Sunday, December 22, 2013

St. Anne - North Little Rock

I had wanted to go out far today for Mass but Noah floated by yesterday and it was a grey, depressing day, so I stayed close to home.  And discovered I need 4 new tires (apparently...I've worn out my tires visiting churches....)

I headed up to North Little Rock and St. Anne.  It's another church that is right on the outskirts of the Air Force base.  It looked pretty decent sized on the outside, but it was tiny on the inside.  It really had the feel of a church hall more than a church.  They were trying but it just felt cramped and basementy.

Music was provided by a cantor playing guitar.  In a strange twist, it sounded like most of the parishoners were singing.  I kid you not.  Men, not the cantor or the priest, singing in church.  It's so rare that I'm remarking on it.  And on that note, the responses were said by everyone and rather loudly.
Opening:  Ready the Way...Ready the Way of the Lord (Thinks this is a Taize prayer...and Cantor went over it before Mass with everyone, even though they sang it last week...see new music can happen!)
Offertory:  Here I Am Lord
Communion:  Taste and See
Closing:  O Come O Come Emmanuel

Father gave us a mini homily before the Penitential Rite.  Basically we should not be afraid and be obedient to the Faith.

When the First Reading came, Father explained the Reading before the Reading.  Strangely he didn't do it for the 2nd Reading or the Gospel.

There are two phrases in today's Readings that stand out:  Do Not Be Afraid and Bring About the Obedience of Faith.  In the Gospel of Matthew, Joseph is followed.  He is visited by an angel 4 times.  Joseph gets up and does what the angel says.  The angels come in times of crises.  Every time an angel comes, the angel says "Be not afraid."  Joseph does what the angel says.  Fear is very powerful but natural.  It is healthy when it gets you into action.  But it can be paralyzing and can push us into denial. All those fears.  Be not afraid.  I am with you.  It is why we have small church groups for support.  We have to get up.  At the beginning and end of Romans, Paul reminds us to be Obedient to Faith.  What do we believe in?  It must be acted upon.  Christ is present among us.  God is present to us in our lives. We must be the Love of God in the world.  Not as slaves but as beloved.  Trust in God.  Ahaz is afraid and decides that he must ally with his pagan neighbors.  But the problem with that is that the pagan stuff will creep in.  Ahaz represents us when we do the opposite of what God wants.  There is a pornography problem.  (I'm up!  I'm awake!) Pornography distorts our sexual gifts.  We need to wake up. We can stop our old habits.   (I'm a little confused as to how pornography relates to the readings but hey, I'll cut Father some slack for mentioning it and for tackling such a topic.)  Ask the Lord to make us like Joseph and to recognize the Ahaz in ourselves.

At the petitions, the last petition invited us to name people we should pray for.  Father used Eucharistic Prayer III and there were bells.  At the end of Mass, Father invited people who were visiting to stand up and introduce themselves.  (Don't worry...I blended into a wall.) Then it was birthday time.


Glitter makes everything better

View From the Back Pew!
What is with all the netting ribbon?  (Stuff wrapped on poles)
It's the go to decorating item.

St. Anne

Special Note:  I'll be in St. Louis for Christmas :) so no post for Christmas.  It is up in the air about Dec. 29 as I'll be driving back.  Jan 1. for sure!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

St. John the Baptist Latin Mass Community

Sadly I had to go to work today.  But as Father said in Confession this morning, there is no excuse (short of death perhaps) to miss Mass.  Ever.  I didn't want to deprive you of snark for a 3rd week, I went to the earliest Mass in the Diocese of Little Rock, that was at 7 am (not at all that early...).  Thankfully it was only 30 minutes away from both job and apartment.

Apparently the only people having 7 am Mass is the FSSP's Latin Mass Community.  They use St. Patrick's Church.  I'm guessing this diocese hasn't had waves of church closings leaving vacant churches for the FSSP to totally take over.

St. Patrick I think was built in the early 1950s.  It's modern but tastefully modern.  The stained glass windows are of saints and are of more traditional designs instead of chunky abstract representational windows.

As expected Father wore rose vestments.

I'm not so sure I like the low Mass.  I still have no idea what's going on and it makes it way easier for me to zone out.  

It seems most homilies have two things in common here in Little Rock 1.  They all start with announcements (which I guess is better than at the end.) and 2.  They seem to be longer than in St. Louis.

