Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Where Have I Been?

Just noticed, to my dismay, that it's going on two months since there's been a new post here.

Smart readers are still asking miscellaneous LOTH questions in the comments from the previous post, and I've been answering. But somehow I've coasted by without a word about Holy Week, Easter, or its glorious Octave.

So in case you're wondering, there's been no  huge catastrophe preventing me. Just lots of middle-sized work and family events that keep my mind  elsewhere most of the time.   A good bit of travel plus physical and mental energy related to administering my late brother's estate. Lots of paid writing gigs, so I must keep those employers happy by meeting deadlines.   Tomorrow I head out to Santa Paul, CA for my daughter's college graduation.  Next week, my newest grandson will be christened.

Beyond that, it's harder now than it used to be to come up with topics for blog posts. Over the last six years I've said pretty close to everything I have to say about the Liturgy of the Hours. Maybe this blog needs a co-author with new ideas and greater zeal, since clearly I"m running out of steam. (Interested parties may contact me about that--include 3 sample posts.)  Anyway, I'm trying to get back in the swing of blogging, so here goes.

We can usually find (or impose) a pattern in the psalmody of each liturgical hour. This morning, the psalmody of Morning prayer had a great flow. We start out with Psalm 108, which is at once full of joyful praise and confident militancy. As I've said before, don't get bogged down by seeing this as merely the boasting of a warlike King  David. The King whose voice we should hear is that of Jesus, Who, for the glory of His Father, set forth to trample the hordes of Satan (those Edomites and Moabites and Philistines in the psalm symbolize them). Alternately. pray this psalm as your personal resolve to (with joyous confidence in God's power, not yours) conquer the temptations and personal faults that will assail you today.

Next,  the canticle from Isaiah looks with hope towards a time when the victory in that battle is complete. Here we can think about the Church, which is at once the forever beautiful spotless and beautiful bride of Christ, yet at the same time, due to constant assualt from without and within, can seem "desolate" and "forsaken." Today I'm thinking about all the church closings in Connecticut, here recently where I live in the Erie diocese, and so many other places.   We have to hold on to hope, and this canticle puts us in that hopeful place, doesn't it?

Last, Psalm 146 exhorts us to praise and thank God for what He has and will accomplish, regardless of what is happening in the political realm. I can't tell you how often that verse 3, "Put no trust in princes" springs into mind every time a new headline about this or that politician and his/her actions/promises/threats pops up. No trust in them, but always "sing praise to my God while I live."

Okay, questions and comments are welcome in the usual place. I'll be travelling the next few days so be patient waiting for the responses.


  1. Welcome back Daria! You are in our prayers and we've missed you.

  2. Dear Catholic Crusader,

    Five hundred years ago in 1517, Martin Luther made public his 95 complaints against the Roman Catholic church (hereafter, RCC). Today, we shall do likewise, with another 95 reasons. However, in this critique, we will exclusively fixate on the nucleus of all Catholic doctrine called, Transubstantiation. This teaching is built on the premise that when the priest utters “This is my body” over bread and wine that the “combustible” syllables of these four words ignite with such power and energy that, unbeknownst to our cognizant senses, the substance of bread and wine miraculously change (“by the force of the words” says the Council of Trent; cf. Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1375). They are then abruptly replaced with something else entirely; namely, the very body, blood, soul and divinity of the Lord Jesus Christ in some mysterious form which leaves only the outward appearance of bread and wine (i.e., the color, shape, size, taste, weight and texture -- or "accidental" properties, remain unchanged in objective reality). It is claimed that the supernatural power that creates this miracle on a daily basis, 24 hours a day in Masses worldwide, “is the same power of Almighty God that created the whole universe out of nothing at the beginning of time” (Mysterium Fidei, 47). The question is: does the sacred rhetoric of Jesus lead us to conclude He intended it be recited like a magician recites his incantations? (Reason 6, 74). That at the recitation of these four words, the world is obligated to be transfixed on Transubstantiation???

    We should think that a rollercoaster of 95 reasons against this doctrine should at least pique your curiosity, let alone make you wonder if, like the calmness of a ferris wheel, you can so calmly refute them. The issue is far from inconsequential, since it’s claimed our very eternal destinies are at stake. So while sensitive to the fact that many are captivated by this doctrine, we are persuaded that the theological framework of the Bible conveys a persistent and vigorous opposition to this theory. God's word tells us to, "study to show yourself approved" (2 Tim 2:15) and we have indeed done just that.

