importance of it. Around the altar is a padded circle on which the people kneel. All receive on the tongue. I REALLY loved that. I got the sense of RITUAL and SANCTITY and HUMILITY. Interestingly, neither Erin (convert) nor me (convert) like to receive from so-called Eucharistic Ministers (real name: Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion, id est, it's not an institution but supposed to be an exception). Neither Erin nor me like to hold hands, nor do we like the Sign of Peace before Communion (if you want one, put it at the beginning of Mass). Neither Erin nor me like folk-Mass. And so forth. We both agreed that this Mass was solemn and spiritual.

The 'Novus Ordo' is both too chatty and too 'economical' - there's never any quiet, but also some things are 'downsized' - in the Tridentine, you say 'Domine, non sum dignus' three times, for example. Repetition gives a sense of ritual. But, just like the Bauhaus architecture, that sprang from the same way of thinking, the new mass eliminated 'decoration', everything was supposed to be rationalized and rationed. On the other hand, it's hyperactive in its more extreme manifestations.

Lots of kneeling - a well-oiled congregation mind you, everyone hit the kneeler at the right part of the (Latin) Creed. Kneeling at the end, too.

I really like the congregational responses sung - instead of the 'andalsowithyou' or 'thanksbetogod' mumblings.

The solemnity, the music, the chanting - all that was supposed to have been in the new Mass, too, and is in some parishes, and certainly is at the Vatican. Nonetheless, I think the 'Novus Ordo' really needs an overhaul - and, most of all - stricter rules. Basically, with the new mass coming out in the 60s people thought 'new' meant 'great, I can do what I want now!'.

I thoroughly enjoyed the quiet time during Mass - following the priest's motions and the well-coordinated work of the acolytes. It was very meditative. The Benedictines at Prince of Peace Abbey do their new Mass in a similar spirit, it's not impossible, Novus Ordo doesn't have to mean totalitarian Club Med.

I don't think the Tridentine has to become mandatory - BUT, it should be freely available - people should KNOW that Catholic doesn't have to mean pseudo-protestant group-hugging effort. People should have an opportunity to embrace their tradition. A young Catholic might think that Catholic worship means lame white people strumming guitars, 'Father Chuck' cracking equally lame jokes and pondering the baseball season.

A wonderful experience. I recommend you all go attend a Tridentine (indult) Mass. Quiet time is nice and good. There is plenty of 'active participation' - without being chatty and hyper-active. I just love the timeless quality of it - it doesn't feel dated. Pandering to what's supposedly contemporary is always already out of date. God is outside of time. Mass should be, too.
---------------------------------------------------------------
He's said it all, quite after my own heart! And how I envy him! Has anyone been to a Tridentine Mass lately? Alas, I have not been within range of any church with an indult since they did away with it. Thank God Papa's Novus Ordo Masses, especially those that he has said in Latin, have all the beauty and solemnity of the old Masses....

Why can't the Pope as Bishop of Rome give St. Peter's Basilica an indult to celebrate the Old Mass at least once a day? Maybe that will come soon.

It would be good to hear from everyone else what you think of the old and new Masses and any other Catholic practices you may wish to discuss or comment about.

[Modificato da TERESA BENEDETTA 12/03/2006 22.49]

Wulfrune
00Sunday, March 12, 2006 11:42 PM

Magni - I know what you mean about the Saints. There are so many, and why do we need them when we have such a good God? When I came to believe for myself, as a student, I had to work out all this.

Back in my student days, when I was working it out about the Catholicism I was born into and how it would blend with my newly found faith, I decided to ask God to direct me to any saint who might befriend me. I had in mind a female saint, and a strong character such as Teresa of Avila or Catherine of Siena, both of whom I had liked reading about. However, when I prayed, quieting my mind, the name Thomas More came into my head. I was quite surprised as he wasn't a saint I would ever have considered, at the time I thought he was overhyped due to the play about him.

