Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Maureen Dowd and the NY Times: Anti-Catholic together

I am appalled at Maureen Dowd’s two recent columns. Op-Ed pieces need to be accurate in their presentation of the facts. I suggest that  and be required reading and that appropriate action be taken to redress the factual errors Ms. Dowd has advanced in her recent columns. I have cancelled my subscription to a newspaper that I have read faithfully since 1965. It is clearly no longer the "newspaper of record." Ms. Dowd's piece today was the last straw; I should have done it years ago!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

The Way of the Cross

A Scriptural Way of the Cross
First Prayed by the Venerable Pope John Paul II in 1991

Before each station: We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you. All: Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.

First Station

Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane

Then Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to his disciples, "Sit here while I go over there and pray." He took along Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to feel sorrow and distress. Then he said to them, "My soul is sorrowful even to death. Remain here and keep watch with me." He advanced a little and fell prostrate in prayer, saying, "My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me; yet, not as I will, but as you will." When he returned to his disciples he found them asleep. He said to Peter, "So you could not keep watch with me for one hour? Watch and pray that you may not undergo the test. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak." (Mt. 26:36-41)

Second Station

Jesus is betrayed by Judas and arrested

While Jesus was still speaking, Judas, one of the Twelve, arrived, accompanied by a crowd with swords and clubs, who had come from the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders. His betrayer had arranged a signal with them, saying, "the man I shall kiss is the one; arrest him and lead him away securely." He came and immediately went over to him and said, "Rabbi." And he kissed him. At this they laid hands on him and arrested him. (Mk. 14: 43-46)

Third Station

Jesus is Condemned by the Sanhedrin

When day came the council of elders of the people met, both chief priests and scribes, and they brought him before their Sanhedrin. They said, "If you are the Messiah, tell us," but he replied to them, "If I tell you, you will not believe, and if I question, you will not respond. But from this time on the Son of Man will be seated at the right hand of the power of God." They all asked, "Are you then the Son of God?" He replied to them, "You say that I am." Then they said, "What further need have we for testimony? We have heard it from his own mouth." (Lk. 22: 66-71)

Fourth Station

Jesus is Denied by St. Peter

Now Peter was sitting outside in the courtyard. One of the maids came over to him and said, "You too were with Jesus the Galilean." But he denied it in front of everyone, saying, "I do not know what you are talking about!" As he went out to the gate, another girl saw him and said to those who were there, "This man was with Jesus the Nazorean." Again he denied it with an oath, "I do not know the man!" A little later the bystanders came over and said to Peter, "Surely you too are one of them; even your speech gives you away." At that he began to curse and to swear, "I do not know the man." And immediately a cock crowed. Then Peter remembered the word that Jesus had spoken: "Before the cock crows you will deny me three times." He went out and began to weep bitterly. (Mt. 26: 69-75)

Fifth Station

Jesus is Judged by Pontius Pilate

Reader: The chief priests with the elders and the scribes, that is, the whole Sanhedrin, held a council. They bound Jesus, led him away, and handed him over to Pilate. Pilate questioned him, "Are you the king of the Jews?" He said to him in reply, "You say so." The chief priests accused him of many things. Again Pilate questioned him, "Have you no answer? See how many things they accuse you of." Jesus gave him no further answer, so that Pilate was amazed.... Pilate, wishing to satisfy the crowd, released Barrabas... [and] handed [Jesus] over to be crucified. (Mk. 15: 1-5, 15)

Sixth Station

Jesus is Scourged at the Pillar and Crowned with Thorns

Then Pilate took Jesus and had him scourged. And the soldiers wove a crown out of thorns and placed it on his head, and clothed him in a purple cloak, and they came to him and said,"Hail, King of the Jews!" And they struck him repeatedly (Jn. 19: 1-3)

Seventh Station

Jesus Carries the Cross

When the chief priests and the guards saw [Jesus] they cried out, "Crucify him, crucify him!" Pilate said to them, "Take him yourselves and crucify him. I find no guilt in him." ... They cried out, "Take him away, take him away! Crucify him!" Pilate said to them, "Shall I crucify your king?" The chief priests answered, "We have no king but Caesar." Then he handed him over to them to be crucified. So they took Jesus, and carrying the cross himself he went out to what is called the Place of the Skull, in Hebrew, Golgotha.
(Jn. 19: 6, 15-17)

Eighth Station

Jesus is Helped by Simon the Cyrenian to Carry the Cross

They pressed into service a passer-by, Simon, a Cyrenian, who was coming in from the country, the father of Alexander and Rufus, to carry his cross. (Mk.15: 21)

