Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Today’s readings seem a sad prophecy of things to come: sorrow of heart, the city lying in waste, its gates consumed with fire, we sitting down and weeping, unable to sing the LORD’s song in a strange land, our harps hanging upon the willows, nowhere to lay one’s head, the dead burying their dead. Yet look forward: No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God. And build the city: If I do not remember thee, let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth; yea, if I prefer not Jerusalem above my chief joy.


I read that Marshall McLuhan was against the use of microphones at Mass. Bravo!

. . . the celebrant stands before a bare altar, saying his prayers and addressing the faithful through a microphone. [We have now] simply eliminated an essential part of the liturgy: that of worshipping God. . . . This is diametrically opposed to the concept of liturgy as our home. To abolish almost completely time-honored customs and traditions is synonymous with robbing a person of his religious home and thus shaking the foundations of his faith.
—Monsignor Klaus Gamber, from The Reform of the Roman Liturgy: Its Problems and Background

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I turned away from the door a person whom over the years I may have given hundreds of dollars to. Some time ago, she had promised me—swear to God—that she would never again ask me for money, and I am holding her to it, even though I read yesterday in The Albany Catholic Worker:

Peter Maurin, who started the Catholic Worker with Dorothy Day, said, “The poor are the ambassadors of God.”
—Fred Boehrer, “When Sunday is (not) a day of rest”

I have discussed S and other beggars with M. The fact is I want nothing to do with them, and give them money to dismiss them. I would never think of asking their name (well, I did with S), walking a mile with them, inviting them into my home. What a difference between me and Catholic Workers!

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T not feeling well, so we’ll miss the potluck dinner at Emmaus House, but I may still take him (not R, who will be babysitting while J&I go to parents night at S’s school) to the discussion. An excuse not to ask questions about S and me and about Father P and FB.

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Went with T to Emmaus House. Was good to see and hear FH and CFH after many years. Also present were WC, who “facilitated,” AB, CR, and other friends of Emmaus House, and some students from FB’s Siena College course. Several of the latter knew soldiers who are serving or had served in Iraq, and one of the students who is in ROTC spoke, if not explicitly in support of the war, in support of some of the things the military and soldiers are doing in Iraq. So it wasn’t entirely an exercise in group-think, though the discussion was never interior enough for anybody to came away with a changed mind or heart. Or perhaps something was said that will light a fire in someone later.

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Received a parcel from Spain containing a fat book named Del Amanecer de la Decadencia.


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