Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Parable and Conscience Meditation October 31

Liturgy  October 31 

Indeed, it is our special vocation, one handed down through the ages by our predecessors, to foster the liturgy of the Church in this manner (Const. 17.1).

The Eucharist and the Liturgy of the Hours are celebrated with the various accents of the liturgical year.  The liturgical seasons bring to life all the mysteries of the Lord which have brought about our salvation.  Advent, as the preparation for Christmas, commemorates the three comings of Christ, that is, his historical birth, his current presence in the Sacraments and his return at the end of time.  For four weeks, the Church prepares to receive Christ in his fullness.  The season of Christmas-Epiphany celebrates the manifestation of God and God’s love in the human world.  It is a festive time of rebirth and of profession of faith.  Lent is forty days of conversion and purification, inspired by the Passion and Death of Jesus.  The Church prepares for Easter, the most solemn Christian feast.  The Easter Season is six weeks of jubilation over the glorious victory of Christ in his Resurrection.  It is the time for strengthening Christian confidence in the one who has risen and ascended, who remains intercessor and, with his Father, is sender of the Spirit.  Between these seasons centered on the principal events of salvation, the Church observes Ordinary Time, various periods when the Christian community assimilates the mysteries of the Lord that it has celebrated.  This is the annual liturgical pilgrimage.

Where a chief passes, there his guest also passes.  (Shi)

Monday, October 30, 2017

Parable and Conscience Meditation October 30

Liturgy  October 30 

Thus we assure the worship of God and of the Lord in the name of and along with our contemporaries (Congolese Regional Statutes, 1.2).

In the Church there are religious communities consecrated by charism to the care of the liturgy.  That is the case with the Canons Regular who pray the liturgy in the name of the Church, but more properly with the Church.  By vocation, they are the bearers of the liturgical tradition and the launchers of authentic liturgy in the future, liturgy that is, at the same time, close to the people of the times.  Since its “ institution” in the sixth century, the Roman rite has had its highs and lows.  From the time of the Cenacle, the Eucharist in the West has been characterized by simplicity and spontaneity.  After the fourth century, the Church, liberated by Constantine, was able to develop public rites to be celebrated in church buildings.  The Roman Mass of 600 was well developed and was to be the precursor of the rite we celebrate today.  Its diffusion to other European regions and the struggle with Arianism contributed, by the end of the first millennium, to the estrangement of the liturgy from ordinary people.  From then until the Protestant Reformation, the Eucharist became a rite where the people observed with reverence.  In reaction to the Protestants, the Roman Church froze the liturgy, leading the people to attach devotions and other ornamental additions to it.  With the Second Vatican Council, the liturgy found again a practice more faithful to its earlier evangelical meaning.  It is there that the Canons Regular find their mission again.  Where will they now go in the name of and with the praying Church?

The orphan, unable to defend his own cause, cannot defend someone else’s.  (African proverb)

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Parable and Conscience Meditation October 29

Liturgy  October 29 

. . . the need for each community to come together regularly to pray (Const. 17.1).

“How good and how pleasant it is, when brothers dwell together as one!” (Ps. 133).  And what joy when they pray in common!  God speaks to each one in his own life and through each one to the others.  It is possible to share community prayer in such a way that each gives and receives personal inspiration.  The sharing is marked by the effort to reveal what God seems to be saying, what God seems to be doing in the life of each participating confrere.  One shares a hymn, another a passage of Scripture.  One prays spontaneously, another gives witness.  All pass moments of silence of silence together without agitation.  They leave theological treatises aside; they offer what is written on the heart.  They can also integrate faith sharing in this experience of shared prayer.  A text of Scripture is proposed to everyone.  Between the hymns and prayers, one or another of the confreres speaks.  All comes from the personal point of view.  They can share what strikes them in the passage.  They can recount an experience related to the passage.  They can tell about a lesson learned in connection with the passage.  They can point to where the passage invites them.  The more personal the sharing, the more touching it is.  It is good and pleasant to experience God in the concreteness of life!

Lions from the same forest know each other.  (Ghana)

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Parable and Conscience Meditation October 28

Liturgy  October 28

From this it follows that every liturgical celebration . . .  is a sacred action surpassing all others; no other action of the Church can equal its efficacy by the same title and to the same degree (SC 7, Vatican II).

