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. Michael the Archangel
Either he or St. Gregory was also in the Choir Loft.
(Honestly I never know which one is which...)
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