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A Surprise When Cantoring At Mass

Last weekend it was my turn to sing at the Saturday Vigil Mass. I don’t regularly sing at that Mass and so that set of our parish rarely sees me and almost none of them know who I am. In a way, that’s great because I can make mistakes and nobody would remember for long, but in a way it is a little bit nerve wrackiing because my style of singing might not be what they are looking for and the last thing I want to be is a distraction to the people at Mass.

So, I got there a few minutes early to run threw the unfamiliar songs, especially the Psalm and the Gospel Acclamation verse and we were set to go. This time around I made sure to pray that God lead me and help me to lead the people to worship Him and not to draw attention to myself. (Being in a parish with no choir area near the sanctuary makes this difficult at times.) As Mass began I belted out the opening song (originally starting on the wrong page, mind you) and we were off. I made it through it and through the Gloria and it was time for the 1st Reading. I tried to listen attentively, but was also occupied by the music I was about to sing for the psalm. Then it was my turn. The organ played the intro and I hit the refrain perfectly and reverently, thinking about the words I was saying. It was beautiful (not my singing per se, but the prayer that was coming out of my mouth)!

I moved into the first verse and paid even closer attention the words, the phrasing the sentiment of the words spoken so many centuries ago, memorized by people for more centuries, finally meticulously written down and copied, word for word, then translated and eventually put down in front of me…it was thousands of years of human civilization giving praise to God in a song written on the heart of a prophet and it was meant to be sung! It was beautiful and in that moment, in that Mass, I realized how important the psalm is and how important it is to be part of the Mass.

I don’t remember the words I prayed that evening, but I was moved by the connection I was able to feel with the entire Church at that moment and at the same time overjoyed at the priveledge and responsibility I had to pray that psalm properly. I am a cantor so that I can use the voice God has given me to lead others into deeper prayer and love of Him. That night, I think, I was able to do that in a very real way. Thank you, God, for that gift!

 
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Posted by on June 2, 2011 in Mass, Prayer

 

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Novena to St. Joseph: Day 9 – Happy St. Joseph’s Day!

Novena to St. Joseph: Day 9 – Happy St. Joseph’s Day!

Here we are! Day 9 and on the feast of St. Joseph, my prayer for you is that these nine days of prayer have been extremely fruitful and you are ready to celebrate this wonderful occasion! So, please pray with me this one last day and get out and enjoy the weather and feast, feast, feast!

Loving Saint Joseph, faithful follower of Jesus Christ, I raise my heart to you to implore your powerful intercession in obtaining from the Heart of Jesus all the graces necesary for my spiritual and temporal welfare, particularly the grace of a happy death, and the special grace I now implore: (mention your request here).

Guardian of the Word Incarnate, I am confident that your prayers on my behalf will be graciously heard before the throne of God.

Saint Joseph, Spouse of the Virgin Mother, pray for us.

If you want a wonderful reflection on St. Joesph, check out this link!

 
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Posted by on March 19, 2011 in fatherhood, Prayer

 

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Novena to St. Joseph: Day 8

Novena to St. Joseph: Day 8

We are down to our last two days. Thanks for praying along with me so far. May God bless you and your journey.

Loving Saint Joseph, faithful follower of Jesus Christ, I raise my heart to you to implore your powerful intercession in obtaining from the Heart of Jesus all the graces necesary for my spiritual and temporal welfare, particularly the grace of a happy death, and the special grace I now implore: (mention your request here).

Guardian of the Word Incarnate, I am confident that your prayers on my behalf will be graciously heard before the throne of God.

Saint Joseph, Spouse of the Virgin Mother, pray for us.

 
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Posted by on March 18, 2011 in Prayer

 

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Novena to St. Joseph: Day 7

Novena to St. Joseph: Day 7

As the last three days of this novena come, I hope you are still with me. Keep the prayers coming and may we all develop the discipline necessary to see our faith grow throughout this season of Lent by the profound example of St. Joseph who by all means exemplified the obedience so necessary in the life of Christ.

Loving Saint Joseph, faithful follower of Jesus Christ, I raise my heart to you to implore your powerful intercession in obtaining from the Heart of Jesus all the graces necesary for my spiritual and temporal welfare, particularly the grace of a happy death, and the special grace I now implore: (mention your request here).

Guardian of the Word Incarnate, I am confident that your prayers on my behalf will be graciously heard before the throne of God.

Saint Joseph, Spouse of the Virgin Mother, pray for us.

