Thursday, January 24, 2013

Parish Magazine: Septuagesima 2013

Parish News

The sad news of the death of our friend Tom Toland was brightened by the glorious spectacle of the whole parish working together to make everything ready for his Requiem and the Reception following. The Church was packed with many visitors and as always in such circumstances I was proud to be your parish priest.  Tom would have approved as well.  Many thanks to you all.

Bob Davis and Karen Otto with various helpers have begun the remodel of Room 5 to make it more of a chapel and less of a storeroom. The idea is to make this room an attractive place to pray, a more appropriate space for the Maundy Thursday Vigil and some weekday Masses and perhaps another location to hear confessions. This renovation is made possible by memorial funds given in honor of Dick Beadle and Margaret and Byron Judah.  It should be completed by Holy Week.

The Lenten speakers for Friday Nights will be me, myself and I. Either I got started too late or priests these days do not like to give up their Friday nights. In any case I failed to round up even the usual suspects for this year. The drawback is you will have to listen to me droning on and on. The advantage is I promise that my talks will be no more than fifteen to twenty minutes. I have decided to move my talks on the Carmelite Saints from Sunday morning to Friday evenings. 

Making a Lenten Rule

All Catholic Christians are bound to the minimum of the Precepts of the Church

I. To attend Mass on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation, and resting from servile works.

II. To observe the days of abstinence and fasting.

III. To confess our sins to a priest, at least once a year.

IV. To receive Our Lord Jesus Christ in the Holy Eucharist at least once a year during Easter Season.

V. To contribute to the support of the Church.

If you are not observing this minimum, then this is where you should begin and what you should aim for in Lent. If you are already living by this minimal rule, the following should be part of your Lenten Rule:

Abstinence and Self-denial: Whatever you decide to give up in Lent it should be something significant enough and important enough for you to feel its absence.  Usually this  will involve:

Food and Drink: quantity and quality, consume less and be less fussy about what you consume.  

Time: what could you do with your time if you were spending it differently? Less light reading, less TV, less computer, less talking, less activity, and so more spiritual reading, more meditation and reflection, more prayer, more rest, more good works.

Fasting: there are two days in Lent which are marked not just by abstinence but by fasting, Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. This means one simple meal on those days.

Self-examination: if you do not have a regular, daily habit of self- examination, then Lent is a good time to begin to acquire it. It need not be protracted and it should not be scrupulous, only honest and fearless.

Confession: what can you say? Those who have never made their confession do not know. Those who once upon a time made their confession have forgotten. But those who regularly make their confession know that there is nothing in the Christian life more wonderful, more exhilarating, than to hear those words Go in peace. The Lord hath put away all thy sins.

Taking On:  Lent, as they say, is not just about giving up but also taking on.  The list of what you ought to take on or what you might take on is endless:

Friday Night Stations and Benediction, a daily Mass, visiting the sick and the lonely, working at Austin Street Shelter or North Dallas Shared Ministries, singing in the choir, daily Bible reading, keeping silence, prayer for the departed, prayer for those who have no one to pray for them, prayer for things which most likely are not going to happen, prayer for things that no one cares about, tithing, supporting financially charities which need your help, reconciling with people with whom you are at enmity, writing a letter to an old friend, getting around to what you never get around to, listen to people rather than insisting that they listen to you, and . . .

Whatever you do this Lent, do it with the humility of common sense and the wisdom of prudence. To modify Dom Cuthbert Butler’s old adage just slightly: keep Lent as you can, not as you can’t.

Farewell to the Alleluia

Alleluia! song of gladness,
Voice of joy that cannot die;
Alleluia is the anthem
Ever dear to choirs on high;
In the house of God abiding
Thus they sing eternally.

Alleluia thou resoundest,
True Jerusalem and free;
Alleluia joyful mother,
All thy children sing with thee;
But by Babylon’s sad waters
Mourning exiles now are we.

Alleluia cannot always
Be our song while here below;
Alleluia our transgressions
Make us for a while forego;
For the solemn time is coming
When our tears for sin must flow.

Therefore in our hymns we pray Thee,
Grant us blessed Trinity,
At the last to keep Thine Easter
In our home beyond the sky;
There to Thee for ever singing
Alleluia joyfully

Alleluia, Dulce Carmen 10th Century
Translated by John Mason Neale


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Fr. Allen, thanks for the JMN. I could be wrong, but I think he contributed nearly the most hymns of anyone in the hymnal. A good man and priest. Becoming a saint as he is absolutely thankless, at least in this Great Cosmic Boot Camp Planet Earth. He had his up-and-downs. Kind of encouraging, actually. Thanks for posting. Best, Brent