Blog

My ways are not your ways…

I was recently hiking in the Tantra Mountains. While hiking I decided to take a break and pray.

I mentioned previously that I pray the Liturgy of the Hours. This is the Prayer of the Catholic Church. Voices from all over the globe in prayer together for the same purpose.

On this particular occasion, I was going to pray the daytime prayers.

The Liturgy of the Hours is organized to be like a prayer service. There is some singing, Psalms, readings, responsoral Psalm, there may be a Canticle Prayer (similar to the creed), intercessions, and a closing prayer.

During the daytime prayers there is no Canticle, or intercessions. The prayers are organized into a 4 week cycle. You do not pick what you want at random. The idea is that everyone is praying the same, so there is a schedule to follow along with the season of the Church.

As I was sitting there praying, these two passages were the readings for that particular day.

Isaiah 55:8-9

My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways, says the Lord.
As high as the heavens are above the earth, so high are my ways above your ways and my thoughts above your thoughts.
God of power and might, who is your equal? Faithfulness surrounds you on every side.

1 Samuel 16:76

Not as man sees does God see, because man sees the appearance, but the Lord looks into the heart.
O God, search my heart, and know me.
Lead me along the path to endless life.

As I sat and read these passages I could not help but stop and take in the view of my surroundings. To stop and thank God.

Photo Aug 09, 04 05 29

The beauty of the mountains. The clean air. And this very clear message from God.

The mountains are a metaphor. It demonstrates that no matter how high above the earth we might try to climb, God is always above us. Looking down on us, and watching. Much like it is for us to look down from the mountain. To see the villages below, too small to even see the people or vehicles driving around. God still sees all of them. What our vision is limited to, God is limitless. His ways are not our ways, our limitations are not His.

Looking around at the green landscapes, the blue skies, and calm atmosphere; we see the beauty of nature. We see with our eyes and not our hearts. Very often people make judgements of others based on skin, beauty, language, social status, or birthplace (to only name a few). God ignores all of them and looks at the heart.

The words of man are important, but his actions are even more important. God will always look at the actions of people, what comes from their heart, and not their lips.

If we want to see peace in our time, we must live in peace, give peace, and share in peace.

We cannot scream injustice, and commit injustice, for God is the ultimate judge. Look to the eternal place and not on this life. When we will be judged and given eternal peace, joy and happiness that is based on our commitment to Gods word, and our actions to demonstrate that we understand and follow them.

The mountains were beautiful, but instead of looking outward we must often look inward. Are we living life, giving life, sharing life, with all people in the way we want it for ourselves. The mountains were not created for any one particular person, or people. Life is given to all freely from God with no prejudice.

It was a wonderful day. God shared something more beautiful with me than just what my eyes saw around me. In that gift comes the responsibility to share it with others.

I hope and pray that others may find the beauty in this message. My offer to share God’s gift with others.

May God bless you, and lead each of you on the path He has chosen. The path that is not followed by our eyes, but our heart.

Marriage

Let’s look at a word for the week, Marriage. This is a hot button topic among a lot of people. Pushing aggression aside, indifferences, and pride, we will explore the historical significance of marriage.

Many people will say that marriage was never in the Bible. Some say that it was made up. In fact, with some research marriage customs are very clearly present in the Bible.

The first notable occurrence of marriage in the Bible is the story of Abraham sending his servant to find a bride for his son Isaac [Gen 24:1]. At the time of Abraham, most of the people still practiced the marriage laws established by the Code of Hammurabi.

The servant travels the desert to Abraham’s homeland. Where he stops at a well. Wells were very important in the time of Abraham. People did not own land, or houses. They lived in tents and were nomads. They raised cattle. Mostly sheep and goats. These animals are grazers and will eat a land bare. Especially when the land is arid and dry.

In order for their herds to have enough to graze, they would move around.

Wells became a center of life. It took a lot of effort to dig a well by hand. A person that has a well will not travel far from it, because it offers a source of water for the people and animals.

Those who owned wells were considered wealthy, because they held the means of life to people.

People at the time were not selfish, or impolite. Indifferent to many people today, it was customary in the time of Abraham to share hospitality. Everyone was a nomad.

If another came to a camp, they were offered water and hospitality. People did this because it was polite. People did this because if you wandered too far and came into their camp, they would expect to also receive water and hospitality. People were kind to one another because they expected to receive kindness in the same way.

