Tag Archives: Mass (liturgy)

Even Demons Believe and Tremble – A Story about the True Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist

By: Msgr. Charles Pope

It was almost 15 years ago. I was At Old St. Mary’s here in D.C. celebrating Mass in the Latin (Extraordinary Form). It was a solemn high Mass. I don’t suppose I thought it any different than most Sunday’s but something quite amazing was about to happen.

As you may know the ancient Latin Mass is celebrated “ad orientem” (towards the Liturgical East). Priest and people all face one direction. What this means practically for the celebrant is that the people are behind him. It was time for the consecration. The priest is directed to bow low, his forearms on the altar table the host between his fingers.

As directed I said the venerable words of Consecration in a low but distinct voiceHoc est enim Corpus meum (For this is my Body). The bells rang as I genuflected.

But behind me a disturbance of some sort, a shaking or rustling in the front pews behind me to my right. And then a moaning or grumbling. What was that? It did not really sound human, more like the grumbling of a large animal such as a boar or a bear, along with a plaintive moan that did not seem human. I elevated the host and wondered, “What was that?” Then silence. I could not turn to look easily for that is awkward for the celebrant in the ancient Latin Mass. But still I thought, What was that?

But it was time for the consecration of the chalice. Again, bowing low and pronouncing clearly and distinctly but in a low voice: Hic est enim calix sanguinis mei, novi et æterni testamenti; mysterium fidei; qui pro vobis et pro multis effundetur in remissionem pecatorum. Haec quotiescumque feceritis in mei memoriam facietis (for this is the cup of my Blood, of the new and eternal covenant; the mystery of faith; which will for the many be shed unto the remission of sins. When so ever you do this, you do it in my memory).

Then, I heard another sound this time an undeniable moan and then a shriek as some one cried out: “Leave me alone Jesus! Why do you torture me!” Suddenly a scuffling as some one ran out with the groaning sound of having been injured. The back doors swung open, then closed. Then silence.

Realization – I could not turn to look for I was raising the Chalice high over my head. But I knew in an instant that some poor demon-tormented soul had encountered Christ in the Eucharistic, and could not endure his real presence displayed for all to see. And the words of Scripture occurred to me: Even Demons believe and tremble (James 2:19).

Repentance – But just as James used those words to rebuke the weak faith of his flock I too had to repent. Why was a demon-troubled man more aware of the true presence and astonished by it than me? He was moved in the negative sense to run. Why was I not more moved in a positive and comparable way? What of the other believers in the pews? I don’t doubt that any of us believed intellectually in the true presence. But there is something very different and far more wonderful in being moved to the depth of your soul! It is so easy for us to be sleepy in the presence of the Divine, forgetful of the miraculous and awesome Presence available to us.

But let the record show that one day, almost 15 years ago, it was made quite plain to me that I held in my hands the Lord of Glory, the King of heaven and earth, the just Judge, and Ruler of the kings of the earth. Is the Lord truly present in the Eucharist? You’d better believe it, even demons believe that!

HAT TIP/BREAD FROM HEAVEN

(Full Text) Archbishop Dolan blogs response to scandal chaser’s allegation

“I owe it to all of you — both the Catholic and wider community — to be very clear about the ridiculous and groundless gossip spread about me by a tort lawyer named Jeff Anderson…”

I owe it to all of you — both the Catholic and wider community — to be very clear about the ridiculous and groundless gossip spread about me by a tort lawyer named Jeff Anderson.

You may have heard this man claim that, when I was Archbishop of Milwaukee, I “hid’ $130 million of archdiocesan funds so victims of clergy sexual abuse could not sue for it.

Malarkey! The Archdiocese of Milwaukee has an excellent record of fiscal integrity and transparency. I worked hard at that, and my successor, Archbishop Listecki, continues to do so. (By the way, you might also be interested to know that during my years as Archbishop of Milwaukee, and with the generous service of many dedicated people, we established a mediation process that reached settlements with almost 200 victim survivors; that mediation process has been praised by the victim survivors who have participated in the process.)