    The almost “romantic fidelity” to Transubstantiation springs forth from the opinion that consuming the “organic and substantial” body of Christ in the Eucharist is necessary for salvation (CCC 1129 & 1355; Trent, "Concerning Communion", ch. 1 and “Concerning Communion Under Both Kinds”, ch. 3; Canon 1; Mysterium Fidei, intro). Our burden here is to safeguard the gospel (Jude 1:3). If a religious system professing to be Christian is going to demand that something be done as a prerequisite for eternal life, it is vital to scrutinize this claim under the searchlight of Scripture and with “the mind of Christ” (1 Cor 2:16). Proverbs 25:2 says, "the honor of a king is to search out a matter". We shall do likewise.

    Determined to test all things by Holy Writ (1 Thess 5:21; Acts 17:11, 2 Cor 10:5), the following 95 reasons have been compiled to an extravagant length to provoke you to consider the cognitive complexities of this doctrine which we conclude are biblically unbearable. We are so convinced the Bible builds a concrete case against this superstition, that we will not allow the things we have in common to suppress the more urgent need to confront the differences that divide us, such as Transubstantiation. We are told this issue directly impacts our eternal destiny, so it must not be ignored. The Lord Jesus came to divide and conquer by the truth of His word. He said, "Do you think that I have come to give peace on earth? No, I tell you, but rather division" (Luke 12:51-53).

    For the full essay of 95 reasons, kindly e-mail me at

    1. Anyone addressing me as "Catholic Crusader" (it's fairly obvious you mean that as a slur) would receive a most uncharitable response from me.

      This is a website dedicated to teaching Catholics to pray the divine office, an ancient practice with which your Father Luther would have been intimately familiar. I doubt any here are especially impressed by Father Luther's 95 theses, much less with your polemic prooftexting.

      I'll let Daria respond further, as this is her blog and she is doubtless far more charitable than I.

    2. Hi, I just got back from travelling, and am still under the influence of jet lag. Dear Unknown, you are welcome to this blog and to discuss with us the joy of praying the psalms and learn what the Lord has to say to us in these scriptural prayers. I don't do lots of controversy here, and I'm guessing you are well aware of Catholic Answers, David Armstrong's and Devin Rose's blogs and other sites devoted to apologetics. I refer you to them if you truly want a thorough and lively discussion. But I will note that you made this statement: "If a religious system professing to be Christian is going to demand that something be done as a prerequisite for eternal life..." Please re-read the 6th chapter of John, where it's not a "religious system", but the Lord Jesus, who says, "Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood you will have no life in you." And when many disciples walked away that day, he did not call them back to explain that he was only speaking symbolically. I do agree with you that this is an important issue. Probably most protestants who convert to Catholicism do it primarily out of a longing for the union with Christ that only comes through the Eucharist.

    3. Did anyone happen to notice the Lord giving us "a wink and a nod" this past Saturday morning?

      Saturday, May 13th, was the optional memorial of "Our Lady of Fatima" - the 100th anniversary of the first apparition and the day on which our Holy Father, Pope Francis, canonized Fatima seers, Francisco and Jacinta Marto; they are now our youngest known saints in the Communion of Saints.

      Since it was an optional memorial (at least in the U.S.), the psalmody for Lauds (Morning Prayer) was just "plain ole" Saturday, Week IV, from the psalter (Daria, please correct me if I'm wrong!) That this particular psalm should be on our lips (and in our hearts) on this particular day given its significance is truly Providential...

      "How great is your name, O Lord our God,
      through all the earth!

      Your majesty is praised above the heavens;
      on the lips of children and of babes
      you have found praise to foil your enemy,
      to silence the foe and the rebel..." (Ps 8,1-2)

      Armed only with a simple and unswerving faith, Lucia dos Santos, Francisco and Jacinta, did indeed "silence the foe and the rebel" - ultimately, not only of their own time and place - but beyond, into our own. The little shepherds will continue in the work they knew well in this life - only now they assist the "Good Shepherd" Himself in shepherding - not sheep - but souls! Praise be to God!

      Saints Francisco & Jacinta, pray for us!

      P.S. Cannot let this post go by without offering a rebuttal to Unknown (a.k.a. "EucharistAngel") - and I will do so with the words from one of my favorite psalms as found in the King James Bible...

      "O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in Him" - Ps 34:8

      I'm tempted to write more but am reminded that "brevity is the soul of wit" - and this, looking at all that I've written above, is a lesson I still greatly need to learn!

      May God Bless You...