Thursday, September 06, 2007

Where did the Summer go?

Well, here we are. It's September already and evenings are becoming cool. Apples and tomatoes are ripening, and we are discovering that our attempt at growing carrots in our new garden was a failure. Such is soil in this area.

It's been an eventful Summer. Dh, the kids, and I went West for the first time in twelve years. It was nice to see friends and family after so long, but it was really nice to be home.

The Holy Father finally released the long awaited (by some of us, anyway) motu proprio freeing up priests to celebrate the extraordinary form of the Mass. This would be known by many as the Tridentine Mass. This came into effect on the fourteenth of September. It will be very interesting to see what happens. Already, a good friend of mine has arranged to be trained in the "old" style Mass. I expect he is not alone.

It will be VERY interesting to see what new priests bring from the seminaries.

I was able to read some good books this season, too. In July, I read a novel called "The Kiterunner". It is a novel about two young boys growing up in war-torn Afghanistan. It was heart-wrenching in spots, but a very interesting read.

A real surprise was a book called "A Song for Nagasaki" by Father Paul Glynn. This book is the true story of Takashi Nagai, a man who came to Catholicism from Shintoism through atheism. The book ties together Catholic history, Japanese history and culture, and a touching (can you imagine?) account of the bombing of Nagasaki. It is a pity this book is out of print. I will be spending some time finding a copy for us, as dad made it clear he wanted his copy back!

I was given a copy of a book called "Plain Reasons Against Joining the Church of Rome" by a man named Littledale. It was published in the 1880s and did not escape the notice of John Henry Cardinal Newman, who accused the book of falsehood.

Alas, attacks against the Church have not changed much. So many of the arguments in this book are still lobbed in our direction. They show ignorance of our doctrine, misunderstanding, sometimes I'm sure, malice. Some are not untrue, but show that the Catholic Church is being held to a different standard than the denominations.

I have to admit it was a bit breathtaking to read a paragraph on priests and Bishops who have committed some impropriety being moved around, rather than being dealt with. Sadly, this has been said far more recently. Fortunately, it now seems that we have finally learned our lesson and face up to the problems rather than masking them.

Now it is time for us to think about our callings for the coming year. Music, catechetics, organization...the choices are many. And as has become usual the past couple of years, the labourers are few. As usual there is a balancing act. Family commitments should have priority, or course. Ministry is also a way of sharing ones gifts with others. It allows for the development of a particular spirituality characteristic of the ministry itself, or to the person called to that ministry.

An example of this would be the ministry of lector (or reader). Such a person is tasked with proclaiming scripture to the assembled congregation. Ideally such a person would be particularly called to develop their love and knowledge of scripture. A person in music ministry would logically see the prayer in the music they produce, as well as striving to deliver it in the best way that they are able.

It looks like Dh and I will be coordinating RCIA, which is the group which helps those who wish to join the Church. It has proven very exciting in the past, and this group looks every bit as interesting.

God Bless!