 
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Posted by on March 17, 2011 in Prayer

 

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On Folding Underwear, Running a Marathon and Prayer

My first published article on Catholic Lane has been posted today!

I fold my underwear. That is probably an overshare, so please forgive me. I also fold my socks, but I doubt that makes me unique, because folding socks makes sense, but underwear? What’s the point?!

I have often had that discussion in my head and with my wife (especially when we were first married and she was not a “fold the underwear” girl) and the truth is that the main reason I do it is because that’s the way I always did it. My mom grew up as the daughter of a WWII soldier who brought the practice home and it’s the way she always did it, so it became the way I always did it, too. But why?

It was just last week that I finally got my answer.

Read the rest on Catholic Lane and don’t forget to visit the the neighbors while you are there.

 
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Posted by on March 16, 2011 in Discipline, Prayer, Virtue

 

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Novena to St. Joseph: Day 6

Novena to St. Joseph: Day 6

We are closing in fast on the Feast of St. Joseph and I hope that the fruits of this novena are already starting to bare themselves in your lives. I look forward to hearing what you’ve gained by praying this novena.

Loving Saint Joseph, faithful follower of Jesus Christ, I raise my heart to you to implore your powerful intercession in obtaining from the Heart of Jesus all the graces necesary for my spiritual and temporal welfare, particularly the grace of a happy death, and the special grace I now implore: (mention your request here).

Guardian of the Word Incarnate, I am confident that your prayers on my behalf will be graciously heard before the throne of God.

Saint Joseph, Spouse of the Virgin Mother, pray for us.



h/t: Always Catholic

 
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Posted by on March 16, 2011 in Prayer

 

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Our Lenten Journey: Struggle and Satisfaction

Our Lenten Journey: Struggle and Satisfaction

I love the season of Lent! Not that I’m very good at keeping its three tenents of fasting, prayer and almsgiving and not that those three things are meant to be “fun,” but the season of Lent just forces us to sit back and reflect (one of my favorite things to do when I get the chance) and the chances to partake in fasting, prayer and almsgiving become that much more available. So, perhaps, it seems, for at least 40 days, I get to participate more fully in the action of the Church, both local and universal. I feel more connected and the Church seems so much more vibrant.

Blogs become especially rich sources for spiritual development, the USCCB establishes and maintains an entire section of its website dedicated solely to the season, our Holy Father’s weekly addresses are geared specifically to the season, local parishes have mission breakfasts and mission speakers to offer the adults in the parish the rare chance to be more fully educated in the faith, and, of course, the sacrament of penance is offered in much more generous chunks of time and the weekly Friday “Stations” are prayed in nearly every parish. The whole church around the world gets keyed in and unifies its vision, all preparing for one event, THE event: Easter.

And yet, given all this, I believe I am attracted by Lent for still other reasons and the main one is that Lent is filled with struggle, in fact, spiritual battles (as shown in the original Latin of the Collect during the Ash Wednesday Mass)! Perhaps, in a way, I feel like this season is especially geared toward my naturally masculine approach to the faith. I like it when things are difficult, when I have to struggle and fight and hold on with all my might just to make it through because in the end, I will know what I put into it and the satisfaction will be so much more worth it. And what I’ve also found is that, when we constantly struggle to hold onto Christ, His grasp on us becomes that much stronger. When we recognize this season as a particular opportunity to struggle and fight for Christ, we open ourselves to the realization that Christ is constantly struggling and fighting for us. He yearns for us and it is in the season of Lent when I feel a true yearning for Him, a yearning which will be fully satisfied once again on Easter Sunday!

UPDATE: Fr. Martin Fox, a priest of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, has some notes from his great homily  on this topic this past Sunday!

I addressed a point to men, specifically: you have sisters, girlfriends, wives, mothers, daughters. Would any of you turn to them and let them go into battle in your place? Of course you wouldn’t. Yet notice that is exactly what Adam did in the first reading. He stood there while his wife was under assault and said, and did, nothing. How different it might have been had he simply spoken up! Men, you are here; you recognize your spiritual responsibilities and I commend you. But we know that when we gather for Mass or other prayer, a lot of our men are absent; they are letting others go into combat in their place.

So, my prayer for us is that our Lenten journeys be blessed with struggles and temptations so that we might be faced with the daily opportunity to choose Christ and to go into battle with Him! 

We adore you, O Christ, and we praise you, because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.

 
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Posted by on March 15, 2011 in Discipline, Prayer

 

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