Back to our story. The Servant finds a young woman at a well. It was customary for the young women to gather large jars of water for the family. They would travel back and forth between the well and their settlement. It was also a good place to see young women who were not in the presence of their family. Most young woman would not talk to strangers. They also would not be allowed to be around men without a chaperone.

The important thing to note, at this time marriages were arranged. The bride and the bridegroom were not involved in the selection process. It was a decision set by the parents.

Most would consider this barbaric, or even for some personal greater glory of the family. However, a married couple would no longer be a part of the family. Arranging a son or daughter to a rich or poor family would not be a decision made for personal gain.

Parents, as today, would likely want to be sure that their daughters were taken care of.

Parents of sons, would want to make sure their son had a wife that could birth children. In a way they were often looking towards the better of their children’s future.

In the case of Isaac, the servant found Rebecca. He offers the family a Mohar. A Mohar was a dowry that was paid to the family for the right to marry. The acceptance of the Mohar, was an acceptance of engagement. This was called aras.

The aras would last up to a year. This was negotiated between the families. During the aras either family could withdraw from the marriage pact. If the bridegroom’s family withdrew, they would forfeit the Mohar. If the bride’s family withdrew, they would forfeit the Mohar and have to repay it to the bridegroom’s family.

The Mohar was not buying the bride. Many people falsely believe that the woman was bought and owned like property, and this was never the case.

The payment was a payment for legal rights. It was a payment to release the family of their legal responsibilities of the daughter.

In these times if a child did something wrong, or committed a crime, the family would be responsible for the damages. Children were considered property and often slaves. From this regard, the Mohar was a release of the woman from slavery, and made her no longer property. It gave her rights. Rights which were protected by her husband.

The bridegrooms family would then hold a wedding feast. The feast was celebrated before the marriage. It would last seven to fourteen days. It was important that the bridegrooms parents had sufficient food and drinks for everyone at the celebration. This would bring embarrassment to the bridegroom’s family if they did not. It might even create a cause for withdraw by the bride’s family from the aras.

The importance of this can be seen later in the bible at the Wedding of Cana. Mary tells Jesus they have no wine. She is very upset about this. The fact that she has concern over this, shows her relationship to the bridegroom. That she is responsible to ensure that there is sufficient wine, so that there is no shame to the bridegroom’s family. If they ran out of wine, the bride’s family may withdraw from the marriage.

We can see that the act of Jesus to create wine from water has a two fold effect. First, his miracle and beginning of his journey to the Passion. Secondly, his act shows the great importance and sanctity of marriage. He did this for the sake of the marriage. He did this so that the man and the woman could be married. His act creates a sanctity and holiness to the act of marriage because Jesus decided it was important. If it is important to Jesus, then it is important to God.

In the time of Abraham, the wedded couple would go to the altar. At the sacrificial altar a ram, bull, or calf would be cut in half. The couple would stand in the midst of this dead animal. They would proclaim to all the witnesses and to God, “If anything should try to come between us, let it be done to us as it was done to this animal.”

The animal was whole. Until the sacrifice, it was one being. This oath sworn by the couple proclaims that they are one being. That nothing can separate them, but a blade. That they would need to be severed as the animal was. That they are the same blood. When one of them suffers the other suffers.

The bond of blood was considered so sacred that the couple was no longer a part of either family. They were not part of the bridegroom’s family, and they were not part of the bride’s family. They were no longer children of a parent. They were now their own tribe. They had become their own people, with concerns of their own safety and survival.

“Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.” [Mk 10:9]

Jesus was not preaching some new rule. Jesus said, “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” [Mt 19:5] We can see that Jesus was preaching what had already been practiced by the Jewish people for more than 1500 years. It was a part of their culture and became a part of our Christianity.

Our customs have changed. Our way of celebrating marriage has changed. The Sanctity of marriage has never changed. Marriage is as important today as it was, and has been, for over 3500 years.

We can go into the purpose of pregnancy, and the basis of having children. It has as much historical and practical meaning as marriage does. That is for another topic. This post was intended to be about marriage.

This information is not made up. I have spent many hours researching this and written two thesis papers on this topic.

I hope that my research will help to build an appreciation of marriage. It will bring an understanding of the teaching of the Church in regards to the sanctity of marriage. A sanctity that has not changed in thousands of years.

