Posts Tagged FatherZ

Happy Candlemas! The Fortieth Day of Christmas

2 February 2017

2 February 2017

Posted on 2 February 2013 Anno Domini by Fr.John Zuhlsdorf at his blog,
What Does the Prayer Really Say?

Today is the final “peak” arising from the liturgical cycle of Advent/Christmas/Epiphany. Today, called in the traditional way and according to the older Roman calendar the Feast of the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Holy Church would cease to sing the Marian antiphon associated with Christmas,

It is forty days since Christmas.

In the physical world, we in the Northern hemisphere are beginning to notice more and more the growing of the light of day. The seemingly endless darkness of the short days has finally in a noticeable way been attenuated. I have noticed in the last couple days that the birds have broken their silence and are beginning to sing in a different way, even though winter here as far from over. Today’s feast is also about light, in the broader symbolic sense.

This feast has its name from the Blessed Virgin, because the Law in Leviticus required her to go to the temple for purification after giving birth. The Lord did not need to be baptized by John in the river, for He had nothing to repent. Mary did not need purification, for she was spotless. But they desired to fulfill the Law. This feast also reminds us of the beautiful tradition of the “Churching” of women after childbirth, a special blessing given by the Church, which has alas fallen into desuetude. “Churching” was done in honor also of this moment in the life Christ’s Mother.

This is, however, really a feast in honor of the Lord: He is being offered to the Father in a foreshadowing of His greater Sacrifice for our salvation. The theme of offering, of sacrifice draws our eyes away from looking back at Christmas and Epiphany forward to the Passion and Easter.

You remember the story from the Gospel, in Luke 2. Mary and Joseph come to the temple in Jerusalem to fulfill the Law. Firstborn males had to be dedicated to the Lord. The old woman Anna and the old man Simeon had the special grace from the Lord to have their dearest desires fulfilled before they died: to see the Messiah. It is in this moment that Simeon makes the prophecy about the sacrificial sufferings Mary will endure and he speaks his great Nunc dimittis, which Holy Church sings in the darkness at the end of the day for Compline.

In the traditional Roman liturgy today in larger churches there would be a special blessing of candles and a procession before Mass would begin. The chants sung for the rite contain many references to light. Also, a lighted candle is to be held during the reading of the Gospel and during the Roman Canon. The candle brings to mind also our baptism.

In a way, the faithful really ought to have candles at all Masses. But now, in High Masses, the “touchbearers” fulfill this role for the congregation. Remember that the next time you see the candles come in: that’s you up there.

Remember: Holy Church gives us candles so that we will use them.

For the rest of the post, click HERE


From the blog, Catholic Harbor of Faith and Morals


Luke ii. 29: “No Thou dost dismiss Thy servant, O Lord, according to Thy Word, in peace. Because my eyes have seen thy salvation, . . . a Light to the revelation of the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people, Israel.”

The angel-lights of Christmas morn,
Which shot across the sky,
Away they pass at Candlemas,
They sparkle and they die.

We wait along the penance-tide
Of solemn fast and prayer,
Whilst song is hushed, and lights grow dim
In the sin-laden air.

Comfort of earth is brief at best,
Although it be divine;
Like funeral lights for Christmas gone,
Old Simeon’s tapers shine.

And while the sword in Mary’s soul
Is driven home, we hide
In our own hearts, and count the wounds
Of passion and of pride.

And then for eight long weeks and more,
We wait in twilight grey,
Till the High Candle sheds a beam
On Holy Saturday.

And still, though Candlemas be spent,
And alleluias o’er,
Mary is music in our need,
And Jesus light in store.

The Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary

This great solemnity, which closes the holy season of Christmas, has been established in commemoration of the two last mysteries of our Saviour’s Birth and Infancy.

