Sunday, June 14, 2020

Corpus Christi @ St. Vincent de Paul Parish

JUNE 13/14, 2020

This weekend we commemorated the Memorial of St. Anthony of Padua. You can see his statue next to the St. Joseph altar.

His story is fascinating – you might want to look it up online or in a book. He was known for his powerful preaching, supreme knowledge of scripture, and undying love and devotion to the poor and the sick.

He can also help you find your car keys if you pray for his intercession.

But the story I want to relate was later in his life when he was preaching in Toulouse in the south of France. the people in that area had lost their faith in the Eucharist. They doubted if the bread and wine were merely a symbol, or if it was indeed the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ.

And one outspoken man challenged him. He brought a half-starved mule and waited to see its reaction when shown a pile of food on one side, and St. Anthony holding the Blessed Sacrament in a monstrance on the other. The animal totally ignored the fodder and to everyone’s amazement knelt before Our Lord in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar.

Today we celebrate the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ.

This feast is of relatively recent origin, the Mass and Office texts having been prepared by none other than St. Thomas Aquinas in the year 1264.

The immediate reason was to commemorate a miracle, one year before, where a German priest, doubting the generosity of Christ in coming Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity in the Holy Eucharist … was given a singular miracle when at the Words of Institution, “This is My Body,” the host began to bleed onto his hands and onto the altar cloth.

But even more than commemorating a 13th century miracle, this day celebrates the central mystery of our Faith – what the Second Vatican Council referred to as the “source and summit of the Christian life.”

Which begs the question – do we recognize Jesus in the Most Holy Eucharist?

As we approach this altar to receive the Sacred Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ – quite possibly for the first time in almost 100 days … let us pray for a deeper appreciation and experience of the Real Presence of Jesus Christ in this most Blessed Sacrament. And may the infinite and manifold graces of the Eucharist transform us – and our homes, our neighborhood, our country, and our world – all for the greater glory of God.

Saturday, June 6, 2020

10th Week in Ordinary Time @ St. Vincent de Paul Parish



Friday of the 10th Week in OT 6-12-2020

St. Barnabas, Apostle 6-11-2020

Wednesday of the 10th Week in OT 6-10-2020

Daily Mass for the Dead 6-9-2020

Votive Mass for the Priest Himself 6-8-2020

The Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity 6-7-2020

Solemnidad de la Santísima Trinidad 7-6-2020

Trinity Sunday @ St. Vincent de Paul Parish

JUNE 7, 2020

Released in November of 1967, and having the distinction of being both #1 and #2 on the British singles chart simultaneously due to being released on both a single and an EP, the Beatle’s song I am the Walrus was written by John Lennon the previous summer.

The lyrics are a combination of poetry, nursery rhymes, and nonsense syllables and phrases – the result of three failed attempts at three different songs that were eventually joined together and became the iconic tune known to us over 50 years later.

It was the first studio recording made after the accidental death of their first manager, the recording featured orchestral accompaniment that included violins, cellos, horns, and clarinet as well as a 16-voice choir of professional studio vocalists.

Critical reception was mostly positive, although the song was banned by the BBC (British Broadcasting System.)

Today is Trinity Sunday.

While many aspects of the Roman Liturgy have included the Trinity – namely in doxologies, Sunday prefaces; the feast we celebrate today – that is, a particular Sunday honoring the Trinity was not included in the calendar until Pope John XXII (the twenty-second) in the early 14th (fourteenth) century.

The feast was elevated liturgically to the highest solemnity by Pope Saint Pius X (the tenth) in 1911.

Now, anytime we speak of Theology – which is the study of God (theos = God, logos = study) … whether that be the Trinitarian theology, Patrology (the theology of God the Father,) Christology (the theology of the Person of Jesus Christ), Pneumatology (the theology of the Holy Spirit), or Theology proper of itself … we run two difficulties.

What you say can either come out sounding like jibberish. That’s the first risk. When you start bandying about with words like perichoresis in the Greek, or circumincession in the Latin – both are words referring to the relationship and the interpenetration of the three Persons of the Trinity: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Then there are the theological distinctions between the Immanent Trinity and the Economic Trinity.

On the other hand, you may find yourself spouting heresy … and all the big heresies revolve around mistakes about the Trinity or the Persons of the Trinity.

So, Trinity Sunday can be a bit of a theological minefield.

But the Trinity should not be unfamiliar to us.

We are baptized into the Divine life of the Trinity – as we are baptized in “the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.”

The Mass – the Divine Liturgy of the Church – is a sacrificial offering of the Son to the Father in the power of the Holy Spirit.

We begin our prayers with the Sign of the Cross – proclaiming Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

We end our liturgical prayers with a trinitarian formula.

