We can sin against God’s love in various ways: indifference, ingratitude, lukewarmness, acedia, and hatred of God. These are just some of the ways we can deny the obligation to love God with all of our heart and our soul and mind. We can be ignorant of God either voluntarily or involuntary. Neither is good. None of what is above is worth adulation or ascent. “The First Commandment requires us to nourish and protect our faith with prudence and vigilance, and to reject everything that is opposed to it.” (CCC 2087)
Christ, King and Lord of the universe, made himself the servant of all, for he came "not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many." For the Christian, "to reign is to serve him," particularly when serving "the poor and the suffering, in whom the Church recognizes the image of her poor and suffering founder. The People of God fulfill its royal dignity by a life in keeping with its vocation to serve with Christ.” (CCC 786)
It is imperative that we be obedient to God and offer on the altar of our heart a pure conscience and the many offerings of our lives. Family, friends, marriages, co-workers, the beggar, our enemies—all of these are to be prayed for on the altar of our hearts. No matter where or how we find ourselves, it is imperative that we proclaim God whether in the troubled quiet of our hearts or in the messiness of the world. We are already at the last hour, the final age of the world. The readings remind us; the upcoming season of Advent prepares us. Let us live and beg and offer prayers from our heart. "Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom," and hopefully our Lord will say to us, "Amen, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise."
– Father Mark Schoffner, November 24, 2019
“The kingship and empire of Christ have been recognized in the pious custom, practiced by many families, of dedicating themselves to the Sacred Heart of Jesus; not only families have performed this act of dedication, but nations, too, and kingdoms. In fact, the whole of the human race was at the instance of Pope Leo XIII, in the Holy Year 1900, consecrated to the Divine Heart.” - Quas Primas, Encyclical of Pope Pius XI, December 11, 1925.
Coming up on the 24th of November is the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe. This feast was implemented by Pope Piux XI in 1925 with Quas primas, in the face of secularism, the spread of materialistic atheistic Communism, and its cousins Fascism and Nazism. We need to rededicate ourselves and our families to the Our King, Jesus Christ, rather than give into the spirit of the world. When we come into His presence, in the Liturgy of the Mass and the other sacraments, His divine attribute of splendor or glory or majesty, whatever you will, has the power to transform us. His majestic glory changes us. Let us then be changed into who we are called to be.
The Handbook of Indulgences says: #27. A plenary indulgence is granted to the faithful, who piously recite the above Act of Dedication of the Human Race to Jesus Christ the King, if it is recited publicly on the feast of our Lord Jesus Christ the King, and piously carry out the precepts in the Norm.
Therefore, we’ll be praying the prayer of consecration after all the Masses next weekend. The requirements for obtaining a Plenary Indulgence on the Feast of Christ the King are: Public recitation of the prayer “Most Sweet Jesus, Redeemer – Act of Dedication of the Human Race to Jesus Christ King.” Say one “Our Father” and one “Hail Mary” for the intentions of the Pope (this is in the bulletin). Make a Sacramental Confession within a week of (before or after) the Feast of Christ the King. Worthily receive Holy Communion (ideally on the Feast of Christ the King) And be free from all attachment to sin, even venial sin.
– Father Mark Schoffner, November 17, 2019
What is needed to say the Mass? The Roman Missal, chalice, bread and wine, what else? A priest, an altar, the chalice veil? The primary question we should ask is, “What are we doing at Mass?” It is the most important moment of Salvation History worked out in front of our eyes! It’s the marriage feast of the Lamb as he weds himself to his bride the Church. Did you get that? The wedding banquet of Jesus to us, his Church. If we understand then that the altar is where all of this is happening, then it can give us a glimpse into what honor we show to the sacred vessels (ie. chalice and paten) and how we treat them. A mysterious moment is happening on the paten and in the chalice. If the nuptial moment is happening between God and man at the altar, it’s being made present in the sacred vessels so that we can see it. So we’ve got terms such as marriage feast, wedding, and nuptial moment.
It’s important that we use these words to help us recover the beautiful mystery. We cover brides with a veil to signify the mystery of what is taking place in a marriage; the groom unveils her in order that the marriage covenant can be enacted and the nuptial union can begin. This is what the priest is doing when he unveils the chalice, the place where the mystery of faith is worked out. The precious bride signified by the chalice is unveiled so that the priest, in the person of Christ, can unite the Divine will of God to the bride, the Church. Many have noticed that we use these new things which are very ancient and part of the liturgy of the Mass, albeit “a praiseworthy practice” according to the General Instruction (GIRM). These things help us as priests in persona Christi to pray the Mass. It’s our hope that by utilizing these treasures of the liturgy, you come to a deeper understanding, appreciation, and active participation in praying the Mass, the great mystery of Salvation.
– Father Mark Schoffner, November 10, 2019
Things that are on the increase are termed as ‘growing.’ The amount of daylight in the day is not increasing, or for that matter is it growing. As the darkness lingers later into the morning and descends upon us earlier in the evening, it’s worth taking a moment to contemplate light, darkness, and faith. Darkness is an absence of light. It doesn’t exist on its own. The sun’s rays dispel the darkness from the strength of the one star which illumines our solar system. It’s the power of one light, not many by which it is banished. It seems though that darkness is beginning to pervade even that which was and should be in the light. The light which guided us all, faith, is being fractured into many smaller lights and distractions. What was our solitary guide in life is being usurped by the lights of tv and the glimmer of cell phones.
The flashing of a sale, the power of a scoreboard, the neon glow of a light in a bar. The light that is the Truth of our Faith is being forsaken for others, and we are paying the prices in our society and families. The immemorial search for the great light of Truth itself is waning due to our distractions. When this happens, we linger on and settle for the lesser lights which illumine fleeting moments but fail to dispel the dark and show us the way. In this absence, everything becomes confused; good and evil are not easily discernible. Which road to take becomes a difficult decision to make. It is urgent then that we pray and work to rekindle the light of faith in our hearts and others. Once we lose the great lantern of faith, even the other flickers of light themselves dim. Faith, the great light, illumines all of human existence and must then be desired and prayed for, it’s source being God. Let us implore him for an increase.
– Father Mark Schoffner, November 3, 2019
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