The most pure and beautiful Virgin, in obedience to the law, presented the child Jesus in the temple, offering a couple of turtle-doves for her purification, and five sicles as a ransom for her first-born, Jesus. On this day is fulfilled the prophecy of Aggeus concerning the Messiah, Agg. ii. 8: “Yet one little while . . . and I will move all nations: and the Desired of all nations shall come; and I will fill this house with glory.” This day St. Simeon and holy Anna, full of the Holy Ghost, recognise our Lord and welcome Him into the temple, as the Salvation, the Light, and the Peace of the world.

Wax candles are solemnly blessed on this day, in commemoration of our Lord, whom they represent as the Light of the world: “Three things,” says St. Anselm of Canterbury, “may be considered in the blest candle: the wax, which is the production of the virginal bee, is the Flesh of our Lord; the wick, which is within, is His Soul; the flame, which burns on the top, is His Divinity.” These blest candles are to be carried in procession, in remembrance of that wondrous procession made in the temple by our Lady, St. Joseph, St. Simeon, and holy Anna. They should also be kept, to be used by the faithful either on land or sea, and especially to be lit near the bed of a dying Christian, as a symbol of the immortality merited for us by Christ, and as a pledge of the protection of our Lady.



A Prayer for Candlemas Day

Lord Jesus Christ,
You are the true Light
enlightening every soul born into this world.
Today we celebrate the feast of Candlemas.
Before Holy Mass,
the priest blesses the candles,
whose wax is the humming summer’s work of countless bees.
The flames of these candles
will shed their light upon the altar at the Holy Sacrifice.
Help us to realize,
this day and every day,
that our own humdrum daily work,
if it is done for love of You,
and in union with the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass,
will be a supernatural work,
and will shine brightly before You for all eternity.
Help us realize, too,
each time we see the blessed candles at Holy Mass,
or at the bedside of the sick,
that they are a symbol of Yourself,
the Light shining in the darkness of this world.
Help us to live in that Light,
to make it our own,
and to kindle it in the souls of others,
increasing the area Of light
and lessening the darkness in the World This,
dear Lord, help us do,
through the merits of Your own dear mother, Mary,
who did everything for love of
You, from the moment she brought You into this world
till the day she joined You in the realms of light at her death.
Then we, too, working for You,
shall be light-bearers who will help to spread Your kingdom on earth,
and increase the number of those who dwell in heaven,
the city of eternal light.



h/t: @RoomDesign3 on Twitter. Thanks.

Just Do It! Let’s get Spiritually Fit! Via @FatherZ

13 August 2016

54 Day Rosary For Our Nation – 15 August (Assumption) through 7 October (O.L. of the Rosary)

Posted on 11 August 2016 by Fr. John Zuhlsdorf at his blog,
“Father Z’s Blog”

Novena-for-our-nation-graphic-thumb-232x300Can we agree that our nation – I mean these USA – need some serious intervention and graces from God? I fear that if we don’t change our collective ways, God will either intervene somewhat less gently. Otherwise, He’ll owe Sodom and Gomorrah an apology.

My friend Fr Richard Heilman is spearheading a 54 Day Rosary Novena for our Nation.

What do you do? Say the Rosary every day for 54 days.

This 54 Day STORMING of heaven through the intercession of Mary will take place from 15 August, the Feast of the Assumption, until 7 October, Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary, Anniversary of the Battle of Lepanto.

I’ve written about Fr. Heilman pretty often. Lately I interviewed him in PODCAzTs.

The National Catholic Register wrote this up:

“I call this our Nineveh moment,” said Father Richard Heilman, assessing the situation in our nation in reference to the story of Jonah’s warning to a wayward people.

Father Heilman is spearheading a major spiritual initiative to turn the tide and heal the country — the “Novena for Our Nation.”

The “54-Day Rosary Novena” will begin on Aug. 15, the Solemnity of the Assumption. The faithful are asked to pray daily for the nation to return to holiness, through the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary on Oct. 7.

Knowing that Father Heilman, a priest of the Diocese of Madison, had experience with 54-day Rosary novenas through social media and that he recently launched the national Holy League, a group — including Father Stephen Imbarrato of Priests for Life — approached him to head this nationwide prayer campaign.

