Thursday, December 12, 2019
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Study Finds End-of-Mass Announcements Take Longer than Average Homily


ACMPress – A recent study conducted by the Pew Research Center determined that announcements read at the end of Mass take longer than the average homily, for the first time in Church history.

“I suppose we shouldn’t be astonished by the findings,” PRC member Ken Vass told ACMPress. “Our study concluded that the average homily length is 6 minutes, 32 seconds, and the average amount of time to read the announcements takes 7 minutes, 5 seconds.”

While the study doesn’t provide reasons for the shift, Vass did mention that Pope Francis had recommended to priests in February of 2018 to keep their homilies brief, “no more than 10 minutes, please!”

“It appears they took the Holy Father’s words to heart,” Vass continued. “Perhaps he should preach on the announcements now, which constitutes little more than reading every page of the bulletin, or call another synod or something.”

The USCCB has suggested the survey results be announced at the end of every Mass this upcoming Sunday.

Photo credit: HAM guy on Visual hunt / CC BY

Don’t miss anything from A Catholic Misfit – please like ACM’s Facebook page!

About Larry Denninger

After writing at “Acts of the Apostasy” for more than 10 years under a pseudonym, Larry decided it was time to go public, and launch a brand new blog. It will probably backfire horribly. Which means you will want to follow and witness the impending trainwreck. He resides in Michigan.

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Centuries Old – Grace Pending

Centuries Old – Grace Pending


Walking by this old place, with its second-hand reminders everywhere scattered, I find myself reaching back to a time that never was.

What were once thought to be fancy and noble and honored were never more than just ordinary. And the ancients were flat-out dispatched by acts of villainy, if not by instruments now long ago forgotten – except as romance.

We can deceive ourselves with notions of antiquity; we can abandon today while cursing tomorrow.

But we, too, are centuries old, someday. And unlike anything anyone will willingly believe then.

When walking by.



Copyright 2019

Image Credit: Pixabay


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Beginnings And Illusions – Grace Pending

Beginnings And Illusions – Grace Pending


I’ve counted minutes as each became a memory

I’ve traveled miles before I reached the start.

Beginnings, I once learned, are just markers

while endings are illusions – ones meant to

keep us a safe distance from ourselves.



Copyright 2019

Image Credit: Pixabay


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Letters from Armorica- Hard Time (17 September 35 AF) – Zymurgia House

Letters from Armorica- Hard Time (17 September 35 AF) – Zymurgia House

First Letter

Dear Journal,

I’ve written little over the last three weeks because there has been little to write. I have had arrows from Amelie in Bois-de-Bas and Jack in Mont-Havre (the latter via M. Suprenant, of course). All is well at home, though I am greatly missed. Jack meanwhile says that Lord Doncaster has as yet heard nothing from Cumbria about Trout, but he hardly could have after so little time; and he assures me that the Farm is being watched and that Bertrand and I are perfectly safe. There is a rail along the front of the porch, and I am to hang a cloth on it if I am in need of immediate assistance during one of Trout’s visits.

Trout has continued to visit each week, and if his purpose remains inscrutable at least he has brought us a few more supplies: especially, we now have a lamp and whirtleberry oil so that we need no longer sit by the fire in the evenings. This is a significant blessing in this weather. I have done no building and made no models, for I have little in the way of raw materials, not without taking the farm house or the out-buildings to bits.

The real difficulty lies in not succumbing to a fatal boredom. I have been teaching Bertrand to read (not that the available reading material is of the best); and I have scratched out a chess board on the top of the farmhouse table, and we have had many a game of chess and checkers through the long evenings. We even have reasonably good chess men that I formed from small stones: crude, for I am no sculptor, but recognizable. Fortunately, the chess men are not necessarily either generous or greedy, and so their presence will not throw off my trials.

The trials are going well: indeed, this is the one bright spot. Almost four weeks ago I placed five hardened rods adjacent to lifting blocks. Three of the rods were under greater or lesser strain by means of weights hanging from their ends; the other two were unstressed. Four of the lifting blocks were lifting ten pounds of weight; the fifth, which was adjacent to one of the unstressed rods, was left inactive, not lifting anything.

My prediction was that the unstressed rod next to the active lifting block would fail in about twenty days, as in my previous trial with a hardened block; in the event it took only nineteen days. The reason for the decrease in time is obscure to me, but I suspect it has to do with the difference in the shape of the hardened objects. Meanwhile, the rods under stress are still holding strong, just as I expected.