Father started off his homily by reading the Epistle and Gospel in English.  Then the announcements.  In July 2007, Beverly Sills died.  She is quoted as saying "Man plans, God laughs."  She often said she was not happy but she was cheerful.  She had troubles but was cheerful...  So what does an opera singer and a Jew have to do with us?  (oh dear...that was a PC fail)  Today is Gaudete Sunday.  It is the first word in the Preface.  That word often defines the Mass and if the word is meaningful enough, the day.  Beverly's life defined joy.  The key is to be cheerful as no one is really happy.  It's measured in degrees.  We can only be completely happy in heaven (Houston, we have a problem.)  Cheer is a disposition.  It's a good habit. (Cheerful people make me suspicious...) It predisposes us to the gift of happiness.  Joy can occur in the midst of sorrow.  Happiness is the satisfaction of desire.  We can never be truly happy here as our desires can never be satisfied (such a ray of sunshine there Father)  A sign of happiness is the eruption of joy (yeah...I'm not going there...)  It is an intense response and we are not capable of sustaining it (snork...I'm so like a teenager here).  Our desires, provided that they are intrinsic and well ordered and well formed, are good.  It is Union with God that gives happiness.  A Greek philosopher remarked that short is the joy from guilty pleasures (which is why I need many pieces of chocolate).  A young priest on the internet discussed how God's salvation is at work among us everyday.  It is the mixture of the perfect and the imperfect.  ...the sparkling wine of joy... (I totally lost what he was saying he was going so fast, but that was a cool phrase) Happiness needs sadness.  Joy needs sorrow.   St. Teresa said joy is prayer, joy is love.  Joy is a net of love.  Let us cast our net and see what we catch.

St. Patrick - North Little Rock

View from the Back Pew

Both in the Old Baptistry
I think that's St. Gerald maybe?  I'm not sure..

The Good Shepherd and the Child Jesus in the Temple


St. Joseph

St. Jude
I think...

St. Michael the Archangel

St. Patrick
Either he or St. Gregory was also in the Choir Loft.

St. Peter

St. Theresa 
(Honestly I never know which one is which...)

St. Anne

In the Choir Loft.


Apparently I live in a mission diocese.  I expected that would involve 
desert, palm trees, tropics, outhouses...not ...well, here.
Although that's pretty cool...I can say I've been to the Missions :P

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Welcome to the South -- Ice-Aggedon

On Friday, it sleeted.  All day.  Like to the tune of 2-3 inches.  I know when I looked at my car, it was a good 2 inches thick.  It took me 45 minutes to get it to driving condition.

When I went to the grocery store on Thursday night, there was no bread, no eggs, and ground meat.  They were calling for the power to be out for 4-7 days...

To make a long story short, this is not St. Louis.  There isn't a parish within walking distance or even within 5 miles.  My apartment complex has not put out anything.  The roads are full of ice patches.

I'm staying home.  Where it's safe.  No Mass today.  I really really wanted to go to...I'm stuck in a 606 sq ft apartment...

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Immaculate Heart of Mary - Walnut Ridge

Third and final church of the day :D  Again, my excuse!

St. Paul the Apostle - Pocahontas

This is the 2nd Church I went to today. Here's the excuse in case you cared...  I'm starting to think that the Bible Belt doesn't believe in having unlocked Churches.   This one was so nice looking and I could tell it had good stained glass that I'll probably come back.

St. Paul the Apostle

St. Joseph the Worker - Corning

Here is the first Church I visited on the way.  Click here for a detailed excuse as to why I wasn't in the Church.

This is a cool looking Church from the outside.  It looks like it would fit perfectly in the woods.  It sticks out a bit in farmland but the front with all the trees is perfect.




Bless me Father for I have sinned...
I was too busy having fun with friends and family to go to Mass on Saturday...
I didn't want to get up early to go to Mass at 6 am before I left to go back to Arkansas....and I wanted to get home before dark...and I was hoping there was a breakfast buffet in my morning...and I was like surely I'll make it to a 5:30 p Mass back in Little Rock....then I stopped to take pictures at a river overlook..
So I didn't go to Mass...

I did, however, stop at three churches that I passed on the way back to Little Rock.  I'll post those pictures :D