“They thought: ‘What better time than now, in this election year, the terrorism going on and the condition of this world and our nation, to do this,’” explained Father Heilman.

“All the signs are there,” said Father Imbarrato. “We have an immoral and corrupt government that is becoming more and more tyrannical. The fact of the matter is: We need a conversion of our culture, but, more specifically, of our elected officials or leadership. This 54-day novena and the Rosary Rally [on Oct. 7] is all part of the effort we need to end preborn child killing and attacks on marriage and the family.”

For the rest of the post and additional links for Father Heilman, please CLICK HERE

Feast of the Angelic Doctor: a Podcast by @FatherZ

28 January 2016

Reposted from

PODCAzT 141: Two Prayers of St. Thomas Aquinas

Posted on 28 January 2016 by Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

AquinasIn the post-Conciliar, Novus Ordo calendar today is the Feast of St. Thomas Aquinas (+1274). Let’s hear two prayers from the Angelic Doctor, his Prayer Before Mass and Communion and his Prayer After Mass and Communion in both Latin and English.

To listrn to Father Zuhlsdorf’s podcast and see a relic of the Angelic Doctor Click HERE

Help For Lent From @FatherZ

4 March 2014

LENTCAzT 00: Shrove Tuesday

Posted on 4 March 2014 by Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

14_03_03_LENTCAzT2014Today is Shrove Tuesday, a day upon which many would seek to be “shriven” before the beginning of Lent. In other words GO TO CONFESSION!

With this audio offering, I am beginning a series of daily podcasts for Lent. They are intended to give you a small boost every day, a little encouragement in your own use of this holy season.

I am doing this again this year, first and foremost, in thanks to my donors.

Now, click HERE & you will sent to Father Z’s Blog and there you can click on the iTunes button to get his podcasts. Do it, it’s a terrific service that Father gives to us, so that we have personal help from our Internet pastor! Thanks, Father.

How to Read the Pope’s Interview: 1. Pray & THEN: 2. Read @FatherZ s Post

19 September 2013

Sofia says: Thanks, Father Zuhlsdorf. Can’t do this on my own…

First thoughts about the Francis Interview

Posted on 19 September 2013 by Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Pope Francis, formerly a Jesuit, gave an series of interviews to the Jesuits. The interviews have been edited together, with parenthetical commentary and descriptions of the setting and so forth, and translated by lay people and Jesuits for publication in Jesuit publications. The English version is at the site of Jesuit-run America Magazine.

The interview is dense. There is a LOT going on in it. It is too much for the brain to take in at one sitting.

As you read the interview, and media coverage of the interview, you will find – and this is consistent with Pope Francis’ style of talking off-the-cuff – some truly quotable quotes, leap-out quotes that sit up and beg to be taken out of context. Look at what the MSM is doing with some of them.

For example, the New York Times leads with a headline “Pope Bluntly Faults Church’s Focus on Gays and Abortion (By Laurie Goodstein).” Oh really? Is that what Pope Francis did? CBS has “Pope Francis: Catholic Church must focus beyond “small-minded rules” and goes on to say “Pope Francis has warned that the Catholic Church’s moral structure might “fall like a house of cards” if it doesn’t balance its divisive rules about abortion, gays and contraception with the greater need to make it a merciful, more welcoming place for all.” Oh really? Is that what Pope Francis really said? The CBS statement makes the Pope sound as if he think that they Church has the change it’s teaching about abortion or homosexuality or it will collapse like a house of cards.

Even if you haven’t read the whole interview/article, some 12000 words, common sense tells you that that is not what the Pope said.

It is important when reading the interview, and media coverage of the interview, to keep your eyes on those leap-out quotes. When you see the MSM using those leap-out quotes in a way that doesn’t pass the smell test, go back and look at the context, the whole paragraph.

The whole context of the paragraph deconstructs the leap-out quotes and makes those quotes make sense.

