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Showing posts from December, 2011

A Blessed Christmas to All

Greetings from my home city of Boston where I'm spending the week with my brother friars at St. Anthony Shrine and visiting with family and friends.  Earlier this morning I read a meditation from Fr. Richard Rohr, OFM, who by the way offers wonderful daily meditations.  Fr. Richard commented on the popular hymn, O Holy Night, compsed in 1847 by Frenchman Placide Cappeau.  He is especially taken by the phrase "and the soul felt its worth."

   His thought is that because the Son of God chose to become human, to become one of us, that we see the true source of our worth, a worthiness that is based on a gift given to us, the Incarnation, and not on our successes and accomplishments.   Another spiritual writer, Fr. Ronald Rolheiser, OMI, like to point out that the Incarnation was not meant to be a 33 year experiment that ended with the Ascension, but rather a great mystery that began in Jesus and continues in us.  If we can but allow our souls to feel their worth because …

The Gift of Brothers

In St. Francis Testament written at the end of his life he writes, "....and the Lord gave me brothers."  You see Francis did not set out to found an order and recruit people to join it.  He set out to do the Lord's work and people found there way to him.  He received them as gifts from the Lord. His words challenge us friars to see one another as gifts, and given that we are all so very human that is not always easy.

   Here at St. Anthony Friary we just had the funeral of one of our brothers, Fr. Jim Jones, OFM. Jimmy, as he was known to us, was only 68 years old and had been ill with a heart condition for the past few years. That condition was worsened when he was mugged five years ago while taking a walk here in our generally safe neighborhood.   He was also the seventh member of our community to die in the past 13 months. Ever since I came here Jim has been a positive presence in our community.   He was not able to engage in much public ministry, though I did noti…

And with Your Spirit::Thoughts on the New Translation of Mass Texts

A few weeks ago several readers of this blog asked my opinion on the new translation of the prayers for the Mass. I hesitated to respond because I wanted to wait and see.  We are now into the second week of Advent and are getting used to (or not so used to) the new prayers at Mass so  I thought that I might offer a few thoughts on the matter which I hope are helpful.
   Some explanations are in order.  There is not a new Mass.  The ritual of the Mass has not changed. What has changed is the wording of the prayers used.  What many don't know is that in Rome there is an official Latin text from which all the languages of the world translate.  In years gone by the criterion used for translation was what is called "dynamic equivalency". meaning that the basic meaning of the Latin was translated into English (in our case) or whatever other language.  The Vatican in recent years has called for a more literal translation.   Both have their advantages and disadvantages.  Also…