In his first public lecture as prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, Archbishop Arthur Roche left no doubt as to the direction the congregation will take under his leadership. He did so by quoting Pope Francis’ words, referring to the reform of the liturgy approved by the Second Vatican Council: “We can affirm with certainty and with magisterial authority that the liturgical reform is irreversible.” He spoke not only as prefect of the Vatican congregation but also from 46 years experience as a priest, 20 as a bishop (10 as a diocesan bishop, almost 10 as secretary of the congregation) and as a Catholic who “straddled the pre- and post-Vatican II eras.” Continue reading

The Grave

The Lord said: “Woe to you Pharisees!… You are like unseen graves over which people unknowingly walk.” (Luke 11:42).

Back before this pandemic, I would often go with friends to the movie theatre. I am forever fascinated by the movie previews they select. I always think that the folks in marketing select the previews based on who they think is about to watch the feature movie. I remember going to watch a movie, “The Martian” which was about a US astronaut who is left behind, stranded on Mars. It is a story of the heroic human condition in the face of adversity. It is a science fiction movie. It is many things. But the previews were almost all horror movies. Maybe it was the proximity to Halloween. Continue reading

The Cost

This coming Sunday is the 29th Sunday in Year B of the lectionary cycle. It is a familiar story in which James and John seek glory: ““Grant that in your glory we may sit one at your right and the other at your left.” (Mark 10:37). In our previous post, Jesus has answered them “You do not know what you are asking. Can you drink the cup that I drink or be baptized with the baptism with which I am baptized?” It would be good to know Jesus’ tone of voice when he responds. Is it exasperation caused by their continuing blindness? Is it said as a tired sigh but with a willingness to again engage them and lead them to a deeper understanding and awareness? Does it have an edge? It might well be the simple inquiry to uncover what they understand: “Can you drink the cup that I drink or be baptized with the baptism with which I am baptized?” Continue reading