Sunday, February 23, 2014

Sts. Peter and Paul - Morrison Bluff

Good Evening Everyone.
Yesterday in Arkansas, the temperature reached about 75 degrees so I decided to go hiking.  I also decided it was time to start going to churches that only have Saturday Masses.  I have learned one important lesson....bring a clean shirt :)

I headed to Morrison Bluff which is west of Little Rock right on the Arkansas River.

It's a cute little church that is reminiscent of some of the older churches in the outlying regions of the St. Louis Archdiocese.

Music was provided by a choir and an organ, both of which were in the loft.
Opening:  Gather Us In
Offertory:  All Who Hunger Gladly
Communion:  O Jesus We Adore Thee
Closing:  Come to Me

Father is a non-native speaker of English with an accent even I had trouble deciphering (I had lots of non-native speakers teach me physics....)  As such, he had copies of his homily available.
King Janaka of ancient India was greatly revered by all for his holiness.  Once while listening to a discourse from a holy Master together with some citizens, a herald announced, "the King's palace is on fire!"  Everyone rushed towards the palace since thy had relatives working for the king or fields surrounding the palace.  King Janaka remained unmoved.  Thinking that Janaka hadn't heard him, the herald shouted louder, "Your palace is burning!"  Annoyed the king replied, "Let my palace burn!  It is more important that I become holy by listening to my Master rather than run to save my palace."
Two of today's readings speak about holiness since every person is a temple of the Spirit.  The holiness theme overflows in the Christian community.  "God's temple is holy, and that temple you are."  Holiness must flow from one's behavior to Life.  In the 2nd part of the 2nd Reading.  Paul addresses the divisions that afflict the church at Corinth.  Groups were saying, "I belong to Paul." "I belong to Apollos" and so on.  Each faction boasted about the 'knowledge' it had received from its purported leader.  Saddened by the divisions, Paul accuses the Corinthians of defiling the Body of Christ, the Church, by appealing to individual founders rather than the Head, Christ, "who belongs to God."  And to as we know that appeals for ecumenical efforts.  Paul's image of the human body-both, individual and communitarian-as 'temple' is striking.  'Temple' imagery conveys the point that Church is where God's Spirit is present.  Therefore, Church is neither constructed by bricks no as institution by hearts and as 'body' (We Are Church!)  In continuation with last week's Gospel, today' passage speaks of of the last two antitheses pertaining to revenge and love.  The old law stipulated "an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth" (lev 24:19).  If this attitude were adopted, said Mahatma Gandhi, all human-beings would soon be blind and toothless"  Jesus' demand against this is "love your enemies."  Commenting on this passage one Sunday, a preacher asked his congregation:  "How many of you lover your enemies?"  Not a single hand was raised except that of an old woman.  "Tell us all how you manage to love your enemies,"  said the preacher.  "I'm ninety," said the old woman, "and I'm happy that all my enemies are dead."  Jesus' challenge is not to love enemies when they're dead, but to love them throughout our lifetime.  Obviously Jesus knows we're not divine.  He desires that we strive for perfection.  This perfection will come with being connected to God's Spirit.  Let us be with God sot that He leads us to love and forgiveness.  Amen.

The intentions seemed really really long.  Father used Eucharistic Prayer III and there were bells.  The Our Father was chanted which I always think is a nice touch.


Our Lady of Good Health

Sts. Peter and Paul

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Sacred Heart - Springfield MO

On Sunday I was in Springfield MO.  It is incredibly hard work a Mass in on vacation, but I managed :) .  I didn't take very good notes though...

I attended the 9:30 am Mass on February 16 at Sacred Heart in Springfield.  Given how close this was to Drury University, I was rather surprised it wasn't the University's parish.

Music: Guitars!  Tamborines!  Bongo drums!
Opening:  (I got lost...)
Responsorial Psalm:  The Cry of the Poor
Offertory:  Here I Am (standing right beside you...)
Communion:  Open My Eyes (or do I have them reversed?  Does it really matter?)
Closing:  Though the Mountains May Fall

Father's homily was rather interesting.  He talked about how when he was hearing confessions, people would tell them they had not sinned.  I haven't killed anyone.  I haven't robbed.  I have no sins.  (must be nice to be that oblivious).  Father talked about how we don't kill people with knives, we kill them with words.  And that's all I really remember.  Oh!  He talked about Crocodile Dundee



Sacred Heart 

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

St. Elizabeth of Hungary - Eureka Springs

Hi all!  On Saturday, February 15, I headed up to Eureka Springs AR on the way to Springfield, Mo.  While I was in town, I found St. Elizabeth of Hungary Catholic Church.  The exterior is incredibly interesting.  The interior is different and I'm curious as to what it looked like when it was first built.