We can see that an oath, like the couple and the bull, was a blood oath. Breaking an oath in the Old Testament was not just punishable, but it was considered to be punishable to future generations of the one that broke it.

Marriage was taken as an oath. We say vows that are our oath to one another. The priest wraps the hands together to symbolize this union.

Perhaps now we may even have a deeper understanding of the Wedding of Cana, and how the act by Jesus was so important.

May God bless you on your journey. Let us pray today for all married couples, that they live out their oath of marriage the way God intended.

 

 

Apostolic Succession

What is Apostolic Succession?

When Jesus was here on earth, He taught the Apostles his message. He was the great teacher, and the Apostles were his disciples. We are all called to be disciples of Jesus.

The word succession means a fact or right of succeeding someone by inheritance. It comes from Old French and from Latin successionem which means, a following after, a coming into another’s place, result.

In Greek, the word apostolos means, messenger or envoy. A more literal translation would be, to send a person forth. The word apostolos from the word apostellein. Both are from the root word apo, which means off, or away from. Stelleinin means to send. Apostellein means to send away, or to send off.

Today we might use the word Missionary, instead of Apostle.

The word missionary means, to send on a mission. It comes from the latin word missionarius, which means pertaining to a mission.

The word mission is from the Latin missionem, and was used by the Jesuits for “Sending abroad.” It also is the act of sending, or dispatching someone.

There is a rich meaning to the word Apostle. It is important to understand what that word means, then, and today.

When Jesus left this word, he sent forth his disciples. He said, “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit” [Mat 28:19]

There was a transition that occurred. Jesus would no longer be physically present in this world. He wanted to make sure that His messages and teaching would continue after he left. This transition began with Pentecost and the gifts of the Holy Spirit to those in that upper chamber.

It continued with the teaching of Jesus to the Apostles. Jesus preparing them for what they must do, how they must do things, and who they should deliver his message to.

This transition of authority from Jesus to the Apostles is known as Apostolic Succession.

Apostolic succession is the new authority inherited to the Apostles from Jesus, to go forth and to preach to all nations. It was this authority that gave them the ability to lead the Church. It was this authority that led to the writing of the Gospels.

This authority is an authority by God. It is given to the Apostles so that they may continue to serve Jesus.

This authority, and many graces from the authority, was passed onto others through the rite of Ordination. There are many examples in the Bible of people being given graces through the act of laying hands. This authority still lives today, in the ordained successors of the Church to the Apostles.

It is sometimes hard for us humans to grasp the beauty and greatness in this gift of succession. It is even harder for us to imagine that this gift has never faded, it has never died, it is still very much alive today. Gifts that God gives are eternal, just as He is eternal.

Although there are some Catholic Cardinals who can tell you which Apostle their ordination traces back to, we are not all ordained successors of the Apostles.

We are given special graces at our baptism. When the baptism is performed in the way that Jesus instructed it, the person being baptized receives special graces. An indelible mark on their soul. This mark, these graces, call each of us to be missionaries of Jesus.

Many may ask, how am I a missionary? I do not go to foreign lands.

A Missionary is not just a person that goes off to remote places in the world to continue the work of Jesus.

A missionary is a person that demonstrates the teachings of Jesus in difficult situations. In the moments of our lives when we feel embarrassed to act out our faith. Moments when we might be in public and we are afraid of the looks we might get, or the questioning stares, or even the comments of others. These fears are the devil tempting you away from God, and our fears are used against us.

When we stand up to the devil and his temptations, doing what we are called to do by God and Jesus, we become disciples and we are missionaries. We go forth. We are sent to be examples of Jesus.

Let us take a moment to think about how we are being missionaries of Jesus.

  • Do we pray in public?
  • Do we say God Bless You?
  • Do we say Merry Christmas?
  • Do we make the sign of the cross in public?
  • Do we invite others to prayer?
  • Do we invite ourselves to pray for others?
  • Do we stop to help the person crossing the road, or the person who dropped something?
  • Do we love our neighbor, our wife, our children, our parents, our friends, our coworkers, and strangers the way we want God to love us?
  • Do we follow the Beatitudes, or even the commandments?
  • Do we respect life, in all stages? Because life is given by God and not ours to take away.
  • Do we defend others from harm? Physical harm, emotional harm, and bullying.
  • Do we do things that are true to our Faith, even when society says they are wrong?
  • Do we take our religion with us to work? We are followers of Jesus everywhere, we don’t get to choose when we are followers. We either are, or are not.