But the truly delightful outcome is the fifth trial, the unstressed rod adjacent to an inactive lifting block. Bertrand had suggested that perhaps the lifting block was greedy even when not in use, and would continue to draw effort from the hardened rod; and it seems that he is correct, for the unstressed rod crumbled to bits this very afternoon, twenty-six days after I set it up. An inactive lifting block continues to draw in effort from its surroundings! Less than an active one would, this is no surprise, but not very much less!

This is a phenomenal result. It implies that the reason why Marc’s sky-sled failed so abruptly, crashing him into the ground, is that it had been left unused for too long! Had he been using it, his weight and the stress from moving him about would have caused the sled’s body to flex, which would have stressed the hardened elements, which would have produced effort for the lifting elements to take up. But he let it sit idle, and so the hardened elements were fatally weakened.

Should I ever return to L’Isle de Grand-Blaireau I must use a brand-new sky-chair; and my first act must be to burn the chairs, sleds, and wagons we left there. Or perhaps not, for likely the hardened elements have already turned to dust.

I wonder what has become of the two sloops we turned into housing? For they contain hardened elements, but also active lifting blocks, for they remain floating in mid-air. My guess is that the weight of the sloop stresses the hardened elements enough to provide enough effort to satisfy the lifting blocks. I am glad we didn’t try to settle them into some sort of cradle!

I also wonder if M. Fournier has yet acquired a book on algebra for me. There are precise mathematical relationships at play here, I hope and I trust, but I haven’t the knowledge or skill to capture them. It is frustrating, for now I begin to have some measurements of interest to work with!

On the whole, I suppose, I am bored but not displeased with my progress. It is ironic, really, that Trout brought me here. He is up to no good, I feel sure, and certainly has no interest in whether or not I produce sky-chairs that work; but it may be due only to him that I will one day be able to produce sky-chairs that work reliably!

If only Amelie and Anne-Marie and Luc were here as well, I should be quite content.

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photo credit: REM Photo And What Are Ewe Girls Doing Tonight via photopin (license)

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It’s the Solemnity of Mary’s Immaculate Conception! Go to her!

It’s the Solemnity of Mary’s Immaculate Conception! Go to her!

My grade school teacher once told us, “Jesus can never be where there is sin. So, always keep your souls clean from sin.” Ms. Wacker was instructing us on the merits and necessity of frequent confession, but I also think of her words in terms of the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception.

Some folks mistakenly think that this feast refers to our Lord – that he was immaculately conceived, without stain of sin. Well, that’s true, but that’s what the Annunciation is all about, not the Immaculate Conception. The Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception refers to the conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, who was conceived without original sin in order to be a perfectly pure vessel for the Incarnation. the Church teaches that she was “pre–redeemed” so that she would be worthy of bearing the Son of God.

What Ms. Wacker taught us applies also to the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception. Jesus, because he is God, simply could not be conceived in the womb that harbored sin!

Here is the solemn proclamation, given by Pope Pius XI on December 8, 1854 in the papal bull, Ineffabilis Deus:

“… the doctrine, which holds that the Most Blessed Virgin Mary at the first moment of her conception was, by singular grace and privilege of the Omnipotent God, in virtue of the merits of Jesus Christ, Savior of the Human race, preserved from all stains of original sin, is revealed by God, and therefore to be firmly and resolutely believed by all the faithful.” (Dogmatic bull Ineffabilis Deus, of Dec. 8, 1854.)

What does that mean for us? It means that we can be assured that we have the holiest, most virtuous, most loving, and absolute best mother ever possible! Since we are members of the Body of Christ, and Mary is Christ’s Mother, then she is our Mother, too. Do you remember that our Lord asked her specifically to be our mother as he hung dying on the cross? He said to St. John, “Son, behold your mother. Mother, behold your son.” (Jn 19: 26) We are the “son” and Mary is the Mother.

So today, perhaps we can take a little pause in our Advent observance to celebrate the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception and the glorious virtues of our Blessed Mother. At the close of his papal bull, Pope Pius XI said,

Let all the children of the Catholic Church, who are so very dear to us, hear these words of ours. With a still more ardent zeal for piety, religion and love, let them continue to venerate, invoke and pray to the most Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God, conceived without original sin. Let them fly with utter confidence to this most sweet Mother of mercy and grace in all dangers, difficulties, needs, doubts and fears. Under her guidance, under her patronage, under her kindness and protection, nothing is to be feared; nothing is hopeless. Because, while bearing toward us a truly motherly affection and having in her care the work of our salvation, she is solicitous about the whole human race. And since she has been appointed by God to be the Queen of heaven and earth, and is exalted above all the choirs of angels and saints, and even stands at the right hand of her only-begotten Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, she presents our petitions in a most efficacious manner. What she asks, she obtains.  Her pleas can never be unheard.

