From the Rector: Divine Speech Therapy
Aug18

From the Rector: Divine Speech Therapy

Divine Speech Therapy The second commandment, You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain,  forbids the abuse of God’s name. Blasphemy Blasphemy:  uttering against God, inwardly or outwardly words of hatred, reproach or defiance. Speaking ill of God, failing in respect toward him.  Attempting to degrade God through speech. Blasphemy extends to language against the Blessed Virgin Mary, Christ’s Church , the angels and saints, and sacred things.  Blasphemy is a grave offense. Sacrilege:  Speech is sacrilegious when the Holy Names or holy things are spoken about in an irreverent, irreligious, or silly way . Taking the Lord’s Name in vain refers to the vain, pointless or trivial invocation of God’s name. Swearing. A related type of unworthy speech which we will categorize as swearing,  involves calling God as a witness to an oath. Swearing:  Promises made to others in God’s name should only be made out of necessity.  Jesus said “ let your yes mean yes and your no mean no”  (Mt 5:33-34). Rash oaths: swearing to God without a prudent reason is an abuse of God’s name. False oaths:  Invoking God as the witness to a false oath is to call on God to be witness to a lie.  –perjury. Evil oaths: Pledging oneself by oath to commit an evil deed is contrary to the holiness of the divine name. III. Cursing Cursing:  A  third category of speech which is displeasing to God is cursing, that is expressing the desire for evil, or even eternal damnation to come upon our neighbor or any part of God’s creation.  This offense is compounded when God ‘s name is invoked.  As Christians we are called upon to bless those who curse us. Profanity Profanity:   This type of speech involves coarse references to the human body.  Sexual relations or personal matters of the bodily elimination system that should be private are used to degrade persons, places or things.   This type of speech tends to degrade ones attitude toward the sacredness of the sexual union in the Marriage Covenant.  It uncovers what should remain veiled. Lewd or suggestive speech.   Engaging in this type of language can tempt people against the 6th or 9th commandment. Prescription: Confess your sins of speech. Negative incentive-  do penance and penalize yourself. Make reparation.  Pray the Our Father “Hallowed be thy Name”. Say the Divine praises. . The Divine Praises Blessed be God. Blessed be His Holy Name. Blessed be Jesus Christ, true God and true man. Blessed be the name of Jesus. Blessed be His Most Sacred Heart. Blessed be Jesus in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar. Blessed be...

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From the Rector: Discernment of God’s Will and Abandonment to God’s Will
Aug10

From the Rector: Discernment of God’s Will and Abandonment to God’s Will

Discernment of God’s Will and Abandonment to God’s Will. The Catechism of the Catholic Church on discernment and the Will of God. 2826 By prayer we can discern “what is the will of God” and obtain the endurance to do it. Jesus teaches us that one enters the kingdom of heaven not by speaking words, but by doing “the will of my Father in heaven.” 1835 Prudence disposes the practical reason to discern, in every circumstance, our true good and to choose the right means for achieving it. 2706 To meditate on what we read helps us to make it our own by confronting it with ourselves. Here, another book is opened: the book of life. We pass from thoughts to reality. To the extent that we are humble and faithful, we discover in meditation the movements that stir the heart and we are able to discern them. It is a question of acting truthfully in order to come into the light: “Lord, what do you want me to do?” 2677 Holy Mary, Mother of God: With Elizabeth we marvel, “And why is this granted me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?” Because she gives us Jesus, her son, Mary is Mother of God and our mother; we can entrust all our cares and petitions to her: she prays for us as she prayed for herself: “Let it be to me according to your word.” By entrusting ourselves to her prayer, we abandon ourselves to the will of God together with her: “Thy will be done.” Helps to discernment: Looking for God’s Will in the needs of our neighbors Looking for God’s Will in the needs of the Church Looking for God’s Will in our current obligations Looking for God’s Will in His expressed Commands Looking for God’s Will through the events that He permits to occur for the greater good. Asking in a given situation what would seem to be more pleasing to God.   Helps to abandonment: Desiring to do God’s Will in all things big and small Accepting that God’s Will may not be to our liking Loving God’s Will even when we don’t understand it Believing Jesus’ words that only the one who does the Will of His Father will enter the Kingdom. Promptly and cheerfully doing what we know to be God’s Will.   Pitfalls which keep us from abandonment: Wanting to serve God on our own terms Attachment to sin, worldly things, or our own plans Letting fear keep us from accepting God’s Will Demanding signs Wanting exhaustive knowledge of God’s plan and His timing Insisting on knowing why something is God’s Will Imagining that we...