These are all things that help us to be good disciples of Jesus. These are examples of how we are called to be missionaries. They are examples of things we are all called to do when we are told, “Go forth the Mass has ended, glorifying the Lord by your life.”

There is that word again, “Go forth”. Those words that mean Mission. Those words that call us to be missionaries. To play our part in the succession of Jesus. We may not all be ordained, but we are all missionaries.

Let us pray today. That each of us takes a moment each day to do something public. Something that demonstrates that we are followers of Jesus. That God will give us the graces needed to face the fears that hold us back. And that others will know we are Christians by our love. Amen

May God bless you, and lead you on the path of discipleship; where his graces will bring continually closer to His glory in heaven.

Gospel Reflection – 6/25

Today’s Gospel is from the Book of Matthew [10:26-33]

Jesus said to the Twelve:
“Fear no one.
Nothing is concealed that will not be revealed,
nor secret that will not be known.
What I say to you in the darkness, speak in the light;
what you hear whispered, proclaim on the housetops.
And do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul;
rather, be afraid of the one who can destroy
both soul and body in Gehenna.
Are not two sparrows sold for a small coin?
Yet not one of them falls to the ground without your Father’s knowledge.
Even all the hairs of your head are counted.
So do not be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.
Everyone who acknowledges me before others
I will acknowledge before my heavenly Father.
But whoever denies me before others,
I will deny before my heavenly Father.”

Be fearful of the Devil and his minions in Hell. They can destroy the body and soul of all.

Fear of the Devil and his minions is not the same as it used to be. More people are less afraid of God and more afraid of loss to their “Freedom”, or upsetting their neighbor.

Hell, was not created for Humans. It was not a place that was intended for our punishment. We see in Matthew [25:41], “Then He will also say to those on His left, ‘Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels”

The devil and his friends were Angels that rebelled because of jealousy over God’s love for us Humans. As a punishment, they were banned to a place that would be removed from the presence of God for all eternity.

Going to Hell is not just the fear of a painful place, filled with the eternal fire. It is being put in a place with beings that have an eternity of hate for humans. Who wanted to see humans destroyed. Being closed in a place with these creatures for all eternity with no hope of God’s intervention. Our body and soul are going to face an eternity of punishment by the Devil.

For me that is a terrifying thing. To think that I would be trapped in the cage with a starving tiger, or lion. Then to be reborn each day new to be torn apart again, because there is no death in eternity.

I think that for some people there will be a major realization. We live our lives in the presence of God from the start of our existence. It is like a fish born in water. They know no other life. The water is so natural that the fish does not think of it.

Many people in life do not think about the presence of God. For those people that reject God and end up in Hell, they will feel an emptiness. That emptiness will become clear to them as the presence of God that was in their Earthly life. The presence, they never took time to acknowledge, now becomes clearly missing. The natural becomes unnatural for all eternity, and an eternity of discomfort. When the person becomes intimately aware that the presence they ignored is gone, and the greater presence of God in Heaven will never be known.

Many of us deny God. We may not always outwardly speak it. We may not speak openly against God, although some do.

Jesus speaks of another denial. The denial that we do in the secret of our hearts and minds. Those denials that we do almost naturally.

The denial that we go to church, as if it were a check-box for the week. Denying God in our daily lives. He does not only exist in Church.

The denial that we claim to be Christian, but we have hatred for others. Other people that are also a part of Christ and therefore, we deny Jesus by denying others. 

The denial that we claim to be Christian, but we make exceptions for money, work, concerts, sports games, and any other thing in this world that brings us immediate pleasure. We deny Jesus because we place material happiness higher than Eternal Happiness. 

We deny Jesus when we do not pray. Psalm 119:164 states, “Seven times a day do I praise thee, Because of thy righteous ordinances.” Jesus was witness (an example) of this when he prayed seven times a day. He instructed the Apostles to pray seven times a Day. The Catholic church still practices the seven prayers a day in the Liturgy of the Hours. The Liturgy of the Hours is the prayer of the Church where countless people pray the same prayers together, in different places. “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” [Mat 18:20]

We deny God when we do not offer thanks, for all his generous gifts. How angry do we become when we give a gift and it is not accepted, or treated badly. Yet, we do not even take time to thank God who gives us gifts everyday.