            By an immersion in water, Baptism speaks of death and revival:  it brings to life.
            By a touch that subdues, Confirmation speaks of being taken possession of:  it causes possession by the Spirit.
            By an assembly around the altar of sacrifice, the Eucharist speaks of nourishment that creates togetherness:  it brings a whole people together in God.
            By a welcoming touch, Reconciliation speaks of apologies given and accepted:  it reconciles.
            By an exchange of promises, Marriage speaks of mutual commitment:  it makes one flesh of two.
            By a gesture of authorization, Holy Order speaks of designating leadership:  it creates leaders.
            By a strengthening caress, Anointing speaks of healing:  it bring spiritual and physical health.

It's the good sauce that gathers the chairs.  (Baoule)

Friday, October 27, 2017

Parable and Conscience Meditation October 27

Liturgy  October 27

. . . in union with the prayer of Christ and with the whole People of God (Const. 17.1).

        Having been nourished with your Word, our Father, we present ourselves before the altar with our gifts.  Blessed are You, Lord God of all creation, who has given us this
bread . . . this wine . . .  to offer.
        We ask you to accept them, the sacrifice of the whole Church through Christ, our Lord.
        With our hearts lifted up to you and full of gratitude, we hear the history of your
goodness, You, holy, holy, holy; we hear of the Last Supper of Jesus: we proclaim. .  .  we celebrate . . . we wait;  in his memory, we offer You . . . we give You thanks;  we pray to be one in the Spirit; we pray for our eternal life, for peace in the world and the well-being of the whole Church, for our deceased brothers and sisters:  Through him, with him and in him, all glory and honor are yours.  Amen!
        You are Our Father, we brothers and sister in peace.
        The bread is broken, have mercy on us.
        We eat singing, not worthy to receive You.
         May this communion keep us united and faithful to You, through him who lives and reigns with you for ever and ever.  Amen!

The baby goat leaps when it has grazed.  (Bembe)

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Parable and Conscience Meditation October 26

Liturgy  October 26

When you pray to God in Psalms and hymns, think over in your hearts the words that come from your lips (Rule of St. Augustine, 12).

            At the beginning of this new day, we rise to make memorial of the Death and Resurrection of Christ.  We insert ourselves into his eternal prayer before You, Father, to be sanctified this day.  O Lord, open my lips.
            We sing of our connection to Christ, the Rising Sun, so as to live another day in the realization of his Kingdom.
            With our psalms, we awaken the world to your love and celebrate your praise, You who reveal yourself since the Old Testament:  Glory to God who is and was and who is to come now and for ever.  Amen!
            The first hearing of the Word today initiates us into the marvels that You will manifest throughout the whole day.  Thanks be to God!
            We proclaim the fulfillment of your promise to our father, Abraham, announced by the prophet-precursor of Christ, when the time had come.   Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, who visits and redeems his people.
            Full of praise for You, we participate in the great intercession of our High Priest who prays for our salvation.  Lord, hear our prayer!
            We address You, Our Father, and we put this day in your hands through the one who lives and reigns for all eternity.  May your blessing be upon us.  Let us bless the Lord!

Early morning has gold in its mouth.  (Luba)

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Parable and Conscience Meditation October 25

Liturgy  October 25

As a religious community, the daily contact, whether personal or communal, with the Lord is an obligation (Congolese Regional Statutes, 1.2).

The Christian life is, indeed, a great adaptation to the presence of God in the Risen Christ.  Jesus lives and is present to accompany us to abundant life and encourage us in all the circumstances which contradict that.  Christ communicates at every moment.  In his humanity, still glorified, he continues to use signs to communicate with us:  the wonders of nature, current events, the brothers and sisters around us.  He communicates through the Word and the signs of the Sacraments.  He has a great repertoire.  It is possible, even necessary, to respond to him.  But the response is not first of all to "make noise" interiorly or exteriorly, as pious as it may be.  The first moment of prayer is listening.  What is God saying in Christ through the colors of the setting sun or the rain that waters the field?  What is the message in the joy of friendship or the pain of illness?  To where does God call through the need of a brother or the word of a sister?  One has to listen first to know how to respond with “thanks” or “deliver me” or “I will go.”  It is certain that the Risen Christ speaks.  What is not so sure is whether we hear well or respond appropriately.  It is little by little in Christian life that we deepen the life of prayer.

Whoever bothers to bend down does not get up with nothing.  (Mossi)