May 25, 2024 Column Father De Celles

Trinity Sunday. Today is the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity, celebrating the most sublime mystery of our faith: that God is One, in three Divine Persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. It is a “mystery” in that it is something that we know only because God has revealed it to us, and is something we cannot fully understand because its divine nature is so far above our human intelligence and experience. This does not mean it is irrational or imagined, no more than the creation of the world is understood by any human being: even the most brilliant scientists only offer incomplete “theories.” We don’t understand, but it still happened.

It is “sublime” because it reveals something breathtakingly wonderful about God: that He is a personal communion of three persons sharing one life and one love. As Pope Benedict XVI would say, “for God, life is love.” So that at the heart of God’s being is this eternal, total, complete, mutual self-gift between the three Divine Persons in love, that is at the center of their absolute unity.

It is “most” sublime in that it is really the beginning of all meaning in life and the end to which all life is directed: we are created in the image of this amazing Trinitarian life of love in order to share in it, both on earth and in heaven.

Memorial Day. This Monday America celebrates Memorial Day, a day of honoring those in our military who have given their lives not merely for our nation, but for the life, liberty and happiness of each and every individual American. At the Last Supper Christ told His apostles, “No greater love has a man than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.” That saying pertains directly to His Crucifixion, it is reflected in the death of every military man or woman who has laid down their lives for us. We owe them an incredible debt—one we must try to repay by living lives worthy of the sacrifice they’ve made for us—lives built on the idea of freedom to become the best we can be, not freedom to do as we please. And we can pray for them, that they might receive the heavenly reward.

Corpus Christi Procession Next Sunday. Next week we will celebrate the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ, and we will once again have our indoor procession and Benediction with the Blessed Sacrament. All are invited to join us, as a few minutes after the 1pm Mass (allowing time for from some to leave and some to arrive) we will process throughout the interior of the church with the Blessed Sacrament, and then have a short period of Adoration, followed by Benediction. Afterwards we gather in the Parish Hall to celebrate with ice cream.

Sacrament of Confirmation. Last week, Bishop Paul Loverde came to administer the Sacrament of Confirmation to our 8th graders and few others. Congratulations to them all! The sacrament, however, is not a “graduation.” Rather, it is the beginning of a new stage in the Christian life, as they receive the strengthening of the fullness of the Holy Spirit, along with His seven-fold gifts, to participate more fully in the Church’s mission to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the world. Please keep these young people in your prayers.

Our Lady of Ransom Scholarships. You all know my deep concerns about sending our children to the government-run, radical leftist-controlled Fairfax County Schools. Which is why the parish offers scholarships to all qualified parishioners who attend Catholic schools (k-12): $1,000 for grade school and $2000 for high school, subject only to minimal qualification terms.

We also offer to double those amounts for each child (a parishioner) who switches from public school to Catholic school (this is a one-time first-year amount). Additional scholarships are also available to families in particular need.

Pope on 60 Minutes. Last Sunday CBS aired a long interview with Pope Francis, during which the reporter repeatedly misrepresented facts, revealing her skewed secular-left perspective. Eventually she asked Pope Francis: “There are conservative bishops in the United States that oppose your new efforts to revisit teachings and traditions. How do you address their criticism?”

The Pope responded, with a laugh, “You used an adjective, ‘conservative. ‘Conservative’ is one who clings to something and does not want to see beyond that. It is a suicidal attitude. Because one thing is to take tradition into account, to consider situations from the past. But quite another is to be closed up inside a dogmatic box.”

I revere the Holy Father and his office. But I have to say I was hurt by his response. His definition of “conservative” seems more like something from a Leftist propaganda pamphlet than something that the Father of spiritual children from both the “left” and the “right” would say.

I am a proud conservative, politically and theologically, and some of my friends are leaders in the “conservative movement.” The Pope’s definition/description doesn’t sound like any conservative I know, or anything they think or do. It is painful to realize the Pope holds such a false and hurtful opinion of so many of us.

Harrison Butker. You’ve probably heard all the criticism generated in response to Kansas City Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker’s recent commencement address at Benedictine College. The criticism was particularly focused on the remarks he directed toward the women graduates, which some said were anti-women/misogynistic. Nuts. Even left-leaning columnist Kat Rosenfield noted: “This is America: We need to tolerate a Catholic man saying Catholic things at a Catholic university.”

Butker gave an excellent speech. He did not try to demean or enslave women. He merely praised the gift of marriage and motherhood:

“For the ladies present today, congratulations on an amazing accomplishment. You should be proud of all that you have achieved to this point in your young lives. I want to speak directly to you briefly because I think it is you, the women, who have had the most diabolical lies told to you. How many of you are sitting here now about to cross this stage and are thinking about all the promotions and titles you are going to get in your career? Some of you may go on to lead successful careers in the world, but I would venture to guess that the majority of you are most excited about your marriage and the children you will bring into this world.

“I can tell you that my beautiful wife, Isabelle, would be the first to say that her life truly started when she began living her vocation as a wife and as a mother…I say all of this to you because I have seen it firsthand how much happier someone can be when they disregard the outside noise and move closer and closer to God’s will in their life. Isabelle’s dream of having a career might not have come true, but if you asked her today if she has any regrets on her decision, she would laugh out loud, without hesitation, and say, ‘Heck, No.’”

Oremus pro invicem. Fr. De Celles