Now that we’re fully into the first Easter Season with Pope Francis as our Holy Father, the Catholic world is starting to get back to “normal”. While the new Roman Pontiff is still creating plenty of buzz, it appears the Catholic blogosphere is starting to return to writing on non-papal topics.
That being said, Father Z looks at Pope Francis’s first Holy Week and how traditionalist should continue to keep an open mind.
He has done things that I think are both strange and ill-considered. On the other hand, he minces no words about the warfare we are in with the Devil, to whom he refers clearly and boldly. He spoke about the need for priests to hear confessions, though that was in private. I’ll bet he speaks about it publicly too, before long. In his homilies has has entirely eschewed a modern biblical exegetical style in favor of a more Patristic, allegorical style… even as Ratzinger famously used. His use the image of the garb of the Old Testament priesthood and the chasuble priests put on for Mass was like something Pope Benedict would have offered us, and he wrote it before he was elected: it was his own work and not that of some flunky in the Secretariate of State. There are a lot of things Francis is showing which traditional Catholics can sincerely applaud (if they can get over themselves long enough to see them).
Moving on, Adam Janke writes on the power of Eucharistic Adoration as a tool of evangelism.
Our youth started experiencing Adoration in the summer of 2007 at their first youth conference at Franciscan University of Steubenville. With no prior knowledge, prompting, or leading by any of the staff, two of our teens experienced a gift from the Holy Spirit known as “resting in the Spirit.” While it is difficult to define, Fr. Robert DeGrandis describes this grace as a “full surrender of the body during prayer when a person can be literally overwhelmed by the power of the Holy Spirit and falls to the ground in a peaceful state of prayer.” Many of them experienced healing and one teen even felt convicted by Jesus to immediately go to the Sacrament of Reconciliation. This girl told our youth group about how she had been resistant to go at first, but how free she felt after Confession. When we got back to the parish our teens cornered our pastor in the sacristy after Mass and demanded more opportunities for Adoration at the parish. They had fallen in love with Jesus. Our startled pastor was only too happy to oblige.
Father Michael Duffy talks about Holy Thursday and why he is Catholic.
Jesus loves us so much that he gives to us His own Body and Blood so that we may be close to Him. We can’t have the Eucharist without the priesthood. We can’t have the Church without the Eucharist. Jesus gives us His own Body and Blood not for us to hold on to and have and hide, but to share with the world – so that we could become like Him and take Him out there. We’re called to be like Mary – Christ-bearers. The Eucharist impels us towards one another – it makes us one, it makes us the Church!
As Divine Mercy Sunday approaches, Jennifer Fulwiler discusses praying for people for whom you don’t really want to pray.
It wasn’t the first time this dilemma had come up: I know that it’s right and good to pray for our enemies, but sometimes the thought of certain people brings up emotions so raw and so overwhelming that it’s a near occasion of sin to bring their faces to the forefront of our minds. We all hope that we’ll eventually be able to be at peace with those who have harmed us, so that we can one day think of them with charity and grace. But that can take a lot of time — in cases of grave injury, a lifetime. So how can a Christian pray for these kinds of people in the meantime?