I put all this out of my mind but gradually, it became clear that I'd misunderstood St Thomas. Over the years he has been a friend to me, and popped up in all sorts of places. He doesn't substitute for God of course - praying to a saint is much like asking a holy Christian friend to pray for you. I mean, if you need prayer, you don't go to someone lukewarm or ignorant of spiritual matters, you go to someone close to the Lord and experienced in His ways, trusting that they will storm heaven on your behalf. Well, the saints are like that. But I think it's true that just as we have friends in this world that we like especially, some saints will become special to us too. I can tell you St Antony has never found me anything, and I don't have this 'thing' about St Francis of Assisi that the EWTN folks have.

You will come to know the special friends you have in heaven, but it isn't a central point of belief, and there is no reason why you should have devotion to any saint - though do keep close to Mary, she is the most special of the saints.

More lately I have been thinking more about my guardian angel and sharing more with him - for instance, when going to communion I imagine the two of us praising God together.

By the way, I once read in Communio, many years ago, an article by Cardinal Ratzinger that most of Luther's objections have been sorted out by the Catholic church and that really there would now be no reason for him to have ever left.

Cardinal Ratzinger was once asked at a dinner held by Gloria von T & T which saints he prayed to, and he replied that actually he tended to pray directly to God. He agreed that there are some excellent heavenly helpers around, but didn't admit to any personal saint devotion. In The Ratzinger Report he said that he had grown closer to Mary as he had got older - this is quite common I think. of course some people have a strong Marian spirituality anyway, but he doesn't seem to - not in the way JP2 did anyway.
.Imladris.
00Monday, March 13, 2006 12:07 AM
Thanks for the new thread, Teresa. When I signed up at the RFC forum last year, I gave a bit of my background in my intro message in the Community thread. One of the things I mentioned was my long absence from the Catholic Church after having attended Catholic school for part of my education (from grades 4 to 8). When I started secular high school, I stopped going to church and left shortly thereafter. Then last year, I got caught up watching John Paul's funeral on television and everything else that revolved around that, plus of course, the conclave and Papa's election. I think that sparked in me something that was long dormant and I began to be interested anew in the Church, in Catholic issues and of Papa-B.

I've been attending mass every Sunday, and I'm currently in an RCIA class as sort of a refresher for me, although I was baptized as a child and received First Communion & Confirmation. I'm reading all kinds of books (including Papa's writings), articles, blogs, websites, and forums (this one and RFC). And I really surprised myself two weeks ago and signed up to join my church's choir. I've never done it before and never thought I'd be involved in anything like this, but there I am. I've been enjoying learning all the hymns and getting to know my fellow chorus members and singing at the 10:30 morning mass.

I'd have to say that although I'm becoming more active in my parish, there is still much that I don't know of my faith and much that still confuses me. And also, I have to admit that although my church's service is Novus Ordo and the music I'm singing is OK, I'm not much in love with it and I feel a strong penchant for finding and discovering what a real Tridentine Mass looks and sounds like. Last Saturday, I attended a Rite of Election service for two of my RCIA class-mates at my diocese's cathedral with the Bishop of Metuchen presiding. I listened to the large "professional" choir singing traditions with a massive organ and they sounded like the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, it was so beautiful. It wasn't Gregorian chant, but is was still breathtaking. I wish to hear that kind of music more often.

My church is filled with lovely people and I'm making new friends among them. It is active in our community, the pews are full every Sunday and our priest is relatively young & energetic. But yet, I still find the Mass itself lacking in solemnity. There is too much "noise" and chattering going on with crying babies and parishoners in the pews next to, in front of, or behind me not paying attention and becoming distractions. I know I should learn to block all that stuff out, but for now, it's a problem. And even though the music itself is not any horrid 1960's/1970's style, it's not particularly inspiring to me either. Perhaps I should give all of this more time.

