Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Happy St. Bartholemew Day!

Peace to you in Christ!
One of the interesting things that is different about life in the monastery from life in the world is the measuring of time by the important days of the Church, rather than by secular days. It is a bit of a shame that fewer Catholics know when Michaelmas or Candlemas are anymore (Sept 29 and Feb 2). In part, we have weakened this by devaluing the liturgical celebrations that go with them: for example, how many people have processions and light candles on February 2? How many people even think of going to Mass on feast days?

In a similar vein, this year the Solemnity of the Assumption was not a day of obligation. The rules and exceptions surrounding days of obligation have taken on a legalistic cast that for many obscures the fact that we should just be partying in some way or other to celebrate Our Lady's victory over the devil and death.

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If I, who seem to be your right hand and am called Presbyter and seem to
preach the Word of God, If I do something against the discipline of the Church
and the Rule of the Gospel so that I become a scandal to you, The Church, then
may the whole Church, in unanimous resolve, cut me, its right hand, off, and
throw me away.

Origen of Alexandria
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