Bell Tower
(It's straight...honest...)


Exterior Station

View From the Back Pew




Holy Orders?


Anointing of Sick?

St. Elizabeth of Hungary

Joseph's Dream

St. Elizabeth of Hungary

Sunday, February 9, 2014

St. Theresa - Little Rock

Hello all!  Little Rock is mostly recovered from the 2.5 inches of snow received on Friday night.  The whole thing makes me want to shake my head.  I was going to go out and take snow pictures and go to Mass far away but apparently Arkansas believes salt is for food not for roads.  I stayed close to town and let the freezing fog burn off before heading out.

I headed to the 11 am Mass at St. Theresa in Little Rock.  Like many parishes in Arkansas, this is another bilingual parish.  I did notice the Mass was very racially mixed.

What do modern churches have against windows?  This was another church with one big window the rest of the walls being brick.  Why?

Music was supplied by a guitar and choir.  For once I didn't know any of the music used at Mass.
Opening:  Song of Good News
Offertory:  We Are Called
Communion:  At the Table of the World and Be Glorified
Closing:  On the Wings of Change (On the wings of love...up and above the clouds...ooops)

There's one thing I've noticed here in Little Rock.  There is a tendency to sing every verse of a song.

Father gave a mini-homily:  Our duty is to help the suffering of others.  (I must have heard that wrong...because if not, I've totally got this down.)  Am I making a positive difference in the world?  Am I doing my duty?

Father started off his homily by telling a story about being called to Arkansas Children's Hospital and how the hospital makes a positive difference, saving lives.  Today Jesus Christ tells us we have a duty and a responsibility to make a difference.  We need to change the world around us.  Our school, our family, our work, our community.  If we are going to through suffering, help others.  By helping others with their suffering it helps you with your suffering.  Salt preserves and changes what it touches (unless you are slug...) Light makes life easier and less fearful.  The most impact is when you are closer to the light.  What is our effect on people we interact with.  The Lord asks if I am making a positive difference in the lives of people I interact with.  It is why we have been created and charged with at baptism.  It is our duty and responsibility.   How are we living?  How are we talking to and about others.  Am I helping to ease the suffering of others or am I causing it.  When you help others, then you are blessed.  Something good will come to you.  (So what you are saying is I should only help others because I get something out of it?)  When I suffer, I must give away what I most want.  Others are hungry for ourselves (I eat cannibals...)  They want ourselves.  Our time (talent, treasure), patience, care.  They want us to give ourselves.  We are also to remove oppression and evil talk.  Am I insulting?  (yes)  When you cut yourself off or become closed off from others, you become closed off from God.  What we do to others we do to Christ.  We have cut ourselves off.  We must forgive others to get God's forgiveness.  We must remove evil from ourselves before opening ourselves up to God (uhm, I thought opening up to God helped the evil go away...).  Am I doing the most good?  (Honestly, he kept repeating what he said.  You know what I'd like?  A Catholic homily.  One that explained something about Church teaching or some other thing...not this could easily have been given at a business retreat crap).

There were no bells.  I'm not sure what Eucharistic Prayer was used.  It was one of the ones for various needs.

On the bright side there was no Liturgy of Announcements.

Grotto of St. Theresa

St. Theresa

View from the Back Pew

It's an eye!
I sat so I wouldn't have to be creeped out by this at Mass.

Totem Animals.
Or the Four Evangelists.
I'm not sure why we are going Native American...

Giant Mouths of God!  
Although the bottom of the one on the left looks like a face.
Why would you place a stained glass window on the interior without 
putting any light through it?  Kinda defeats the purpose....

Not sure...

St. Theresa

Our Lady of Guadalupe 

St. Theresa

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Cathedral of St. Andrew

Sometimes, especially when I'm cranky, I wonder if I shouldn't just stay home from Mass and do everyone a favor.  Because when I'm cranky, I'm less inclined to cut people slack.  I'm also not happy down here so it's like a double whammy.  This also might be why I wait until 9 at night to write these things up.

I attended the 8:30 am Mass at the Cathedral of St. Andrew, the seat of the diocese.