And we memorize the Glory Be – which is a minor doxology to the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Not to mention the Gloria (Glory to God in the Highest) and the Creed which again are Trinitarian in structure.

The difficulty, of course, is that God is beyond our comprehension – making the Trinity a mystery.

And a mystery is best expressed in silence, prayer, and song.

As we continue in the Holy Mass, offering the Sacred Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ to God the Father in the power of the Holy Spirit – let us remember that we are children of God the Father, redeemed in Christ His Son, and have received an outpouring of the power of the Holy Spirit.

(Goo goo ga joob.)

Saturday, May 30, 2020

9th Week in Ordinary Time @ St. Vincent de Paul



Saturday Memorial of the BVM 6-6-2020

St. Boniface 6-5-2020

Thursday of the 9th Week in Ordinary Time 6-4-2020

St. Charles Lwanga and Companions 6-3-2020

Ss. Marcellinus and Peter 6-2-2020

Mary, Mother of the Church 6-1-2020

Pentecost Sunday 5-31-2020

Domingo de Pentecostés 5-31-2020

Pentecost Sunday @ St. Vincent de Paul Parish

MAY 31, 2020

Loosely based on the novel The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum; the 1939 movie titled The Wizard of Oz is perhaps the best-known and most commercially successful adaptation of the book. From a box office perspective, it was not much of a success earning only a little over three million dollars and netting less than one-tenth of that in profits.

Due to the technology utilized, namely Technicolor™, it was up to that point the most expensive movie ever made by MGM. Not until 10 years later, when it was re-released in theaters did it begin to be a money-maker for the studio, and 50 years after its release was included in the U.S. National Film Registry, and named the most-viewed movie on television by the Library of Congress.

Many things from the movie have entered our national consciousness – phrases, songs, and characters – leading to many attempts at sequels and reinterpretations … none of them as successful as the original which is over 80 years old.

The four major protagonists are: a young girl, Dorothy – who only wants to get home; a scarecrow – who only needs a brain; a tin woodsman – who needs a heart; and a cowardly lion – who needs courage. After an adventure involving munchkins, flying monkeys, a wicked witch, and ultimately the Wizard of Oz himself … the four discover that what they desired was already within their grasp. With a final clicking of ruby slippers, and a chant of “There’s no place like home,” … everyone lives happily ever after.

Today is Pentecost Sunday. Fifty days since the end of the Paschal Triduum. Pentecost marks the end of the Easter Season.

Pentecost is associated with the coming of the Holy Spirit. And for most of us, we know that there are Gifts of the Holy Spirit and Fruits of the Holy Spirit … and perhaps you can rattle them off like a well-memorized lesson. But how do these affect you in your daily life? What is the place of these gifts and fruits for an Average Joe and Mary Catholic?

According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC 1831) “The seven gifts of the Holy Spirit … complete and perfect the virtues of those who receive them.

Which requires us to take a step back. If these gifts complete and perfect the virtues, what are the virtues?

The “big three” are easy: The theological or supernatural virtues are Faith, Hope, and Love. We receive these in Baptism, and they are strengthened in us through our exercising them in our daily lives; as well as through our worthy reception of the Sacraments, most especially the Holy Eucharist.

So, what do Faith, Hope, and Love do for us?

Like the scarecrow, the tin-man, and the lion – we all need a little boost. Not from a wizard, but rather from God. Faith affects the mind, Hope affects the soul, and Love affects the Heart.

In a similar way, the first three human virtues of Prudence, Temperance, and Fortitude allow us to properly apply and use our mind’s thoughts, express moderation in our body and soul, and persevere when things become difficult.

Justice, the fourth of the human virtues allows us to balance the actions within our lives by giving of ourselves to God, and to neighbor … in an appropriate mix and measure

These seven virtues – which we possess in varying quantities – are in turn completed and perfected by the Gifts of the Holy Spirit.

The virtues of the mind are perfected by the gifts of Knowledge, Understanding, and Counsel. Knowledge being what fills our mind, Understanding being how our mind processes what it knows within itself, and Counsel being the application of our mind to help others and affect external events.

The virtues of the soul are perfected by the gifts of Fear of the Lord and Piety. Fear of the Lord allows us to show proper reverence for God, and Piety allows us to respond to God’s grace in serving both God and neighbor.

The virtues of the heart are perfected by the gifts of Wisdom and Fortitude. Wisdom allows us to make appropriate choices in prudently discerning between the desires of our heart, and Fortitude helps us to have courage as well as to follow through and persevere.

