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Featured Article: Grave Conversations. Grave Consequences. - Three crosses. Three women mournfully watching as men struggle to remove three nails. They lay the limp body onto the lap of his mother. Cold arms. Cold chest. Cold legs. Stabat Mater. Hours before, on the Via Dolorosa through the streets of Jerusalem, I heard soldiers command a burly African from Cyrene (present-day Libya -- 1500 miles from Jerusalem) to help the Man of Sorrows carry his cross up Calvary Hill. Read Full Story

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 NBCC Featured Article

His Greatest Gift
by Father Minimus
(Page 1 of 9 )

 

His Greatest GiftOnce, when I was preparing to concelebrate Mass at a conference, an interesting thing happened. Due to a misunderstanding, the assembled faithful were informed shortly before Mass was to begin that they would not be able to use musical instruments to accompany the choir because of a hitherto unknown "noise clause" in the hotel contract. While an understandable disappointment settled in, I was quite intrigued, if not saddened by what immediately followed.

The initial disappointment gave way in many of the believers to anger. Cries like "How dare these people try to stop us from praising our God!" were raised. A certain resentment against the decision makers and others deemed responsible for the "outrage" was detectable among the gathered faithful. Laments and complaints about this dastardly attempt to keep folk from getting their praise on--if I remember the phrase correctly--rumbled on for some time. Sadly this attitude spilled over into the Mass itself as was evidenced by ongoing "protests" during a dialogue portion of the homily, sprinkled heavily with amen's and alleluias!

The reaction to what happened at that conference reminded me of another phenomenon I increasingly witness among Catholics in reference to the Mass. How many times have I heard Catholics (or former Catholics) state that they were unsatisfied with (or have left) the Catholic Church because they weren't "being fed?" Many of these folks turn to one of hundreds, if not thousands of "Bible-based" fellowships-all with myriad and mostly conflicting interpretations of the Bible-and believe, in their estimation, that all or most of their spiritual needs are now being met. Some go to these services in addition to going to Mass, some stop going to Mass altogether.

In truth a partial source of this dissatisfaction is a particularly and notoriously bad quality of preaching offered by many Catholic priests. This legitimate complaint is so frequently voiced by the faithful that all involved with the formation of seminarians should make every effort to teach them how to effectively preach the Catholic faith in complete fidelity to the Magisterium of the Church and in such wise as to reach the people in the very midst of their daily journey of faith. The prophetic duty of the priesthood demands informed, faith-filled preaching from deacons, priests and bishops. The faithful need and deserve nothing less.

 His Greatest Gift (Continued)

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Article by Father Minimus.

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