Nevertheless, I am glad to be back home, and I feel that from here on, I will continue to grow in my faith. The Church is safe and steady in the capable hands of the Holy Father, Pope Benedict. And even though there are many problems and troubles, the future looks bright with young people and clergy coming in, infusing the faith with fresh blood. In some ways, it's the younger generation of Catholics that will succeed in erasing and undoing much of the mess and excess of the past 30 years. And we have a Pope who knows and understands this as he gradually steers us back to the true meaning of what Vatican II was supposed to bring about. I'm glad I'm around to witness it with you all.
NanMN
00Monday, March 13, 2006 12:28 AM
Great thread, thanks Teresa...
Last summer, I did a lot of praying before making my final decision to convert. My biggest stumbling block was Mary and the other saints. But a Catholic friend set me straight. Christ himself gave us the Our Father as a template to use for our prayers to God. We have the Hail Mary as a template for prayers - conversations with her or any saint. Feeling more than a little foolish that night I prayed for my friend as she had requested and then I said another one for myself. I was totally amazed when I received an answer... it came very quietly, gently, like a mother's caress to her newborn. But there was no doubt in my mind that it was her. Since then, I have also grown close to Mary Magdalene. I still pray to God directly, but like Wulfrune said, it's nice to have friends in Heaven!!!
mag6nideum
00Monday, March 13, 2006 1:59 AM
AGAIN, WHAT A LOVELY THREAD!!!!
I can't tell you all HOW much I appreciate this thread and how I enjoy reading your posts. And, even more miraculous, how safe I feel as a Protestant (no, a crypto-Catholic!)to express my ignorances, inquiries and hesitations. I just know I won't be bashed. Sometimes in the other forum one has to tread so carefully: the least little thing is seen as an attack on the Catholic Church, even if it had no real bearing to the RCC at all!

An inquiry: is Hildegard von Bingen a saint? I've started studying her life and have read some of her mystical writings.
You all know that she was one of the first woman composers, I presume. perhaps the first REAL one. Also a healer, and very knowledgeable in the "medicine" of those times. She advised kings and the pope.

On the Tridentine Mass: This is then the mass I remember from a 1961-visit to the Notre Dame in Paris. Absolutely breathtakingly beautiful, holy and timeless. And in my ignorance I thought the Mass was still the same. Imagine my shock, after Ratzi came into my life, on witnessing the current state of affairs on Sunday RAI-TV. Nothing on earth, NO rite in any other tradition or religion, can even vaguely come near to what the RCC had in their Mass. In such a Mass one feels :"I have come home".
How the orthodox traditions in both Protestant and Catholic churches came to be replaced by nonsense like sickly hand-holding, turning towards one another in little groups and informal "chatting" by a priest or parson, I JUST DON'T UNDERSTAND. I'm always fascinated by history: therefore I'd like to know HOW, WHEN and WHERE it first started. With the sects? the charismatics? It was certainly never part of the Reformed traditions untill a decade ago. If anyone can shed light on this, please do. (Why do I have the idea that it infiltrated our religious scene from America? I'm probably wrong!)

Wulfrune or Imladris told us how St Thomas More came to the fore in her life. He's certainly a great saint to revere! I have a life size print of St Francis in my sitting room (lounge? What does say in English?!). A visit of two days to Assisi in April 1989 had a marvelous impact on me. I then learnt for the first time about St Clare.

Someone mentioned that Ratzi pointed out that Luther today would have no reason to leave the Church. Exactly!
Teresa gave new incentive to travel again by Eurail! But a friend told me Eurail-passes aren't available anymore. Is that true?

Another inquiry: do you sisters fast regularly and during Lent? In what way? I become quite dizzy when I don't eat for a full day...
TERESA BENEDETTA
00Monday, March 13, 2006 6:32 AM
Mag6 - I like the nick NanMn gave you (on MESSAGES FOR PAPA). And I like the term you coined "crypto-Catholic."

About Hildegarde vanBingen: She is a saint. When the Pope was asked by a Roman priest two weeks ago about women in the Church, she was the first name he mentioned among great medieval women (of course she's German). You probably know more about her, though, than most of us in the forum.

About fasting: Catholic fasting is nothing like Ramadan fasting, where you're supposed to go without food from sunrise to sundown. For most people it's more symbolic than real. I can't use it as a Lenten penance because I do it routinely, not by choice, but because I cannot be bothered to eat when I am working on something, and during the day I am always working on something. I can't bolt down anything, either, I need to eat at leisure. So I usually end up having only the one meal when I get home at night. But the idea of the Lenten penitence is to give up or at least cut down on things you normally enjoy. So unless you are already a vegetarian, avoiding meat not just on on Fridays is one way. It could be as simple as simply having soup for dinner instead of a full meal. Plus prayer, meditation and alms-giving.

