Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time
The Extraordinary Synod on the family ended last week by disappointing the media and those within the Church who are unhappy with the teaching of Christ on marriage and sexuality handed down to us through 2000 years of His Church teaching. The Synod’s final report, or relatio, completely rejected the approach of the preliminary report, with its confusing, muddled and potentially errant language, and instead reported in straightforward language the authentic concerns of faithful Catholic families and Catholic teaching. While addressing each topic with charity and sensitivity, the Bishops rejected the proposals to allow “divorced and remarried” Catholics to receive Holy Communion and the preliminary report’s very confused language regarding those with same-sex attraction. This final relatio/report is given to the Holy Father for his consideration, and is now the starting point for next year’s (October 2015) Ordinary Synod of Bishops which will further consider these topics.
In the end, the only “news” to come out of the Synod was the public revelation that several of the Cardinals and Bishops of the Church still have an incomplete understanding of the Church’s teaching on marriage, family and sexuality, some still clinging to approaches discredited and rejected not only throughout the history of the Church, but also specifically by Blessed Pope Paul VI, Pope St. John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI.
Although this does not come as a surprise to me, it is still amazing to me, especially after 35 years of the absolutely unambiguous teaching by St. John Paul and Pope Benedict. One of the greatest of the many gifts St. John Paul gave to the Church was his rich explanation and defense of the ancient teaching on these matters in what is commonly called his “Theology of the Body.” Instead of building on this beautiful foundation, there seems to be many cardinals and bishops, some in powerful positions, who wish to discard all that and replace it with an erroneous theology built on poor scholarship, false mercy, and secular ideology.
In sum, nothing has changed, except that now the dangerously confused views of some cardinals and bishops have been revealed. Oh, and one other thing has changed: many of the Catholic faithful are more confused than they were a month ago. Let us pray, through the intercession of St. John Paul and St. Raymond, that these cardinals and bishops may see the error of their ways and work to defend the true teaching of Christ and His Church.
“60+ parking”. You may have noticed that next to the Handicap Parking near the Groveland Drive entrance to the church, we’ve added a special parking space reserved for “60+ Parking.” We will be adding several similar parking spaces next to it in the coming days. No law mandates these spaces, but a parishioner suggested we reserve them for folks who are 60 years of age and older who, although not officially “handicapped” or disabled, might find them helpful. There will be no policing of these spaces, only the law of charity binds you. (Note: under the “law of charity,” I have no problem with someone younger than 60 but with a real need—maybe an expectant mother with a difficult pregnancy—slipping into one of the spaces.) In any case, I encourage those who need them to make use of them, and those who don’t need them to charitably respect their reserved status.
FOCUS, Daniel Paris. A few weeks ago I reminded you of one of our (former) parishioners, Daniel Paris who spent the last 2 years evangelizing on college campuses with the Fellowship of Catholic University Students, with many of you providing the financial support to sustain him. This year Daniel has joined the headquarters staff of FOCUS in Denver, but he is still depending on donor support. Daniel will be in the Narthex after most Masses this weekend. Please stop by to chat with him, and to consider lending him your financial support.
ALL SAINTS DAY. Next Saturday, November 1, is the Solemnity of All Saints, when we remember all the Saints in Heaven, especially those who are not “canonized” (maybe your grandmother or a beloved child). It also reminds us that each of us is called to one day be a saint in Heaven, by living a faithful and holy life here on Earth. However, because it falls on a Saturday this year, it is NOT a Holy Day of Obligation this year. Even so, I encourage you all to attend either the regular 9am Mass, or the special 12noon Mass.
ALL SOULS DAY. Next Sunday, November 2, is the Commemoration of All Souls, when we pray for all the souls who are awaiting entrance into Heaven as they are being purified in Purgatory. I invite you all to pray for the dead every day, but especially on this day and throughout the month of November. Because of the special love the Church has for her dead, the Mass for All Souls will be celebrated throughout the Church next Sunday, in place of the regular 31st Sunday of Ordinary Time.
Halloween. Of course the day before these, Wednesday October 31, is “Halloween.” I’ve written before about my concerns about this day, especially with rise of paganism and Satanism in our country, concerns confirmed earlier this year by the Satanic “Black Masses” celebrated at the Oklahoma City Civic Center and scheduled but canceled at Harvard. Please remember that this week should be mainly about the Saints and Holy Souls, and not evil, satanic or witchy things. Please, remind your children that “Halloween” means “Holy Eve,” or “All Saints’ Eve,” and that the candy they receive is only a small foretaste of the sweet delights shared by those who love the Lord, obey His commandments and enter into Heaven.
Novena Prayers for the Election. The election is only 9 days away. I ask that all of St. Raymond’s parishioners lift up the elections to the Lord Jesus’ care. Specifically, I propose that for nine days, beginning today, Sunday, October 26 and ending Monday, November 3, all parishioners join in praying one or more of the following each day: 1) the Rosary; 2) the Novena to St. Thomas More; and/or 3) the Prayer for Religious Freedom. I also propose that we each offer up some small sacrifice, perhaps skipping a meal, giving up meat or beef or sweets.
Also, at end of all Masses, before the customary Hail Mary and Prayer to St. Michael, we will pray together the Prayer for Religious Freedom.
Oremus pro invicem. Fr. De Celles