Today is the Feast of the Presentation of Our Lord or Candlemas.  Father wore white and said that it's the 40th day after Christmas.  And that's about it.  And then after the opening prayer was like oh, people brought candles, I should bless them.  And that was the end of the celebration of the Presentation of the Lord.  No explanation as to why candles are being blessed.  No explanation as to why candles have anything to do with the Presentation of the Lord.  No processions.  Just another regular Sunday morning.  I'm pretty sure most people have no idea that there are candles and processions for today.  I only know because of the Latin Mass...and I went to the New Cathedral in St. Louis and Monsignor was like candles!  procession!  and there were 5 people at Mass.  It was awesome.   I wonder if we got to keep the candles it would be more of a big deal...  What is the point of having feasts if we don't celebrate them?  What is the point of having a rich Catholic heritage if we throw it away?  Why are we even Catholic then?  I feel like Bilbo at the end of Hobbit 2 as the Smaug escapes:  What have we done?  (Perhaps the candles were blessed last night or perhaps they were being blessed at the Noon Mass... but let's think on Ash Wednesday...what if you went to an Ash Wednesday Mass and there were no ashes?  It sometimes happens on Palm Sunday..the palms get blessed at the first Mass but there is usually a procession..although I've seen palms blessed multiple times...just so the experience can happen...)

The music was supplied by an organ and a cantor..who only sang the 4 hymns and the Responsorial Psalm...the rest of the Mass Parts were spoken (Hey it's just a Sunday...not like a its a Feast of anything...)
Opening:  I Heard the Voice of Jesus Say
Offertory:  Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence
Communion:  O Light of the Gentile Nations
Closing:  Love Divine, All Love's Excelling

Father used Penitential Rite B. There was dead silence when he said the first part....guess it's not used to often...

I think I should have had an inkling of how the homily was going to go after Confession.  (Awww you committed a mortal sin?  Jesus loves you, have a cookie...  contrast this with Confession with the FSSP committed a mortal sin!  Are you going to do it again?  Uh...The correct answer is no...  Sir No Sir!)
You've all heard that old yarn about the man who lived near the river.  The police came to his house and told him to leave as a flood was coming.  The man refused saying God would save him.  The water came and the man was forced to the 2nd floor.  The firemen in the boats came to save him.  The man refused.  He was forced to the roof and a helicopter came to save him.  The man refused again saying God would save him.  Needless to say, the man was swept away and drowned.  The man was at the Pearly Gates and met God and asked God why He didn't save him.  God was like I sent you help three times, you did not take it.  We pray for help from God all the time.  God answers us and we don't take the help or don't notice it or we don't like it (Cause God's hysterical...dear God...I really really need a job, ok!  Here you Little Rock!...:::heavenly giggles::)  That is the story of Simeon.  Simeon's only wish was to see the Christ and God granted that wish.  It is all about fulfillment which we hear about in the first reading.  What are we seeking?  God or a quick fix?  (How about God giving us a quick fix?  Is that an option?  God comes to our door and we don't let Him in.  Our house is messy or we fine some other excuse not to let Him in and we only talk to Him at the door (Hey God, if you come over with another PS3 controller and a racing game you can come in and we can play...and I'll win...and then you can do my dishes :D )  We can let God into all areas of our lives.  We don't see how God is leading us to... (...right off a cliff...) Forgiveness, humbleness, some other stuff that he said while i was distracted making faces at the baby...  Seeking the Savior.  He is leading us to a new approach. We may not like it.  God always has a better plan (I'm not really liking this phase of the plan...)  Go where He leads.  God is never late.  (I feel like some of this came out of some training I had to do at work...)

Father used Eucharistic Prayer III and there were bells.

Pictures:  (sorry the windows are so's raining...)
View from the Back Pew

St. Joseph

Station VIII

St. Andrew

The Good Shepherd

Flight Into Egypt
The Holy Family

The Last Super

Random Jesuit Saint...St Ignatius?
Our Lady of Guadalupe

St. Rose Philipine Duchesne ?
Martyred Priest ?  (He's got a palm...)

St. Edward and St. Agnes

St. Augustine and St. Charles Borremeo

The Immaculate Conception
St. Aloysius Gonzaga

St. Patrick and St. Winifred

St. Thomas Aquinas 
St. Albert the Great

St. Helen 
St. John the Baptist

Cathedral of St. Andrew
First Visit