About the hand-holding and Kumbaya nonsense in Church, I can only speak about the Catholic Church as my only acquaintance with Protestant services were austere Methodist Sunday services (with singing and Bible reading) that I sometimes attended because a Methodist Church was next door to our house, and I liked their Sunday school because they had colored Bible story books. In the RCC, it started after the post-Vatican II mass came into worldwide use around 1967, which is around when I left off regular church-going. I didn't like the new rite, it felt phony to me, the English words to the Mass prayers were weird and somehow inappropriate. And every time thereafter that I went to Mass, there would be something more outrageous - guitar music, dreadful hymns (or what passed for hymns), too much informality, it no longer felt like a rite but a boring social event. And not kneeling for Elevation and Communion? Taking the Host in your hands? Puh-leeze! Better I go home and play Bach, Palestrina, a Mozart Mass, Beethoven's Missa Solemnis, even the Verdi Requiem. The New Mass had become for me an occasion of sin, can you imagine? I was arrogant and willful, then, so I had to confess over and over, when I did go to Confession because I wanted Communion, to breaking a commandment of the church (not going to Mass on Sundays) and the cardinal sin of pride! Later on, I learned to seek out Churches where the Mass was "tolerable" and where I could respect the Mass celebrant (he is supposed to be recreating Christ's sacrifice afert all!)

Wulfrune - I found your Thomas More inspiration intriguing. But then, you're English, so maybe it figures. Isn't he the patron saint of politicians and lawyers?...And yes, aren't we all glad the Church is in the good hands of Benedict now? Despite the damage done to it by sinful priests and prelates who misinterpret Vatican-II, I love the Church and I am so proud of it. I am so glad I was born into it, and that I received a faith which I have never had occasion to question or doubt. That has left me free to place all my trust in God, to be able to talk to him all the time even if I don't always know how to read his answers, to know he is always there as my first and last resort.

NanMn - When you get back from Rome, I'd love to ask you more about your personal conversion. Meanwhile, say a prayer for us at St. Peter's and kiss the Pope for all of us!

P.S. to Mag6 - I'll comment on Eurailpass in CHATTER.
benefan
00Monday, March 13, 2006 6:49 AM

@Teresa to NanMn: "Meanwhile, say a prayer for us at St. Peter's and kiss the Pope for all of us! "

Benefan: Yes, Nan, and considering there are now close to 350 members on this forum, that would mean 350 kisses. Do you think you can handle that? [SM=x40800]
mag6nideum
00Monday, March 13, 2006 12:40 PM
Be glad you were born Catholic
...Yes, Teresa. You can sure be thankful for that. And thanks forthe info on fasting. I never have breakfast anyhow ( supposedly not a good thing!) and like you I can't eat when I'm working like mad. A meal for me is something special, almost like a rite(!)and because I mostly eat alone, it is also the time when I "think about the world, about God" and, very often, read in a Ratzi-book! I'll increase the alms-giving aspect now, because in South Africa it is already part of everyday life and has always been, for Christians - we have many poor and homeless.
Discipula
00Monday, March 13, 2006 2:52 PM
Re: Relating to the Dove
Huge thanks, Teresa, for giving me credits about the Holy Ghost topic, I read your post in the main forum and I confess I really admire and nearly envy you for your having had such a natural and familiar relation with the “Dove” since childhood, I especially liked your account of the way you felt so close to the Third Person of The Holy Trinity and the way He guided you throughout your studies.

I, on the other hand, still have a long way to do before my understanding as much as you about the Holy Ghost and succeed in praying Him, talking to Him in a friendly, not this shy, almost scared, attitude I am still entrapped in, due to my ignorance.

Thanks again for your having shared with us your own experience and feelings, for the future I’ll try to imitate your approach in relating to the Holy Trinity and the Holy Ghost in particular.

[SM=g27821] [SM=g27822] [SM=g27838]
TERESA BENEDETTA
00Tuesday, March 14, 2006 6:21 AM
ON PRAYING
Dear Discipula - I have been very taken by many of your posts which are always thoughtful and thought-provoking. So I am really glad you related to my post. I feel a bit strange because this is the first time in my life that I am articulating my feelings and thoughts about the Catholic faith, and the "ease" with which I am going about it is certainly because I feel at home in this forum among kindred spirits who think alike about the most fundamental things in the faith.