And finally, “[t]he Fruits of the Holy Spirit are perfections that the Holy Spirit forms in us as the first fruits of eternal glory.” As we grow in virtue by ordering our minds, souls, and hearts to God … the Holy Spirit perfects and completes our efforts through God’s grace. The end result, then, of living a Christian life is holiness – expressed in the twelve Fruits of the Holy Spirit: charity, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, generosity, gentleness, faithfulness, modesty, self-control, chastity.

As we continue in this Holy Mass, offering to God the Father the Sacred Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit… let us pray for the Gifts of the Holy Spirit to be poured out in our lives … to complete and perfect our virtues … and as we conform our lives more and more – day by day – to God’s Holy and Perfect Will, may we experience the Fruits of Holiness in our lives through the Power of the Holy Spirit.

Sunday, May 24, 2020

7th Week of Easter @ St. Vincent de Paul Parish



The Immaculate Heart of Mary 5-30-2020

Pope St. Paul VI 5-29-2020

The Visitation of the BVM 5-28-2020

St. Augustine of Canterbury 5-27-2020

St. Philip Neri 5-26-2020

Pope St. Gregory VII 5-25-2020

Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord 5-24-2020

Solemnidad de la Ascensión del Señor 24-5-2020

Saturday, May 23, 2020

Ascension Sunday @ St. Vincent de Paul Parish

MAY 24, 2020

William Randolph Hearst was born in 1863, and was a famous ... maybe infamous ... newspaper publisher whose journalistic holdings reached nearly 30 newspapers across the nation.

One of Hearst’s enduring legacies is Hearst Castle. Construction began in 1919 on 240 thousand acres of land overlooking the Pacific Ocean at San Simeon.

Each room is furnished with art and antiques brought over from Europe. Hearst was such a passionate collector of antiques and artistic works, that aside from his castle at San Simeon which was filled with all sorts of priceless treasures; he also had warehouses full of untold treasure.

Supposedly, while reading a magazine on art, he came across a photo of a reproduction of a particular work of art. He called his agent in New York to locate and purchase the original work. After several months, the agent had failed to locate the work ... and Hearst fired him on the spot; hiring a private detective to continue the search.

After nearly two years, and over $100,000 financing this search, the detective returned with good news and bad news.

The good news, of course, was that he had found the painting.

The bad news was, that it lay in one of Hearst’s warehouses ... having been purchased over seven years before. The treasure he had worked so hard to possess ... had been his all along. If only he’d known.

Today is the Solemnity of the Ascension of Our Lord. In two of the readings, we hear accounts of Jesus’ ascension 40 days after His resurrection on Easter.

In the Second Reading, St. Paul gives a theological account of what this should mean for Christian believers.

St. Paul prays that his readers might receive a “Spirit of wisdom and revelation” so as to gain knowledge in four specific areas so that Christian believers might be united with Christ in glory.
(1) The first is that we might know God, and His Son Jesus Christ. There are, of course, two sorts of knowledge. We can know “about” someone - facts and figures, measurements and statistics. But to truly know a person ... requires an experiential knowledge ... living with them, walking with them ... day by day. If we are to truly know God and His Son, we must work on that relationship every day. 
(2) The second is that we might know God’s call. Each of us received God’s call on our lives at Baptism. In this particular text, St. Paul uses the term “enlightenment” which in the early Church was synonymous with Baptism. Because we are baptized ... we are enlightened by Christ and the Holy Spirit. And each and every one of us, in our unique way, must live out the call ... as Apostles in our own time ... in our own day and age. This call is not some divine burden cast on our shoulders, but rather should give us hope. 
(3) The third is that we might know God’s riches - our inheritance, as sons and daughters of God ... brothers and sisters of Jesus Christ. Additionally, because we are united to Christ as members of His Body, we have become God’s possession ... part of the abundance of wealth ... and sharers in His grace, love, and mercy. 
(4) The fourth, and final area of knowledge, is that we might know God’s power. As members of Christ’s Body, we are united to Him ... and He is united with His Father in glory ... and so, God’s power is active in us ... and through us. Through intercessory prayer, we are filled with “the surpassing greatness of his power” inasmuch as we are open to the action of the Holy Spirit in our lives.
Without this knowledge, we might find ourselves wasting time and resources looking all over the world ... for the treasure we already share in Christ Jesus. The power and riches of God, which receive by believing in His Son and living out our Baptismal call.

As we continue in this Sacred Liturgy, offering the Sacred Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ to God the Father in the power of the Holy Spirit ... let us pray for a deeper outpouring of the “Spirit of wisdom and revelation” that we may better know God, hear and live out His call for each of us, and share in the treasure of His divine love and mercy and grace ... which are poured out on us by the power of the Holy Spirit.