In my seven years there, the meager resources of the archdiocese were under the vigilance of a sound and respected finance council, composed of prominent and respected business leaders from the financial community; annually we were audited; and each year there was complete, published financial disclosure. You can find the audited financial statements here. To claim that, given this rigorous supervision, an archbishop could have “hidden” $130 million, is beyond ridiculous.

I do want you to know that, when I arrived as archbishop, the financials showed that parishes had $70 million of their peoples’ money on deposit with the archdiocese. This was not archdiocesan money at all, but belonged to parishes. That’s why the finance council, and our outside professional auditors, advised me that it was inappropriate for the archdiocese to hold money for parishes, and that it should be returned to the parishes to which it belonged anyway. This was done, and publicly reported in the annual audit.

So much for “hidden funds.” Far from inappropriate, this decision was virtuous, open, and in accord with the clear directives of the professionals on our finance council and outside auditors.

The archdiocese of Milwaukee has issued an enlightening statement speculating that this lawyer’s reckless charges also included “hiding” the “cemetery fund,” which, of course, by state law, is scrupulously protected, and cannot be touched or transferred by anybody.

So, these silly charges are baloney. Unfortunately, this man got the attention he wanted and has come to expect from the news, tarnishing the good name of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, and of me. Some of our priests reported that people at Sunday Mass asked them “Why did Archbishop Dolan hide those funds?”

Lord knows I’ve made mistakes, but “hiding” $130 million is hardly one of them!

P.S. The Catholic League issued a statement on this matter today. You can read it here.

The Orate Fratres Blog Supports the Catholic Church’s teaching on marriage and Abp. Nienstedt standing in defense of that teaching

Nienstedt

The American Papist has begun a drive in support of besieged Archbishop Nienstedt, Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis. This from Catholic Vote:

Archbishop John Nienstedt refused to allow the Holy Mass turn into a political protest. A group of 25 activists who are opposed to the Catholic Church’s teaching on marriage wore rainbow sashes at a Mass celebrated by the Archbishop.
 
Not only did these protesters attend Mass wearing these sashes, but they tried to receive Communion despite publicly denouncing Church teaching. The protest organizer told the media: “We were making a statement during the Eucharist.”
 
The Archbishop of Saint Paul-Minneapolis would not allow the protestors to “make a statement” while receiving the Holy Eucharist. Archbishop Nienstedt refused to offer Communion to these activists who had already publicly announced their dis-unity.
 
These protesters told the media that their protest was spurred because Archbishop Nienstedt sent out DVDs which explained the Church’s position on marriage to 400,000 Catholics in Minnesota. The Archbishop has been under attack for defending the Church’s position on marriage since the DVDs were mailed out (at no expense to the Church) in late September.
 
Show your support and thank Archbishop John Nienstedt for refusing to allow the Holy Eucharist be used in a political protest.  Thank this courageous bishop for standing strong for marriage as a union of a man and a woman.

Go here to say: “I support Archbishop Nienstedt!”

END OF POST

Respect Life Sunday set for October 3

NEWS RELEASE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For More Information, Contact:
Bud Bunce (503) 233-8373
bbunce@archdpdx.org

Respect Life Sunday set for October 3

        Catholic parishes in western Oregon will celebrate Respect Life Sunday on October 3. That Sunday will mark the beginning of a month long observance of promoting respect for life from conception to natural death. The theme for this year is “The measure of love is to love without measure.” Archbishop John G. Vlazny will mark the occasion with a Mass at St. Mary’s Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception on Sunday, October 3 at 11:00 am.

        The Respect Life Program was adopted by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops in 1972. It promotes the Church’s teaching on the value and dignity of human life to the Catholic community and to the wider community. It combines education, prayer, service and advocacy. The topics addressed this year include:

* the death penalty and Divine Mercy
* end of life care
* infertility treatments in line with church teaching
* sexual trafficking
* population control
* depression and suicide among youth
* the promise of pro-life youth

        At the request of Pope Benedict XVI, all bishops around the world will join with their parishioners in the Advent season to pray for respect of human life. Archbishop Vlazny will celebrate Mass at St. Mary’s Cathedral on December 5, 2010 at 11:00 am. The Mass will join with others around the globe to witness that we are a “people of life.”