Ninth Station

Jesus Meets the Women of Jerusalem

A large crowd of people followed Jesus, including many women who mourned and lamented him. Jesus turned to them and said, "Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me; weep instead for yourselves and for your children, for indeed, the days are coming when people will say, ‘Blessed are the barren, the wombs that never bore and the breasts that never nursed.' At that time, people will say to the mountains, ‘Fall upon us!' and to the hills, ‘Cover us!' for if these things are done when the wood is green what will happen when it is dry?" (Lk. 23: 27-31)

Tenth Station: Jesus is Crucified

When they came to the place called the Skull, they crucified him and the criminals there, one on his right, the other on his left. Then Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, they know not what they do." (Lk. 23: 33-34)

Eleventh Station

Jesus Promises His Kingdom to the Good Thief

Now one of the criminals hanging there reviled Jesus, saying, "Are you not the Messiah? Save yourself and us." The other, however, rebuking him, said in reply, "Have you no fear of God, for you are subject to the same condemnation? And indeed, we have been condemned justly, for the sentence we received corresponds to our crimes, but this man has done nothing criminal." Then he said, "Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom." He replied to him, "Amen, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise." (Lk. 23: 39-43)

Twelfth Station

Jesus Speaks to His Mother and the Beloved Disciple

Standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother and his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary of Magdala. When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple there whom he loved, he said to his mother, "Woman, behold, your son." Then he said to the disciple, "Behold, your mother." And from that hour the disciple took her into his home. (Jn. 19: 25-27)

Thirteenth Station

Jesus Dies on the Cross

Reader: It was now about noon and darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon because of an eclipse of the sun. Then the veil of the temple was torn down the middle. Jesus cried out in a loud voice, "Father, into your hands I commend my spirit"; and when he had said this he breathed his last.
(Lk. 23: 44-46)

Fourteenth Station

 Jesus is Placed in the Tomb

When it was evening, there came a rich man from Arimathea named Joseph, who was himself a disciple of Jesus. He went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus; then Pilate ordered it to be handed over. Taking the body, Joseph wrapped it [in] clean linen and laid it in his new tomb that he had hewn in the rock. Then he rolled a huge stone across the entrance to the tomb and departed. (Mt. 27: 57-60)

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The Privatization of Religious Belief

Whispers mentions Archbishop Charles Chaput OFM Cap. of Denver. It seems he has weighed in once again in the area of religion and politics with some great thoughts with regard to Catholics and public life. Does anyone remember the Notre Dame speech given by then Governor Mario Cuomo of New York? Same thing also missed the mark on Church teaching and beliefs. What a shame.

Sleeping Disciples

That's it, the disciples sleep a lot. And they sleep at important moments. In last Sunday's Gospel, St. Luke's account of the Transfiguration (Lk. 9:28-36), St. Luke tells us that they fell asleep and only began to wake up as the Transfiguration was almost finished. In the account of the Agony in the Garden (Lk. 22:39-46) and in St. Mark and St Matthew's versions as well, we find the disciples described as having fallen asleep. If it happens to them then it must to us as well; what does it mean?

Remember being in graduate school at Columbia and after a full day of work, riving to Morningside Heights to take two courses. More than once I remember starting to doze and snapping back to life, afraid that I may have started to snore -- didn't happen, thank God. That's the sleep of being tired. St. Luke's gloss on the disciples in the garden is that they were sleeping from "grief". Overwhelmed by this feeling they fled the conscious world. I think it's a metaphor for what I would call "inattention". They weren't paying attention to what was really going on; they didn't realize what was happening. How could they have missed it? Other things cloud the mind, and Jesus seems not to be the focus of their attention. If it can happen to the disciples who were physically in His presence how much the more likely it will happen to us?

Monday, March 1, 2010


Yesterday was a very busy day. It was the announcement Sunday for the Annual Catholic Appeal which benefits the mission of the in Catholic Schools, Faith Formation, Catholic Charities, Seminarians, and so much more. The parish gets to keep every dollar over goal so it also benefits the parishes, some obviously more than others. So, there was a video to be shown after the homily with a little introduction and commentary afterwards by the pastor, which meant that I had to be at and speak at all the Masses Saturday night and yesterday. By the 6 PM Mass last night I had memorized the video and it was playing in my sleep last night. I had dinner at a parish with a group of other priests and I think I was the only one who played by the rules and showed the tape.

A question to ponder: what do we frequently find the Apostles doing in the Gospels? See the title of this post for a hint and check back here tomorrow to find out what I'm talking about.