Please click HERE for the rest of Father’s post.

ROME: Sacra Liturgia Conference – Day 3

27 June 2013

27 June 2013
Posted by Father John Zuhlsdorf at his blog,

The first speaker is Fr. Michael Uwe Lang of the Brompton Oratory, one Sacred Architecture at the Service of the Church.

Non linguistic signs may be more important than words.

Fr. Lang examined what happens to church architecture when the wrong starting points are adopted. He assigned more blame to ecclesiastics rather than to architects. If the theological starting points are wrong-headed, the building will not serve its proper purpose. Lang posited that many modern (really ugly, failure) churches take as their starting points the notion of Rahner, and then Schillebeecxk, that sacraments recognize preexisting realities rather than confer grace. Contrast that with Sacrosanctum Concilium 7.

For the rest of the post please click HERE

Sacra Liturgia 2013 – Opening Day

25 June 2013

Posted by Sofia Guerra
25 June 2013 Anno Domini

An international conference organised by the Bishop of Fréjus-Toulon, France, to study, promote and renew the appreciation of liturgical formation and celebration and its foundation for the mission of the Church, particularly in the light of the teaching and example of His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI, falling within the Year of Faith to commemorate 50 years since the start of the Second Vatican Council, in accordance with the pastoral recommendations for the Year of Faith issued by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

The Church throughout the world is preparing to celebrate the Year of Faith to mark the fiftieth anniversary of the start of the Second Vatican Council an event which launched the most extensive renewal of the Roman Rite ever known. Based upon a deepening appreciation of the sources of the liturgy, the Council promoted the full and active participation of the faithful in the Eucharistic sacrifice.

At our distance today from the Council Fathers’ expressed desires regarding liturgical renewal, and in the light of the universal Church’s experience in the intervening period, it is clear that a great deal has been achieved; but it is equally clear that there have been many misunderstandings and irregularities. The renewal of external forms, desired by the Council Fathers, was intended to make it easier to enter into the inner depth of the mystery.

Its true purpose was to lead people to a personal encounter with the Lord, present in the Eucharist, and thus with the living God, so that through this contact with Christ’s love, the love of his brothers and sisters for one another might also grow. Yet not infrequently, the revision of liturgical forms has remained at an external level, and “active participation” has been confused with external activity.

Hence much still remains to be done on the path of real liturgical renewal. In a changed world, increasingly fixated on material things, we must learn to recognize anew the mysterious presence of the Risen Lord, which alone can give breadth and depth to our life.

– Pope Benedict XVI, Message for the Closing of the International Eucharistic Congress, Dublin, 2012

For more on the Sacra Liturgia conference the website address is:


ROME: Sacra Liturgia Conference – Day 1

Posted by Father John Zuhlsdorf at his blog.
Father Z’s Blog (
25 June 2013 A.D.

The long-awaited conference on sacred liturgy in Rome is underway.

We began with Vespers, sung in the Church of Sant’Appolinare near the Piazza Navona.

A shot from my angle.

Now for the rest of this glorious post, please click HERE!

@FatherZ says it’s 23 April: Talk Like Shakespeare Day!

23 April 2013

I first saw the first of Father Z’s posts on “Talk like Shakespeare Day” when I was studying Shakespeare. I was homeschooled most of my life but there were two years I had to go to school. It was a Catholic school, not totally awful but my Catholic homeschooling was much much better. I did however, bring the idea into school and my English teacher loved it. We worked on it in English and then we did it in all our other classes. We made the school newsletter and a merry time was had by all!

To Father Z, “I can no other answer make, but, thanks, and thanks.” The Bard

Sarah Campbell
Intern at AlwaysCatholic

Posted on 23 April 2013 by Fr.John Zuhlsdorf at
Father Z’s Blog

Drawing from material that I have posted in the past, I warmly remind the readership that today is

Talk Like Shakespeare Day!