About praying to the Holy Spirit: If you just consider the Holy Spirit the same way you think of Jesus - in the sense that they are one and the same God - then you would not feel shy or scared. It has always helped me to think of the Holy Spirit in images - the dove above Jesus's head when he was baptized, the wind and the tongues of flame in which It manifested Itself on that First Pentecost (when I was a child I imagined the tongues of flame in the form of doves, and I still do!), and as I said earlier, that simple but to me, wondrous, image in the stained glass window behind Bernini's altar at St. Peter's.

Thanks to the Rosary of the Holy Spirit that Regin e-mailed me yesterday, I am also imagining the Holy Spirit now as the divine light that floods the room in Nazareth when the Angel makes the Annunciation to Mary as "she conceived of the Holy Spirit" (and in my mind, of course, I am seeing Fra Angelico's vision) - this is the first of the seven mysteries of the Holy Spirit in the Rosary. This is perhaps the most beautiful image one can have of the Holy Spirit.

And then, that basic prayer to the Holy Spirit is so vivid -"...fill the hearts of thy faithful and enkindle in them the fire of thy love...Send forth thy spirit and they (the faithful) shall be created and thou shalt renew the face of the earth.' How sweeping and powerful! Just saying the words is in itself encouraging and inspiring.

Ratzigirl posted today a poem from Gabriella - and this was the first time I visited her blog, which is amazing. (I do not know her background, may be you do?) She has been running excerpts from Orationis Formas, "Lettera su alcuni aspetti della meditazione cristiana" and I went to Ratzinger.it to get the full text. It is a very appropriate thing to read this Lenten season because of the subject matter and because it was written, I dare say, by our Papa when he was head of CDF in 1989 (the letter is supposed to be the result of plenary discussions by the CDF and approved for publication by John Paul II). You are probably familiar with it, but I am reading it for the first time.

For those who have not seen the document, the opening lines will clue you as to why it deserves reading.

In translation -
"The desire to learn how to pray in an authentic and profound way is very much alive in many Christians of our time, inspite of the not inconsiderable difficulties that modern culture places in the way of having the necessary (conditions for)silence, concentration and meditation...."

And right off, it defines Christian prayer as "a personal dialog, intimate and profound, between man and God...the communion between the creatures of redemption and the Persons of the Trinity....in which is implied the exodus of the 'I' toward the 'you ' of God."

For the English-speaking who may be interested, I have to check out if there is an existing English translation and if so, whether it is available online.

[Modificato da TERESA BENEDETTA 14/03/2006 6.26]

NanMN
00Tuesday, March 14, 2006 6:25 AM
that would mean 350 kisses. Do you think you can handle that?
Oh Lord!!! I'll pray in St. Peter's. I have a prayer list started and of course I was already going to give a prayer of Thanksgiving for all my dear friends on this forum. 350 kisses [SM=g27835]! Can I handle it? [SM=g27823] [SM=g27821] [SM=g27828] . I think I could handle it! But could Papa? Of course, if I explained to him my motives... oooooooooooooo... could work [SM=x40800]


P.S.:Teresa wrote

NanMn - When you get back from Rome, I'd love to ask you more about your personal conversion.


Yes, I would like that too!

[Modificato da NanMN 14/03/2006 7.41]

Wulfrune
00Tuesday, March 14, 2006 9:58 AM
Teresa, please may we have the rosary to the Holy Spirit?

I had that document on meditation some years ago and have now lost it and completely forgotten what it said, so thanks for reminding us of it. There is an English translation at: www.ewtn.com/library/CURIA/CDFMED.HTM

Happy Lenten reading!!!