These words are not only beautiful, but also meaningful and could become for us a source of meditation for the day. Do you have a special intention for which you have been praying? Take it to the Immaculate Conception! As Pope Pius XI said, “Her pleas can never be unheard.” Go to her, she’s waiting for you with open arms!




Image: Immaculate Conception, Murillo, 1650, Public Domain

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Blessed Feast of St. Nicholas!

Blessed Feast of St. Nicholas!

Here is a poem by Ogden Nash that I’m sure you’ll enjoy. It’s a light-hearted, modern approach to a deeply loving, cherished old saint. I hope your stocking is filled with all kinds of good things this morning. More importantly, may St. Nicholas shower you with spiritual gifts and blessings throughout the day. Blessed Feast of St. Nicholas!

Once there was a saint called St. Nicholas of Myra,

And his reputation for veracity was better than that of
Ananias and Sapphira,

So when he recently called upon me with his complaint,

Well, I knew I was listening to a truthful saint.

He was also an angry saint, he was spoiling for a rhubarb
or a scrimmage;

He was indignant over the vulgarization of his public image.

He said he hardly dared step out of Heaven for very shame

Because some obese buffoon known as Santa Claus had
mis-appropriated his good name.

He said wherever he might go

He was confronted by this Santa Claus or one of a
thousand facsimiles bellowing Ho! Ho! Ho!

None of whom had any decency or pride

Because they wore their red flannels outside.

He said if people wanted a Santa Claus that was all right

with him,

He just didn’t want them to confuse Santa Claus with St. Nicholas,
which was like confusing Walt Disney with the Brothers Grimm,

Because he believed in spare the rod and spoil the child,
and let reward be contingent on good conduct previous,

Whereas Santa Claus was of the permissive school and
showered his gifts indiscriminately, even upon
the most unregenerately mischievious.

Anybody misled by the similarity of the two names
was not a homo sapiens but a most insapiens homo,

Just as likely to confuse Lindbergh with Strindberg or
Pericles with Perry Como,

Yes, they would find a hundred ways to be vague in,

Mixing up Yankee-doodle with Der Dudelsackpfeiffer and
Eugene O’Neill with Eugene Onegin.

He said this was a humiliation he had been forced to endure

Mostly thanks to one Clement Clarke Moore.

He said he had no recourse, that he was like a lion
toothless or a porcupine prickleless,

Although the so-called hero of the Moore poem was really
Santa Claus masquerading as St. Nicholas.

He said this was obvious because, if he did say so himself,

He was an authentic saint and nobody’s jolly old elf,

And if further proof were needed that the identity was a
transposed one,

Why, he had never seen a reindeer in his life, much less
was he, as had been whispered lately, dependent
on the good will and sagacity of a red-nosed one.

He said Mr. Moore had compiled the first Hebrew and
Greek lexicon published in the U.S.,
and had written a biography of Scanderbeg, too,

So he was perfectly capable, before
composing his monstrous poetical tarradiddle,
of checking his facts in any hagiological Who’s Who.

By this time his indignation was such that he had lost the
ability to reason well or think well;

I believe he must have confused me with Clement Clarke Moore,
because he picked me up and dipped me in the inkwell.

He thereupon departed with his mitre cocked jauntily and

I cannot help feeling that, St. Nicholas or Santa Claus,
his behavior was only faintly saintly. –Ogden Nash, 1963




Image: Pixabay Public Domain

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Writings – Grace Pending

Writings – Grace Pending


If I were to write a book about you, I would need to start from today and work my way back to the day we first met. My perception of time crumbled from that moment on.

If I were to write a song about you, I would need to find an orchestra so that you could feel every nuance, engage with every note. Each sound a measure of the time and the space and the movement that still pulses through our lives.

If I were to write a poem about you, I would need to find the words to describe everything about you – and nothing in particular. Words are just shells that chaperon our emotions.

If I were to write a letter to you, I would likely never send it. Not if you stayed here with me. Not if we both didn’t know any better.



Copyright 2019

Image Credit: Pixabay

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PARISH REPORT: Hipster Caught Adding Gift Tags to Parish ‘Giving Tree’, Asking for Beer


ACMPress – PORTLAND – Surveillance cameras at Our Lady of Unfailing Hops recorded a parishioner hanging his own gift tags onto the parish’s Giving Tree in the gathering space over a three day period during the first week of Advent. The Giving Tree, erected each Advent, is covered with tags labeled with age ranges, genders and gift suggestions for less fortunate members of the parish and community.