As Jesus said, “Yet not one of them falls to the ground without your Father’s knowledge.”

We may deny him in our hearts, but God knows our hearts better than we know them. He can see into them, better than we can ourselves. As much as we Deny God, we Deny that we ourselves have done wrong even more.

Let us give praise to God in all that we do. Live with integrity!

Stand for your Christian values in the face of those that would deny them. Be a witness (an example) of what Jesus taught.

Pray in public! Try it, it is really invigorating. Do not give into the fear of what people will say, that is the devil talking. Pray unceasing, and without fear.

We have Christ at our side and with him, evil has already lost. He is our savior, and he will always stand to fight for us. Will we do the same for him, or will we deny Him?

May God Bless you on your Journey of Faith. Let us pray for our denial, and the denial of others. May God give us the grace to stay true to his word.

Prayer of the Week – Spiritual Communion

This is a great prayer.

The church says that you must go once per year, but encourages us to go as often as possible. I know that in my heart I feel closer to God when I receive the Eucharist. I am devoted to receiving the Eucharist as often as possible.

Some of us cannot be at communion everyday. During the week, we can use this prayer. It can be used when we are sick and cannot get to Mass. Perhaps, someone is in the hospital and cannot get to Mass.

Most important is to realize that this prayer does NOT replace Holy Communion. This should be used in extreme circumstances when we cannot get to Mass.

Jesus, truly present in the Most Blessed Sacrament,
I love You above all things
and I desire to possess You
within my soul. Since I am unable
at this moment to receive
You sacramentally,
come at least spiritually
into my heart.

I embrace You as being already there,
and unite myself wholly to You.

Never permit me to be separated
from You. Amen.

Try the prayer this week. May God bless you and may Jesus always be with us through our spiritual relationship, rooted in prayer.

Gospel Reflection – 6/18

Todays Gospel is from the Gospel of John [6:51-58]

Jesus said to the Jewish crowds:
“I am the living bread that came down from heaven;
whoever eats this bread will live forever;
and the bread that I will give
is my flesh for the life of the world.”

The Jews quarreled among themselves, saying,
“How can this man give us his flesh to eat?”
Jesus said to them,
“Amen, amen, I say to you,
unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood,
you do not have life within you.
Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood
has eternal life,
and I will raise him on the last day.
For my flesh is true food,
and my blood is true drink.
Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood
remains in me and I in him.
Just as the living Father sent me
and I have life because of the Father,
so also the one who feeds on me
will have life because of me.
This is the bread that came down from heaven.
Unlike your ancestors who ate and still died,
whoever eats this bread will live forever.”

I am the living bread. The Jewish people were very nervous about this proclamation given by Jesus. They had very strict laws about the body and blood. Many of the Rabbi could not touch bodily fluids, especially blood, or they would be considered unclean. When a person is considered unclean they cannot enter into Temple and give worship to God. This is a serious situation.

An example of this mentality among the Jews is demonstrated in the Good Samaritan story. Here the injured person is on the side of the road bleeding and in need of aid. Yet, the Jewish men passed by, perhaps even crossing to the opposite side of the road. They were on their way to Temple. They could not go near this injured person for fear that they may become “unclean.”

Imagine the desperation to understand what Jesus was saying. “Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you.” This talk made a lot of people nervous, and afraid. Some were so afraid that they left Jesus because of this talk about eating the flesh.

When the people were leaving and walking away, Jesus did not change his story. He did not alter it to say, “Hey, I was only kidding. I only meant that you do this symbolically. It is a metaphor.” Instead he stayed where he was and repeated it, so that everyone might understand.

As Catholics we are the very few that believe that the breaking of bread through the Liturgy of the Eucharist makes this request of Jesus a Reality. We eat the flesh and drink the blood of Christ in each Eucharist celebration. For that we are promised by Jesus eternal life, a chance at life in Heaven.

It is such a wonderful and powerful gift that is given to us by Jesus, who could say that he meant something different? Who could say, it was only a metaphor, he did not really mean it?