Nan - by all means kiss him for all of us and remember us before the altar at St Peters. Have a wonderful trip!! We'll be with you in prayer. [SM=x40800]
Yvonne44
00Tuesday, March 14, 2006 1:02 PM
Teresa, Is it the same Rosary to Holy Spirit you are talking about
which can be found here?
www.thespiritans.org/rosary.html
I have never prayed in this way but one of my friends told me about it
By the way - fantasic thread. I usually give up internet for the Lent but it is different.
mag6nideum
00Tuesday, March 14, 2006 1:09 PM
Thank you Wulfrune
for the link given above. I've opened it and it seems to be just the thing I've been looking for. Something to print out and read with great concentration. These documents from the CDF always clear up misconceptions and cobwebs. Their research on movements like the New Age is impressively thorough and explained without rancour. Really professional. I was so impressed with it that I've printed out the whole thing to give to "New Age" friends.
TERESA BENEDETTA
00Tuesday, March 14, 2006 3:10 PM
WULFRUNE - Thnaks for finding the English version of Orationis Formas. It is a beautiful document.

YVONNE- The rosary you cited is similar but not the same one Regin gave me. I am still trying to find out if the prayers she sent me are available online in English. Otherwise, I can easily translate the Rosary because it really has no special "prayers" as it consists, for each of the seven mysteries, of the Pater Noster, the Ave Maria and the first verse of the "Come Holy Ghost" invocation up to ..."enkindle in us the fire of thy love" said seven times. The concluding verse, "Send forth thy Spirit and they shall be created; and thou shalt renew the face of the earth" is said at the end. I'll post it tonight. (Later, I will post a translation of some beautiful meditations on the seven mysteries that I found on a great prayer site that Regin also gave me to link to.
This is the prayer site-
www.preghiereagesuemaria.it/lo%20spirito%20santo.htm
And this site
www.spiritosanto.org
is about "Opera dello Spirito Santo", a lay movement dedicated to the Holy Spirit. The site has an English section that provides a history and brief description of the movement and of the Canossian nun whose visions inspired it.

IMLADRIS - I had written a whole paragraph reacting to your inspiring post from the other day and I only noticed now that it does not appear on the post I included it in...I'll post again tonight, but just very quickly, I did ask whether you live in New Jersey because you mentioned Metuchen - in which case we should be able to meet up somehow one of these days. Your parish sounds like a very congenial place to be in.

[Modificato da TERESA BENEDETTA 14/03/2006 15.12]

Discipula
00Tuesday, March 14, 2006 3:43 PM
Re: ON PRAYING
Scritto da: TERESA BENEDETTA 14/03/2006 6.21

About praying to the Holy Spirit: If you just consider the Holy Spirit the same way you think of Jesus - in the sense that they are one and the same God - then you would not feel shy or scared. It has always helped me to think of the Holy Spirit in images - the dove above Jesus's head when he was baptized, the wind and the tongues of flame in which It manifested Itself on that First Pentecost (when I was a child I imagined the tongues of flame in the form of doves, and I still do!), and as I said earlier, that simple but to me, wondrous, image in the stained glass window behind Bernini's altar at St. Peter's.



Teresa, I realise your approach to the Holy Spirit is very right and hearty especially when you suggested me to think about Him in the same way I think of Jesus (or the Father Lord). From your words I understand you think of Him as He really is: a person. Actually during these days I’ve been musing a lot upon this topic, wondering which mistakes I did in the past when relating to the Holy Ghost and where they might originate from and little by little I seem to be finding an answer, a light beyond the fog of ignorance which surrounded me. The first reason is, as I wrote in the main forum, the fearful reverence I always felt toward Him because of my awareness that, as it is written in the Gospels, there will be no forgiveness for those who speak against the Holy Spirit.
However a second reason certainly is a wrong idea of the Holy Spirit which slowly crept in my mind, after listening in the past to some conversations on the subject, which I must admit lies on the verge of heresy but which is not as uncommon as you could perhaps believe, that is to say the idea of the Holy Spirit being kind of a “strength” emanating from God. This is, as I said, extremely wrong because the Bible, the Gospels, and the Creed itself which we pray every Sundays at Mass, clearly tell us that the Holy Spirit is a “person” and as such He has feelings for us, He suffers or rejoices for the wrong or the good we humans do in this life. So, you see, this is another wrong idea I have to learn to get rid of before my achieving a better knowledge of the Holy Spirit and a more familiar, loving relation with Him.


Ratzigirl posted today a poem from Gabriella - and this was the first time I visited her blog, which is amazing. (I do not know her background, may be you do?)




