Here is Bulletin_2015-01-11.
What if ÷÷÷÷÷÷: On November 11, we posted What if ÷÷÷÷÷÷? that discussed some concerns about the potential for growing divisions within St. Peter’s. This week my wife and I encountered one of the manifestations of the type of divisions (÷) that threaten the Parish. It came in a unexpected way and in the very worst place possible. The incident caught us off guard, but our angels were on guard, as always, and helped us to hold our tongues and to pray. This incident was so very disturbing that we immediately shared it with many of you who read the Sheep of Kephas. — You responded. So many of you, replied with words that helped us to put this matter into its rightful context. And you stepped forward with ideas on ways to solve this particular problem of division within St. Peter’s.
Soon after hearing from you, I made this comment to my wife and I will make it to you now. I am so blessed that my father and his father before him were Catholic. I am so blessed that my mother became Catholic because my father was Catholic. I am so blessed that my wife encountered the grace, with the help of my mother’s prayers, to become Catholic. I am so blessed that I was baptized Catholic and am a member of St. Peter’s along with each and every one of you. – Let us pray and work to heal these divisions at St. Peter’s.
Sinners: The lines for Saturday Confession at St. John the Baptist are always long. What a joy! Surrounded by stained glass windows, my mind is refreshed with the wonders of the Catholic Church and Her saints. The Nativity scene, reminds me that Christmas is more than just one day. We wait in line with sinners, each one examining their conscience and knowing that there really can be forgiveness for their failures. And, is it wrong for me to find some sense of joy in also being one of these sinners seeking forgiveness? My wife and I are thankful for the long lines and the time for reflection.
Prayer to St. Michael: My wife and I take this opportunity to say that we were very incomplete in explaining all the reasons why one would want to say the the St. Michael Prayer after each Mass here at St. Peter’s. In our post Prayer to St. Michael we gave several reasons, but we didn’t tell you about the Human Life International’s (HLI) St. Michael Prayer Campaign. The purpose of the campaign is “to promote praying the St. Michael prayer after every Mass. This grassroots campaign is designed to encourage the laity to pray for St. Michael’s intercession for the conversion of abortionists.”
Consider also that in May of 2013, ” … Pope Francis was joined by Pope emeritus Benedict XVI in the gardens for a ceremony during which the Holy Father blessed a statue of St Michael Archangel, at the same time consecrating the Vatican to the Archangel’s protection.” Here are some important words from the Vatican Radio report:
“Michael struggles to restore divine justice and defends the People of God from his enemies, above all by the enemy par excellence, the devil. And St. Michael wins because in him, there is He God who acts. This sculpture reminds us then that evil is overcome, the accuser is unmasked, his head crushed, because salvation was accomplished once and for all in the blood of Christ. Though the devil always tries to disfigure the face of the Archangel and that of humanity, God is stronger, it is His victory and His salvation that is offered to all men. We are not alone on the journey or in the trials of life, we are accompanied and supported by the Angels of God, who offer, so to speak, their wings to help us overcome so many dangers, in order to fly high compared to those realities that can weigh down our lives or drag us down. In consecrating Vatican City State to St. Michael the Archangel, I ask him to defend us from the evil one and banish him. “
Finally, Colin B. Donovan, STL, speaking of the St. Michael prayer in an article for EWTN, discussed the 1994 request by St. John-Paul the Great to take up saying the St. Michael prayer and when it should be said:
This request could certainly be answered by individuals or small groups, such as prayer groups. However, it is even more appropriate if the People of God are united in fulfilling this request. The one time when this can be done is when “everyone” is gathered for the Sacred Liturgy.
In light of the liturgical norms, it becomes problematic, however, if the whole assembly, led by the celebrant, prays it in apparent continuation of the liturgical action just completed. Once the celebrant processes out, though, the Mass is clearly ended. It is no more contradictory for the assembly to join in the Prayer to St. Michael, then it is to break up and depart, as either action is now distinct from the Mass. In the same way, the rosary said immediately before Mass by the faithful, but not incorporated into its beginning, does not contravene the distinction between liturgy and devotion.
Thus, the St. Michael prayer, said by the Faithful after the priest processes out is to be considered a devotion and not a part of the Mass. As with any prayer, the intention rests in the heart of the person reciting the prayer. There are so many worthwhile reasons to consecrate St. Peter’s to the protection of St. Michael just as the Pope and the Pope Emeritus consecrated the Vatican to the Archangel’s protection.
St. Michael the Archangel – Pray for us.
Analysis and Commentary: Today’s bulletin is mostly a rerun. One very small item does stand out:
2015 CONTRIBUTION ENVELOPES
Please pick up your 2015 contribution
envelopes on the table in the vestibule.
By my count this morning there were 27 boxes of contribution envelopes remaining to be picked up. As I have noted on at least one occasion, my wife and I contribute to several Catholic causes, and even to other parishes, but until we can be sure that our contribution will not find its way into some unworthy use, we do not donate directly to St. Peter’s. (By the way I have picked up my box.)
The fact that so many boxes remain to be picked up raises some questions. Are there that many families that have moved or have been out of town for the last several weeks? Do some people in the Parish have concerns similar to ours? Or is it that the Sheep in Exile simply are not here to pick up there boxes?
It is not the position of the Sheep of Kephas blog to recommend that parishioners withhold their support to St. Peter’s. That is a personal matter. It is the position of this blog to assent to the teaching of the Church. That would include the precepts of the Church, which include the precept “To contribute to the support of the Church.”