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    Fr. Joseph Jenkins

  • The blog header depicts an important and yet mis-understood New Testament scene, Jesus flogging the money-changers out of the temple. I selected it because the faith that gives us consolation can also make us very uncomfortable. Both Divine Mercy and Divine Justice meet in Jesus. Priests are ministers of reconciliation, but never at the cost of truth. In or out of season, we must be courageous in preaching and living out the Gospel of Life. The title of my blog is a play on words, not Flogger Priest but Blogger Priest.

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Faith Formation: Religious Formation Stemming from Liturgy

Sharing a few personal thoughts…

Another idea that holds promise for adult religious formation is in the liturgy itself. We have revised and corrected Mass prayers which restore the fullness of our patrimony in faith. There is an incredible depth and subtle richness to our more strictly translated Latin that can bear fruit if there is sufficient reflection and instruction. We need to move away from cheap missalettes and return to the use of personal Missal books. Why? It is because this will allow our people to more easily following the readings and to study the prayers, themselves. They need such a tool because the hour on Sunday or the twenty minutes for a daily Mass moves too quickly for proper study. Missals will allow our people to properly prepare for Mass, become familiar with the readings before hearing them proclaimed, and allow them to examine the orations which constitute the Eucharistic mystery. Connected to this, we have to do something that certain liturgists do not like but about which they are in error. The homily or instruction may reference the readings but they can never do full justice to everything in the Word of God. Priests and deacons need the liberty to also offer catechetical homilies, maybe even stringing the weeks together so as to give a comprehensive analysis of our faith. The late Msgr. William J. Awalt and Bishop Thomas J. Welsh were involved with a project many years ago to break the three year lectionary into an ordered catechesis of the Catholic faith. It was published either in the late 1970’s or early 1980’s in Homiletic and Pastoral Review. Back when the alarm about defection and ignorance was being sounded by such priests, many closed their ears and pretended that we did not have a problem. WE CAN NO LONGER PRETEND. We are facing a dire situation and the former pope knew as much. It is for this reason he called for a New Evangelization and for the Year of Faith. Homilists should also feel free to preach on any part of the liturgy, including the prayers like the Confiteor, Gloria, Collects, Antiphons, Creeds, Prefaces, Prayer over the Gifts, Post-Communion Prayers, etc. This should go far beyond giving a definition for terms like “prevenient grace” or “consubstantial.” For instance, the revised prayers correct the semi-pelagianism that used to embarrass so many knowledgeable priests in regard to the previous translation. Saints now clearly intercede, we cooperate, God saves and grace prevails.

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