Sunday, October 25, 2015

Fr. Perrone on Christ's Kingship, November prayers for the departed

Fr. Eduard Perrone, "A Pastor's Descant" [temporary link] (Assumption Grotto News, October 25, 2015):
Next Sunday will see the coincidence of All Saints Day with the Lord’s day. In both calendars, the new (ordinary) and the Tridentine (extraordinary), the liturgical observance with be All Saints Day. (Needless to add, the day preceding will be the national unholy day of Halloween which has now assumed gargantuan dimensions in proportion to the loss of religious faith in our country. While the weird and bizarre fascinate the imagination more and more, sober orthodox Christian belief and faithful practice is in decline. So goes the law of inverse loyalties.)

This is the time to pre-announce to approach of the month of November in which Catholics bestir themselves to a greater prayer for the souls of the faithful departed. This will begin next Sunday with All Saints Day and continue throughout the month of November, and with special emphasis on the first eight days of the month whereupon a plenary indulgence may be had, applied not toward oneself but only toward the souls of the dead. More about this in next week’s Grotto News. Brother Esteban has informed me that he will be leading some special devotions for the dead–a particular emphasis of the spiritual regimen of his religious-community-in-formation.

Today for 9:30 Mass goers is the feast of Christ the King. For the rest, this will not be celebrated until November 22, the Sunday just before Thanksgiving Day, where it will finish off the liturgical cycle and prepare for the new year in Advent. The value of the institution of the royal office in this world is a things much contested. One thing at least is surely an advantage in having a king. There’s no question of who’s boss, who’s in charge. Kings in history were perhaps as often good and benign as wicked and tyrannical. The modern world no longer has such an institution, except for the spiritual kingship of Christ, the absolute Ruler of heaven (“My kingdom is not of this world”). His rule can extend to the whole created universe as well but only to the extent that He is given reign in men’s minds and hearts through their voluntary surrender to Him. With all our uncertainty today about where we are heading, it would be wise for us to place ourselves under the explicit governance of Christ the King and ask Him to rule us and grant us the wisdom to know His truth and to pursue justice in this befuddled and unbalanced world. The Act of Consecration of the Human Race to Christ the King made at Mass today for 9:30 (for others, at the end of November) is meant to strengthen our Lord’s controls over the world in these meandering and confusing times.

Speaking of which, many are wondering what to make of the Synod of Bishops being held in Rome. I hear many an unsettling thing about it but there is at yet nothing definitive and so nothing is entirely clear. Only ambiguity with much fretting abound. This is not a good state of affairs. We would like to be confident that the Holy Spirit is leading the Church into all truth, as our Lord promised the Apostles. This He will unfailingly do, but along the way there may be a great deal of turmoil. We will just have to wait this out and sit tight as the Synod makes it way to its conclusion. Even at its end it’s not yet certain that we will have strong and clear directives. This much we know: we have an unchanging creed and a long history of dogmatic truth on our side. With this we must remain content and calm.

Many of you have already responded–some of your handsomely–to our substitute for the Benefit Raffle this year. This will help us out this year and make the going a little smoother. I encourage all others to become engaged in this extra financial effort for the good of their parish.

Attention potential altar boys! I will hold a practice for new altar boys Saturday November 7 at 1:00 p.m. in the church. This is required also for all rookie servers who have not yet been through this basic serving course with me.

Fr. Perrone

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