Artwork credit:

I urge you all hence forth to speak in verse.
Pentameter iambic would be best.
O list, gentles! Also strive to use
in thy fair speech some homage to the Bard.

Maybe you could (ehem… coulds’t thou not) use the word “Prithee” a few times today, or, perchance, “perchance”?

Rather than just handing over the cash when the pizza is deliveréd, you could say “Here’s thy guerdon. Go!”.

If a villainous churl would make to steal thy parking spot or cut thee off in traffic, avail thyself not of those usual short epithets common to such occasions. How much more satisfying to lower thy window and exclaim, “Ha! I’ll tell thee what; Thou’rt damn’d as black–nay, nothing is so black; Thou art more deep damn’d than Prince Lucifer: There is not yet so ugly a fiend of hell!”… or words to that effect.

Is some rampallian staring at you at the cafeteria? Macbeth wouldn’t have stood for that! You wouldn’t catch Macbeth saying, “Wanna take a photo?”. Ho hum! Today, try this: “The devil damn thee black, thou cream-faced loon! Where got’st thou that goose look?” Or should you be buying that arabical potion post-haste, a simple “Take thy face hence!”, would suffice.

Please go to Father Z’s Blog for the rest of the post >>>

@FatherZ gives us a treat!

3 April 2013

This is the moment that @FatherZ has been waiting for…baseball is back and the Pope knocks it out the park! @FatherZ gives us in his best color commentary just why this Pope is someone we don’t quite understand yet.

My dad who recently passed away told me a joke when I was about 12. He said to me, “Do you know the two things that God doesn’t know?” Of course, a child of traditional upbringing and catechesis I was a mite scandalized until the twinkle in his eye told me I was going to get a real life lesson.

The answer? “What’s on a Jesuit’s mind and how many Franciscans there are in the world.”

Needless to say it was my first theological type joke and I got it. My dad was proud when I sincerely laughed because he knew I understood. He didn’t have time to get to know Pope Francis on earth but he once reflected after the horror of the re-election of the man who occupies 16th and Pennsylvania NW. When he saw the election results he opined simply…Pope Benedict can handle this, however if we lose him to God, only a Jesuit can stop him.”
Enough said.

God love you,


Pope Francis’ General Audience focused on women. Feminists aren’t going to be happy.

Posted on 3 April 2013 by Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

The text of Pope Francis’ general audience:

Feminists and proponents of women’s ordination aren’t gonna be happy.

My emphases and comments: (Father Z’s of course)

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Today we turn to the Catechism of the Year of Faith. [Well! He mentioned it again.] In the Creed we repeat this phrase: “He rose again on the third day, in accordance with the Scriptures”. This is the very event [a historical event] that we are celebrating: the Resurrection of Jesus, the center of the Christian message that has resounded since the beginning and has been handed down so that it may reach us today. Saint Paul writes to the Christians of Corinth: “For I handed on to you …what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures; that he was buried; that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the scriptures; that he appeared to Cephas, then to the Twelve”(1 Cor 15:3-5). This brief confession of faith announces the Paschal Mystery, with the first appearances of the Risen Christ to Peter and the Twelve: the Death and Resurrection of Jesus is the heart of our hope. Without this faith in the Death and Resurrection of Jesus our hope would be weak, but it wouldn’t even be hope, the Death and Resurrection of Jesus is the heart of our hope. The Apostle says: “If Christ has not been raised, your faith is vain; you are still in your sins” (v. 17).