Many people believe that life is a giant buffet table, that we get to pick and chose what we want to believe and do. God did not have the people that he freed from the desert wandering for 40 years, because he could not decide what to do with them. They spent 40 years in the desert for two reasons:

  • Testing them by affliction. Only those that are devout will persevere in order to be rewarded.
  • To punish those that sinned at the foot of the mountain while Moses received the 10 commandments. The 40 years made the people leaving the desert a different generation than the ones that left Egypt.

For although God loves us, he punishes us still. [Psalm 99:8]

Let us always remember that we are a community, when we receive the Body of Christ. When we receive Jesus, we become the body of Chris. We are joined into that body. It is not an individual experience, as much as it is a communal experience (hence name communion). It is our participation in the Body of Christ that we help, or hurt, those around us by our actions.

Our sins are an injury to the community and our brothers and sisters.

A lot of deep spirituality in the Holy Eucharist. That is why it is the center of our Catholic religious experience. Let us rejoice that God called us worthy to receive such a precious gift as we have in his Son Jesus.

May God bless you and open your hearts to hear his words.

A very special blessing to the fathers out there. As Joseph was a Father, may all Fathers care and provide for the health, education, and religious life of their children. Whether they are blood, adopted, or foster children. They grow by our example as men, and how we live our lives. May you live your life as an example of Jesus to others, and especially to your children.

Tradition – Capital “T”

If the Bible did not exist for over 300 years, after Jesus, how did the Apostles, Bishops, and Priests know what they were supposed to do?

The Bible is believed to be the Word of God. Inspired by the Holy Spirit, the writers recorded things they witnessed, or from gathered writing sources.

The Jewish community had been using scrolls. It was not until about 100 A.D. that they formed councils to determine what should be organized into a formal book. They gathered the scrolls and started to debate what should be included.

In one test, the Jewish leaders took a scroll (same one, but different copies) to different translators in different geographical cities. They asked the translators to translate the scroll for them. The Jewish leaders compared the translations and discovered that they were word for word the same. In their astonishment they considered this the Word of God.

Some may balk at the idea that having people translate something would somehow equal, or merit, the determination that it was the Word of God. We have to understand that these original scrolls were not all written by the same person. They were themselves translated and handed over to different regional temple leaders.

We know full well an experiment from childhood. We whisper a sentence to the child sitting next to us, and they to the next child, and the next. Until, the last child says the sentence out loud. We laugh because the sentence is different.

The idea that we could have a scroll translated by 40 translators and have them all translated the same is a miracle.

The Catholic Bible did not make an appearance until about the year 350 A.D. It was the initial work of St. Athanasius, fourth-century bishop of Alexandria, Egypt. He believed that the writings and stories of Jesus were the Word of God. He started to organize these writings into the 27 books we have today.

The Catholic Bible was not actually made available to non-clerical people until about 405 A.D. when St. Jerome translated it into the common language at the time. This Latin version of the Bible stayed in use by the Catholic Church as the source of God’s word, until the 1950’s.

If the Bible did not exist for over 300 years, after Jesus, how did the Apostles, Bishops, and Priests know what they were supposed to do?

It states in the Bible that Jesus taught them all they needed to know. They were taught how to perform liturgy of the Eucharist, baptisms, weddings, and other ministry services. They were taught how to ordain new Bishops, Priests, and Deacons.

All of this was taught to them by Jesus.

The Apostles then taught their successors, the Bishops, to perform these same ministry services. Each one training their successor.

It can be said that all this was done by word of mouth and without a Bible. This is why we say that our Catholic Faith is a Faith based an Tradition. We are not excluding the Bible by any means. It demonstrates how our practices, like Baptism,  are sacred because they were given to us by Jesus. It is also why our leaders, the Bishops, do not change the Mass celebration without careful consideration.

A book written in the year 150 A.D. is the earliest recording of the Liturgy of the Eucharist. St. Justin wrote the book to document how the Liturgy was performed. Amazingly, to this date there are very little changes.

There are little secrets and mysteries that exist in everything we practice. From the practice of alter servers carrying candles to see in the dark crypts, to the height of the Ambo; we have a rich Tradition in our Faith.

Many of us sit at mass and go with the flow. We recite our lines from heart, as if we were acting out a play. If we really questioned why we do things, what is the meaning? We may just find a little something that sparks inspiration, devotion, and celebration in our hearts at Mass.

May God bless each of you. May He give each of us the graces we need to be inspired by His word and give him praise.