I don’t know Gabriella’s background but Gloria/Paparatzifan surely does for their being close friends as I learnt from some of their posts, anyway I agree with you she’s an amazing writer, I still recall her full account of her visit to Rome and Papal Audience which really caught me and made me daydream while reading it. [SM=g27836]



TERESA BENEDETTA
00Tuesday, March 14, 2006 4:08 PM
Discipula - I hope I'm wrong but I think our Gabriella-Josephine (who says she does not have daily access to the Internet as she does not have a home PC) is not Gabriella the blogger. We'll find out and discuss this on another thread...
benefan
00Tuesday, March 14, 2006 4:40 PM
YVONNE, WELCOME BACK.

Teresa and I have been worried about you. We just emailed each other about where you could be. I would NEVER have guessed you gave up the internet for Lent. I was concerned about something more sinister happening to you, like illness or abduction by aliens. I'm glad to see you are okay even if we have to wait till Easter to hear from you again.

Regin
00Tuesday, March 14, 2006 7:11 PM
Veni Creator
One of the most widely used hymns in the Church, Veni, Creator Spiritus, is attributed to Rabanus Maurus (776-856). It is used at Vespers, Pentecost, Dedication of a Church, Confirmation, and Holy Orders and whenever the Holy Spirit is solemnly invoked.


VENI, Creator Spiritus,
mentes tuorum visita,
imple superna gratia
quae tu creasti pectora.

Qui diceris Paraclitus,
altissimi donum Dei,
fons vivus, ignis, caritas,
et spiritalis unctio.

Tu, septiformis munere,
digitus paternae dexterae,
Tu rite promissum Patris,
sermone ditans guttura.

Accende lumen sensibus:
infunde amorem cordibus:
infirma nostri corporis
virtute firmans perpeti.

Hostem repellas longius,
pacemque dones protinus:
ductore sic te praevio
vitemus omne noxium.

Per te sciamus da Patrem,
noscamus atque Filium;
Teque utriusque Spiritum
credamus omni tempore.

Deo Patri sit gloria,
et Filio, qui a mortuis
surrexit, ac Paraclito,
in saeculorum saecula.
Amen.



COME, Holy Spirit, Creator blest,
and in our souls take up Thy rest;
come with Thy grace and heavenly aid
to fill the hearts which Thou hast made

O comforter, to Thee we cry,
O heavenly gift of God Most High,
O fount of life and fire of love,
and sweet anointing from above

Thou in Thy sevenfold gifts are known;
Thou, finger of God's hand we own;
Thou, promise of the Father, Thou
Who dost the tongue with power imbue.

Kindle our sense from above,
and make our hearts o'erflow with love;
with patience firm and virtue high
the weakness of our flesh supply.

Far from us drive the foe we dread,
and grant us Thy peace instead;
so shall we not, with Thee for guide,
turn from the path of life aside.

Oh, may Thy grace on us bestow
the Father and the Son to know;
and Thee, through endless times confessed,
of both the eternal Spirit blest.

Now to the Father and the Son,
Who rose from death, be glory given,
with Thou, O Holy Comforter,
henceforth by all in earth and heaven.
Amen
.
mag6nideum
00Tuesday, March 14, 2006 10:54 PM
Ratzinger on the Holy Spirit

An article by Papa, when still cardinal, written for the theological periodical Communio, can be found at the following link (which I hope will work!)http:/www.communio-icr.com/articles/PDF/ratzinger25-2.pdf

The essay is titled The Holy Spirit and Communio: Concerning the Realationship of Pneumatology and Spirituality in Augustine

Happy reading!
mag6nideum
00Tuesday, March 14, 2006 11:04 PM
Sorry
My link above won't open! probably because I've left out one slash after the http? I tried to edit it, but the message doesn't appear again, so I can't; perhaps because I'm not a registered member. Sorry!
benefan
00Tuesday, March 14, 2006 11:45 PM
MAG6,

If you paste that address as is on to the address line, it does bring up the site you mentioned; but here is the address with the extra slash mark since that is easier to access:

www.communio-icr.com/articles/PDF/ratzinger25-2.pdf

We need to get you officially registered on the forum.

[Modificato da benefan 14/03/2006 23.47]

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