“We located and confronted the suspect after the 11:00 AM Mass last Sunday,” head usher Al Brewer told ACMPress, “and he confessed to placing tags on the tree after showing him the footage.”

According to Brewer, the man – identified as Phil Snurr – hung hand-written tags requesting craft beer, beard balm products, and Pink Himalayan salt. The tags were labeled “Single Hipster Male”.

“We made him remove every tag he put on the tree,” Brewer said. “We also found five gifts under the tree addressed to “Single Hipster Male”. We haven’t decided whether we’ll give them to him, or distribute them to needier hipsters in the parish.”

Fr. M. Eric Cannlogger, pastor of Our Lady of Unfailing Hops, told ACMPress that, while he disapproved of Snurr’s actions, he was grateful at least one hipster still attended Mass.

Photo credit: “KIUKO” on Visual Hunt / CC BY-ND

Don’t miss anything from A Catholic Misfit – please like ACM’s Facebook page!

About Larry Denninger

After writing at “Acts of the Apostasy” for more than 10 years under a pseudonym, Larry decided it was time to go public, and launch a brand new blog. It will probably backfire horribly. Which means you will want to follow and witness the impending trainwreck. He resides in Michigan.

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A Catholic Misfit Goes to the EF…


…and I have 10 reasons why I prefer it to the OF. I’m grateful a nearby parish has a regularly scheduled Sunday EF, merely 25 minutes away.

(Caveat: This isn’t a “The Novus Ordo is a false liturgy post!” or any such nonsense. I love the Mass in either form, as both validly confect the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Christ. I was happy with the recent translation. Certain elements of the NO pale in comparison, in my opinion, but those elements in no way invalidate the Mass. So if you are gonna troll, I suggest you go back beneath your bridge.)

  1. Preeminent focus on Christ and His supreme sacrifice on the cross.
  2. The schola (it is done very well at this church).
  3. Kneeling at the altar rail to receive the blessed Sacrament.
  4. The actions and duties of the altar boys – I hestitate to use the word ‘choreography’ to describe it, but these particular altar boys were solemn, precise, and reverent.
  5. Copious incense.
  6. Congregation stays in their seats – no offertory, no EHMC’s, no parade of lectors…
  7. All organ, all the time.
  8. No Children’s Liturgy (and there were plenty of children. And babies) – I’ve never understood the theological necessity to separate kids from their families during the Liturgy of the Word.
  9. The Asperges Me, with the sprinkling of Holy Water.
  10. Did I mention the focus on Christ and His sacrifice on the cross?

I grew up on the NO, and yet I love the EF. I regularly attend the NO at a nearby Benedictine monastery, and they do most of the items on my list (I don’t attend during the winter because getting there means driving on dirt roads. I had gotten stuck once, and once was enough). So what’s the difference? The difference is…me. Perhaps it’s because my faith has grown to where I thirst for deeper reverence and holy silence. Perhaps I’ve grown impatient at attempts to make the liturgy about feelings and ‘active participation’. Or perhaps the increasing profanity of the world is driving me to seek out the greatest source of sanctity.

The Latin Mass is so profoundly different from anything else I do as a human being, so profoundly Catholic, that it shakes me out of spiritual apathy and dullness, directing me towards heavenly things. Which is the point of liturgy.

For me, a ninety-minute Latin Mass goes by much more quickly than a 45 minute Novus Ordo.  I can’t think of a better example of what it means to be with the Person you love.

Image source: Joachim Specht via Wikipedia (Public Domain)

About Larry Denninger

After writing at “Acts of the Apostasy” for more than 10 years under a pseudonym, Larry decided it was time to go public, and launch a brand new blog. It will probably backfire horribly. Which means you will want to follow and witness the impending trainwreck. He resides in Michigan.

Source link

A Last Time – Grace Pending

A Last Time – Grace Pending

You were a baby.

There was a last time that it wasn’t strange when I kissed your toes.

You were a child.

There was a last time that I held on tight as I walked alongside your bike.

You were a high school student.

There was a last time that I helped you with your school work.

You graduated from college.

There was a last time that I expected you to return to this place.

You made a home with the love of your life.

There was a last time that I would ever be first in your thoughts.

You and I have both grown older.

There will come a last time that I will ever look upon your face.

I will always love you.

There will never be a last time.



Copyright 2019

Image Credit: Pixabay

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