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From the Rector: The Transfiguration
Aug04

From the Rector: The Transfiguration

If we look to the Old Testament, we can see numerous instances when the Lord instructs Israel to hold a memorial of some significant event God’s plan to restore fallen man. The most famous example is the Passover, the Paschal Sacrifice and Feast. The Passover, the memorial of the Israelites’ being freed from Egypt, was to be observed every year. But the remembrance was not as simple as mentally recalling that the event happened many centuries ago. The act of calling it to mind, in some way, made it a present reality. It is not that Israel was once again enslaved and needed to be freed by the Lord, but rather that the actual event was being applied to the present. The same liturgical principle is applied to the Mass, in which Christ’s sacrifice is made present through all the ages. Solemn Benediction is a memorial of another mysterious event in the saving work of Christ — the Transfiguration. The rites that surround it memorialize scene on Mount Tabor. The Church employs ritual in order to expose what is hidden. Our Lord is so very humble, and He shows none of His glory in the Blessed Sacrament. However, because the whole Church worships our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament, in which He has the same Glory as in heaven, She makes manifest His majesty and Glory. Our Lord humbles himself to appear to be no more than bread and wine, but the Church practices Her belief in His Real Presence, His divinity, and the adoration and honor we owe Him through acts of reverence and worship. THE MONSTRANCE Most monstrances have several beams streaming forth from the Blessed Sacrament. This symbolism is taken from the Gospel account, that His face became radiant as the sun. It is no coincidence that the monstrance, too, looks like a large sun upon a stand. Christ is the true Sun, and the radiance of His face is depicted in the monstrance. THE CANDLES The Church requires four to six candles during Adoration. There was not only light streaming from the face of our Savior, but light surrounding them all. The candles evoke the light that filled the whole mountain, and those two lights, Moses and Elijah, that conversed with Him. THE STAND or “TABOR” The platform upon which the monstrance sometimes rests has a name, a “tabor.” At the Cathedral the Tabernacle itself was designed for this purpose. This is taken directly from the Transfiguration, for the mountain upon which it happened was Mount Tabor. Our Lord shows forth His glory upon Mount Tabor in every Adoration chapel and at every Benediction. THE INCENSE Incense is...

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From the Rector: Do you burn or bury broken blessed religious items?
Jul28

From the Rector: Do you burn or bury broken blessed religious items?

As Catholics, we are accustomed to having religious objects “blessed,” which signifies the permanent sanctification and dedication of an object for some sacred purpose. I think every weekend someone asks me as well as the other priests to bless a rosary, a statue, or some other religious object. Once a religious object is blessed and dedicated for divine worship or veneration, it must be treated with reverence and must not be used in either an improper or profane way (cf. Code of Canon Law, #1171). What happens when the rosary or statue breaks and is irreparable? Or, when the palm dries out, and the following Palm Sunday provides us with new palm? The basic rule for the disposition of these items is to burn or to bury them. During the 1800s, both the Sacred Congregation for the Rites and the Holy Office (now known respectively as the Sacred Congregation for the Sacraments and Divine Worship, and the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith) issued various determinations concerning this issue. Here are a few examples: A chalice which becomes “unserviceable” is not to be sold, but must be used for some other sacred purpose, or melted. Vestments, altar cloths, and linens must be destroyed. Polluted or excess holy water must be poured into the ground. Palms are to be burned, and the ashes then used for distribution on Ash Wednesday or returned to the ground. A broken rosary or religious statue normally would be buried. In all, the underlying idea is that what has been dedicated to God should be returned to God, in a sense, the same way a person’s dead body is committed to the earth. Never should one just “throw out” what has been dedicated to God. Therefore, the normal “rule of thumb” is that anything that has been blessed should be burned (and then the ashes buried) or simply buried. I remember as a child, several times when my father dug the hole to plant a new shrub, my Mom would first add the broken rosaries, which made me think of the new shrub as something holy. My job as a child was always to burn the old palm. Even as a pastor, I have a whole box of old palm, worn linens, and other things, that I save and burn periodically. Living in a society where things have become so disposable, we must differentiate from trash those religious objects that have been blessed and dedicated to God for sacred use. My heart breaks every time I enter an antique store or look on EBay or another website and find a chalice, a reliquary (sometimes still containing a relic), vestments, and other sacred objects that were once used for the holy Mass. I have to...