Unfortunately, there have often been attempts to obscure faith in the Resurrection of Jesus, and doubts have crept in even among believers themselves. A watered down faith, as we would say, not a strong faith. This is because of superficiality, sometimes because of indifference, occupied by a thousand things considered more important than the faith, or because of a purely horizontal vision of life. But it is the Resurrection that gives us the greatest hope, because it opens our lives and the life of the world to the eternal future of God, to full happiness, to the certainty that evil, sin, death can be defeated. And this leads us to live everyday realities with more confidence, to face them with courage and commitment. The Resurrection of Christ shines a new light on these daily realities. The Resurrection of Christ is our strength!
But how was the truth of faith in Christ’s Resurrection transmitted? There are two kinds of witness in the New Testament: some are in the form of the profession of the faith, namely, synthetic formulas that indicate the center of the faith. Instead, others are in the form of an account of the event of the Resurrection and the facts connected to it. The form of the profession of faith, for example, is what we have just heard, or that of the Letter to the Romans where Paul writes: ” for, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved “(10.9). From the earliest days of the Church, faith in the Mystery of Death and Resurrection of Jesus is steadfast and clear.
Today, however, I would like to dwell the second, on testimony in the form of the accounts that we find in the Gospels. First, we note that the first witnesses to this event were the women. At dawn, they go to the tomb to anoint the body of Jesus, and find the first sign: the empty tomb (Mk 16:1). This is followed by an encounter with a Messenger of God who proclaims: Jesus of Nazareth, the Crucified One, he is not here, he is risen (cf. vv. 5-6). The women are driven by love and know how to accept this proclamation with faith: they believe, and immediately transmit it, they do not keep it for themselves. They cannot contain the joy of knowing that Jesus is alive, the hope that fills their heart. This should also be the same in our lives. Let us feel the joy of being Christian! We believe in the Risen One who has conquered evil and death! Let us also have the courage to “go out” to bring this joy and light to all the places of our lives! The Resurrection of Christ is our greatest certainty, it is our most precious treasure! How can we not share this treasure, this beautiful certainty with others! It’s not just for us it’s to be transmitted, shared with others this is our testimony!

[OKAY! Here we go! This is a good day for our team, friends.]

Another element. In the professions of faith of the New Testament, only men are remembered as witnesses of the Resurrection, the Apostles, but not the women. This is because, according to the Jewish Law of the time, women and children were not considered reliable, credible witnesses. [See what he is doing? See?!?]

This is just a mere taste of this yummy treat from @FatherZ. If you want to read the rest (and you do!) Click HERE to go to his blog and be delighted!

Pope Francis sermon for Palm Sunday from our @FatherZ

24 March 2013

Palm Sunday

Posted on 24 March 2013 Anno Domini by Fr. John Zuhlsdorf
at his blog, Fr.Z’s Blog

Pope Francis sermon for Palm Sunday:

1. Jesus enters Jerusalem. The crowd of disciples accompanies him in festive mood, their garments are stretched out before him, there is talk of the miracles he has accomplished, and loud praises are heard: “Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord. Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!” (Lk19:38).

Crowds, celebrating, praise, blessing, peace: joy fills the air. Jesus has awakened great hopes, especially in the hearts of the simple, the humble, the poor, the forgotten, those who do not matter in the eyes of the world. He understands human sufferings, he has shown the face of God’s mercy, he has bent down to heal body and soul. Now he enters the Holy City!

It is a beautiful scene, full of light, joy, celebration.

At the beginning of Mass, we repeated all this. We waved our palms, our olive branches, we sang “Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord” (Antiphon); we too welcomed Jesus; we too expressed our joy at accompanying him, at knowing him to be close, present in us and among us as a friend, a brother, and also as a King [not mention Savior and God and, at death, Judge.]: that is, a shining beacon for our lives. And here the first word that comes to mind is “joy!” Do not be men and women of sadness: a Christian can never be sad! Never give way to discouragement! Ours is not a joy that comes from having many possessions, but from having encountered a Person: Jesus, from knowing that with him we are never alone, even at difficult moments, even when our life’s journey comes up against problems and obstacles that seem insurmountable, and there are so many of them! We accompany, we follow Jesus, but above all we know that he accompanies us and carries us on his shoulders. This is our joy, this is the hope that we must bring to this world of ours. Let us bring the joy of the faith to everyone!

2. But we have to ask: why does Jesus enter Jerusalem? Or better: how does Jesus enter Jerusalem?

For the rest of the post, please click HERE

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