Liturgical Tips

The Nature of the Sacred Liturgy and Its Importance in the Church's Life - Part 2

Just as Christ was sent by the Father, so also He sent the apostles, filled with the Holy Spirit. This He did that, by preaching the gospel to every creature (Mark 16:15), they might proclaim that the Son of God, by His death and resurrection, had freed us from the power of Satan (Acts 26:18) and from death, and brought us into the kingdom of His Father. His purpose also was that they might accomplish the work of salvation which they had proclaimed, by means of sacrifice and sacraments, arow1d which the entire liturgical life revolves. Thus by baptism men and women are plunged into the paschal mystery of Christ: they die with Him, are buried with Him, and rise with Hirn (Rom. 6:4; Eph. 2:6; Col. 3:1; 2 Trm. 2:11); they receive the spirit of adoption as sons and daughters "in which we cry: Abba, Father" (Rom. 8 :15), and thus become tme adorers whom the Father seeks Oohn 4:23). In Uke manner, as often as they eat the supper of the Lord they proclaim the death of the Lord until He comes (1 Cor. 11:26). 

For that reason, on the very day of Pentecost, when the Church appeared before the world, "those who received the word" of Peter "were baptized." And "they continued steadfastly in the teaching of the apostles and in the communion of the breaking of bread and in prayers ... praising God and being in favor with all the people" (Acts 2:41-47). From that time onwards the Church has never failed to come together to celebrate the paschal mystery: reading those things "which were in all the scriptures concerning him" (Luke 24:27), celebrating the Eucharist in which "the victory and triumph of his death are again made present" (Council of Trent, Session XIII, Decree on the Holy Eucharist, c.5), and at the same time giving thanks "to God for his unspeakable gift" (2 Cor. 9:15) in Christ Jesus, "in praise of his glory" (Eph. 1:12), through the power of the Holy Spirit.

-Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, Sacrosanctum Concilium # 6.

 

Religious' Corner

Our Church Family: A Place of Reconciliation

The Dominican Friars of Holy Rosary hear close to 250 confessions every week. It is one of the few places in the Metropolitan Area of Houston that has daily confessions. Even more astounding, Holy Rosary is only one of a handful of some 150 parishes serving the archdiocese which has twice-daily confessions. Therefore, can we say that Holy Rosary Parish is a place of reconciliation? Certainly, many are receiving the Sacrament of Penance, but does that make our church family a reconciling family?

Participating in a reconciling family goes well beyond how many of us observe the sacrament. Don't get me wrong, the sacramental grace can serve as the foundational force sustaining our church family as a reconciling family. But we must also participate in creating a place where "justice will produce lasting peace and security" (Isaiah 32:17). Two themes keep us from becoming a reconciling church family: anger and our attachment to the polarized, political environment of our time. First, Jesus' notion of justice is not naive anger but justice which intentionally forgives by turning the other check (Matthew 5:29). Secondly, our life as Christians and our participation in our church family does not view "peace and justice" as being an ''alt-left vs. alt-right" platform issue. Rather, we are called to "welcome one another, then, as Christ welcomed you, for the glory of God!" (Romans 15:7)

To this effect, I leave you with the words of Pope St. John Paul II who said, "It [peace] rests above all on the adoption of a style of human coexistence marked by mutual acceptance and a capacity to forgive from the heart. We all need to be forgiven by others, so we must all be ready to forgive. Asking and granting forgiveness is something profoundly worthy of every one of us." (World Day for Peace 1997).

Liturgical Tips

The Nature of the Sacred Liturgy and Its Importance in the Church's Life

God who "wills that all men be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth" (1 Tim. 2:4), "who in many and various ways spoke in times past to the fathers by the prophets" 
(Heb. 1:1), when the fullness of time had come sent His Son, the Word made flesh, anointed by the Holy Spirit, to preach the gospel to the poor, to heal the contrite of heart (Is. 61:1; Luke 4:18), to be a "bodily and spiritual medicine" (St. Ignatius of Antioch, To the Ephesians, 7, 2), the Mediator between God and man (1 Tim. 2:5). For His humanity, united with the person of the Word, was the instrument of our salvation. Therefore, in Christ "the perfect achievement of our reconciliation came forth, and the fullness of divine worship was given to us" 

- (Sacramentarium Veronese (ed. Moh.Iberg), n. 1265; cf also n. 1241, 1248).

The wonderful works of God among the people of the Old Testament were but a prelude to the work of Christ the Lord in redeeming mankind and giving perfect glory to God. He achieved His task principally by the paschal mystery of His blessed passion, resurrection from the dead, and the glorious ascension, whereby "dying, he destroyed our death and, rising, he restored our life" (Easter Preface of the Roman Missal). For it was from the side of Christ as He slept the sleep of death upon the cross that there came forth "the wondrous sacrament of the whole Church". 

