Today is the Feast of Saint Andrew, the Apostle. Today there are a few guest writers. The first section is from Benedict XVI and a general audience he gave on Saint Andrew (text taken from here). Then there are some words by Saint Josemaría Escrivá. At the very end I posted a homily written by Blessed John Henry Newman.
Wednesday, 14 June 2006
Andrew, the Protoclete
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
In the last two catecheses we spoke about the figure of St Peter. Now, in the measure that sources allow us, we want to know the other 11 Apostles a bit better. Therefore, today we shall speak of Simon Peter’s brother, St Andrew, who was also one of the Twelve.
The first striking characteristic of Andrew is his name: it is not Hebrew, as might have been expected, but Greek, indicative of a certain cultural openness in his family that cannot be ignored. We are in Galilee, where the Greek language and culture are quite present. Andrew comes second in the list of the Twelve, as in Matthew (10: 1-4) and in Luke (6: 13-16); or fourth, as in Mark (3: 13-18) and in the Acts (1: 13-14). In any case, he certainly enjoyed great prestige within the early Christian communities. (more…)
Last evening I was with some brother priests and we were bantering back and forth about what time we wake up to begin our days. Recently I also have been getting some input from another brother priest about the need to make sure I have some down time each week to rest and recuperate a little bit. This, combined with the feast of today, St Bartholomew, has made me really think about fraternal correction, both being the recipient, but also being able to give fraternal correction. I have been praying about this, and I was doing some looking online to see what I could find.
I am realizing how long it has been since I posted. I was ordained a priest of Jesus Christ on May 27th at Blessed Sacrament Cathedral by the Most Reverend Mark L. Bartchak, bishop of Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown. The next day I offered a solemn Mass of Thanksgiving. I offered the Mass of Paul VI/Novus Ordo ad orientem. A schola sang some beautiful palestrina parts, andI had an assistant priest, two deacons, about ten servers, and thirteen concelebrants. At the end I was speechless, I was so profoundly moved. My good friend and [now]brother-priest, Fr Ananias Buccicone who was my assistant priest, just gave me a big hug.
This is the very first homily I preached, at Solemn Vespers of Pentecost, to a Men’s retreat.
The majority of you have come here after a day and a night of a men’s retreat. This is good. And yet some others have gathered here in prayer as well. Let this not distract you men, but rather help you focus. We believe in the “Communion of Saints” which includes the saints in Heaven who pray for us, the souls in purgatory who rely on our prayers, and our brothers and sisters across the world. We are united in prayer most especially in the Eucharist. There is no competition between male and female:there is complementarity.
Now I want to address the men here, and to the women, I encourage each of you: please pray for your husband(if you are married), your father, your sons, and your brothers. Please pray especially to St Joseph that he may help us men to be faithful and courageous.
Men, we are inherently visual creatures. We are constantly on the go or seeking, we are distracted and captivated by beauty. Due to our fallen nature, the devil often uses this to steer us from the path of virtue and holiness. The beauty in liturgy is meant to captivate us-to be a genuine sign of the beauty of God’s revelation. All of creation glorifies God, and in using all these things-vestments, incense, bells, a certain harmony in movement, chanting, musical instruments like the organ, God uses our senses to be captivated by His love and His call to each of us to become a saint. Every fiber of our lives is meant to glorify God! (more…)