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From the Rector: Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion
Jul21

From the Rector: Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion

Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion What are the qualifications to server as an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion? When the necessity exists, because of a lack of Ordinary Ministers of the Eucharist, for the use of Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion, the Church permits that pastors may choose and instruct laypersons to serve the Church in this way. The first qualification is that the persons are fully initiated, that is, they have been Baptized, received First Holy Communion, and have been Confirmed. The person must also be able to receive the Sacraments themselves, and so would be living either a Single life in conformity with the teachings and discipline of the Church, or if Married, have the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony received from the Catholic Church. The person should be known to the pastor to be of good reputation and character and to have a spiritual life that fosters devotion to the Most Holy Eucharist. The person must receive instruction concerning the manner of serving as an Extraordinary Minister at Mass and for home visits. The person should be commissioned by their pastor or at least deputed for service. Because of the expectation that EMHC’s will take Holy Communion to the homebound, they will also need to participate in Safe Environment training (VIRTUS) as well as a background check through the parish or the Diocese of Gallup. It is a tremendous gift to be called to serve the Church in this manner.  If after prayerful reflection, you would like to serve the Church in this capacity, please call Fr. Keller at the parish office to make an appointment....

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From the Rector: Patron of Arts
Jul12

From the Rector: Patron of Arts

The Church as a patron of the Arts As members of the Sacred Heart Cathedral parish it’s easy to notice how we try to foster an appreciation for the arts and the look for opportunities to help them flourish in order to inspire and enrich our lives.  Each year at our Fiesta we host The Spanish Arts Market, and later in the summer we host the Sacred Music Concert connected with the Land of Enchantment opera. This begs the question, Why does the Church foster the arts? This question leads us back to that crucial moment in salvation history, The Incarnation. That moment when Jesus, who is the Word of God, became flesh. The God who made the Beauty of creation, made Himself visible. Because of that, we use the things of creation, to Glorify God by our works, in the arts. Beauty helps us to understand God. It points to God, and helps us feel His presence.  We know this when we see the beauty He has created, in the mountains, in sunsets, in the stars, in babies! The Vatican museums are a collection of some of the greatest art ever created.  The Church doesn’t horde artworks for her own benefit but in order to share our patrimony with the world. The purpose of the Church, its mission, is to announce Jesus to the world, to bring people near to God to recognize His Love. His love fulfills us, and it is beautiful. God is personified beauty. All beauty comes from God. So, in order to demonstrate that beauty, we create and share, music, painting, sculpture, architecture and every other form of art. Art has always been part of the ministry of the Church.God has become Visible in Christ, and Christ has revealed and manifested His Father. The beauty of art is the representation of this supernatural reality.  We develop human fields of art to achieve the expression of the mystery of God. The challenge for Christians is to create art that actually brings us nearer to God....

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From the Rector: Stained Glass Windows of Sacred Heart Cathedral
Jul05

From the Rector: Stained Glass Windows of Sacred Heart Cathedral

Stained Glass Windows of Sacred Heart Cathedral One of the stained glass windows on the North side chapel in the Cathedral depicts Fray Juan Ramirez, who is considered the Evangelist to the Acoma people. The pueblo village of “Sky City” is reputed to be the oldest continually occupied place in the what is now the U.S., a thousand or more years. Declining an escort of soldiers and with “no other weapon than the crucifix”, Ramirez climbed up to the city.  The Acoma people initially tried to repel the friar. How Ramirez was able to peacefully enter the Acoma village and have the people build the church is an interesting story. Some sources tell the story of Juan Ramirez entering the Acoma village saying he was initially greeted with a shower of arrows to deter him from entering the village. The sheer cliff shielded him as he ascended the mesa. A young girl was believed to have fallen off the mesa during the event to what seemed like certain death. Ramirez made it to the top with the girl still alive, which was perceived to be a miracle, and the Acoma people were much more willing to let the friar talk to them about Catholicism after the incident. They worked with him relatively peacefully during his time as friar of the Acoma, and many Acoma people became legitimate converts to Catholicism, although many of them retained many of their former religious traditions.The Church of San Estevan Rey was built in the friar’s time at the pueblo, completed around 1629 making it the oldest church what is now the Diocese of...

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