Religious' Corner

Where is our church family's home? Is it really 3617 Milam Street? People travel from across the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston to come to Holy Rosary to celebrate and share their faith through the liturgical and sacramental life of the church as well as the gift of Holy Preaching shared by the Dominican Friars. This foundation is what makes Holy Rosary such a place to call home where all of us are welcome to enter into communion with God, with the Saints, and with our baptized brothers and sisters.

holy_rosary_church.jpg

The communion we experience with God is the cornerstone of our house. For the past several weeks, I had the distinct pleasure of listening to some moving testimonies of the faith-filled moments some parishioners have had at our parish. Within these stone walls of our church, our faith is reassured, and our hope is renewed. Being a Dominican parish, we also experience a unique connection with our saints. The stain glasses in our beautiful church give us the sense that we are surrounded by the great saints of the Dominican Order literally letting the light of God shine through them and casting that light down upon us. We look up to them for inspiration and intercession. Then there is the communion that we have with one another both in our liturgical celebrations and through the fellowship we share outside of them. lt is a blessing to see how communion takes place among the young and the old, the rich and the poor, the native and the migrant.

At the same time, just like any other home, there will always be times when we may not feel as comfortable at our church family's home as we have in the past. Maybe the zeal inside of us is gone or the passion for truth is lost. But the important thing is that we allow the Holy Spirit to renew our lives by bringing us back into communion with God, with our Saints, and with one another. So, as we travel and go our separate ways this week, I pray that we may all meet again in the place we call home, Holy Rosary Catholic Church-a place of celebration, renewal, preaching, and communion.

Religious' Corner

Welcome home, Aunt Martha!

Christ in the House of Martha and Mary  Johannes (Jan) Vermeer - 1655-56

Christ in the House of Martha and Mary  Johannes (Jan) Vermeer - 1655-56

Moving along the family tree in Our Church Family, I want to call your attention to one of the favorite members of family, our Aunt Martha. First written of in Luke's Gospel, the stories and preachings about our first Aunt Martha is hard for many of the other Marthas in our church family to hear. These women who identify with Martha feel like their work is belittled or unappreciated when told they need to be "more like Mary". At the same time, the Marthas of our church family must not forget the other gospel stories which exult works done by women in Church: the woman who washed Jesus feet (Luke 7:36-50), the women who attended to Jesus' s body at the tomb (Mark 16:1), our Blessed Mother Mary's work at wedding of canna John 2:3), etc. There is no contradiction in the Gospels, Therefore, the story of Martha and Mary is not a story about definition or subjugation. This gospel message speaks of balance between exterior and interior work. It is absolutely true that we need Marthas in our church! At the same time, we must also encourage those women and men who do so much work for the Church to do the hardest work of all, sitting at the feet of Jesus. For many - ­myself especially - the practice of interior and exterior silence can be very difficult. However, if 75% of woman in the United States continue to identify themselves as Christian, then we must find a way to welcome the Marthas of our Church. We are blessed here at Holy Rosary to have so many amazing Marthas in our community. Most of our parishioners may not even know their names, but we see them teaching our children at the Catechesis of the Good Shepard, serving tables at Wednesday luncheons, or even walking around Holy Rosary Church picking up this or straightening that. Therefore, we at Holy Rosary want to welcome, encourage, and support the Aunt Marthas amongst us as you continue your support and love Our Church Family!

-Br. James Martin Nobles, O.P.

Liturgical Tips

The Missionary Character of the Liturgy

While the liturgy daily builds up those who are within into a holy temple of the Lord, into a dwelling place for God in the Spirit (Eph. 2:21-22), to the mature measure of the fullness of Christ (Eph. 4:13), at the same time it marvelously strengthens their power to preach Christ, and thus shows forth the Church to those who are outside as a sign lifted up among the nations
(Is. 11:12) under which the scattered children of God may be gathered together (John 11:52), until there is one sheepfold and one shepherd (John 10:16).

-Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, Sacrosanctum Concilium # 2

Liturgical Tips

For the liturgy, "through which the work of our redemption is accomplished," most of all in the divine sacrifice of the Eucharist, is the outstanding means whereby the faithful may express in their lives, and manifest to others, the mystery of Christ and the real nature of the true Church. It is of the essence of the Church that she be both human and divine, visible and yet invisibly equipped, eager to act and yet intent on contemplation, present in this world and yet not at home in it; and she is all these things in such wise that in her the human is directed and subordinated to the divine, the visible likewise to the invisible, action to contemplation, and this present world to that city yet to come, which we seek.

-Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, Sacrosanctum Concilium #2.

Religious' Corner - Baptized into Our Church Family

Br. James Martin's baptism by Fr. Albert Coburn, O.P

Br. James Martin's baptism by Fr. Albert Coburn, O.P

Inspired by last week's post, I would like to dedicate these next few excerpts to a topic that is near and dear to my heart, Our Church Family. Growing up in the South, there is a strong tradition amongst Catholic and protestant churches to call their local church a family, but how can we claim. such a statement? After all, many of us may not know where the other lives nor even each other's names. However, being a church family is more than the occasional potluck or bible study group, for our family is rooted in the vitae spiritualis ianua (the gateway to the spiritual life), our baptism. Our sharing in the baptismal life not only intimately transforms us into sons and daughters of God, but also permanently bounds us as brothers and sisters in Christ. 

Baptism both saves one's soul and gives one his or her life's purpose, to "love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind ... and to love your neighbor as yourself" - Matthew 22: 37-39. Our bother, St. Thomas Aquinas, writes, "Baptism [is] conferred on a man, that being regenerated thereby, he may be incorporated in Christ, by becoming His member" - ST III, 68, 1. Therefore, may our baptismal love continue to transform each other's lives in making us one, holy, Catholic, and apostolic Church Family!

-Br. James Martin Nobles, 0.P