Monday, July 5, 2010


The Holy Father places the pallium he received in his Mass of the Inauguration of the Petrine Ministry on top of the reliquary containing the relics of Pope Celestine V, a hermit-monk elected pope and resigned after five months in office, the only pope to do so.
SULMONA, Italy – Pope Benedict XVI said Sunday that "for all our weaknesses" priests have an important role in the world.
Benedict did not directly mention the clergy abuse scandal that has rocked the Catholic church for months. But during a daylong visit to a central Italian town, he received a round of applause and words of support by local youths greeting him "in this time of harsh attacks and media provocation." [Great way to put it. Short of saying the devil is using the media.]
Minutes later, Benedict told the youths that "for all our weaknesses, still priests are a precious presence in life." [Or saying, among the 12 apostles, only one betrayed the Lord.  From among the thousands of priests, most are still faithful to their vocation.]
The trip to Sulmona was dedicated to honoring Celestine V, the 13th-century hermit who resigned the papacy saying that he was not up to the task.
Benedict said his simple and humble lifestyle can serve as an example for modern men and women. The pontiff praised his predecessor for his detachment from material things such as money and clothes.
"We, too, who live in an epoch of greater comfort and possibilities, are called upon to appreciate a sober lifestyle," the pope said. [Lifestyle, folks.  Lifestyle.  Not in the liturgy!  This is specially true in the case of the Cure of Ars, who lived a very simple and modest life but gave everything precious and beautiful when it comes to the Lord.  Try looking at the presbytery of your parish priest and see if they have more and less for the Lord.  Most of the time I find some priests who have a knack for "liturgical simplicity" only to be so particular when it comes to their secular clothes.  Oh yeah.  I even know of one who only wears designer underwear.  Don't ask how I knew about it.]
Celestine V resigned just months after becoming pope in 1294 at age 85. He was later put under guard for fear he would become the rallying point for a schism. Celestine died in 1296 and was declared a saint in 1313.
Benedict, at times wiping his forehead, conducted an open-air Mass in hot weather before thousands of faithful in one of Sulmona's main squares.
In modern society, Benedict told them, "it seems that every space, every moment must be filled with initiatives, activities, sounds. Often there isn't even the time to listen." [Ahhh...Silence and Listen.  How many times do we even crave for this simple thing called Silence and Listen even within our own churches?  How many times do we long for a time when we just kneel down to pray in silence after receiving Holy Communion?  But no we cannot since the commentator would blurt out parish announcements or the priest would immediately stand up to recite the Post-Communion Prayer.  No...We do not have such thing.  Silence is such a privilege.  Everybody wants to do something.  Everybody wants to be part of something.  Do you notice this at your Mass?]
"Let's not fear the silence inside and outside of us, if we want to be able to perceive not just the voice of God but also (the voices) of those who are next to us," he said. [No wonder some of us do not want to stop and listen.  Most of us do not even want to listen to God!  The prayer of St. Teresa of Avila comes to mind here.  "Nada te turbe..."]


Here's a little tip for you as I found this test quite on the dot.  It never failed.

Find a priest, brother or sister.  Listen to how they give their homilies, or their talks about the Faith.

The more it is focused towards entertainment and the shallower it is...

Pretty sure that is how his/her prayer life is.

Send him/her a note to remind him to pray.  Give him/her a prayer book

Pray for them.

Even Christ went up to the mountain to be alone to pray.

Why shouldn't we?  Priest or lay...


  1. It is unfortunate that we have so few literate priests. The few I have listened to were not Filipinos but foreign visiting priests. This is not to say that there are no Filipino literate priests, there are, but they are a dying breed.

    A literate priest can give a homily that is rooted in the Mass, the feast being celebrated of that day, the Holy Scriptures, the Holy Tradition, is pastoral and may give a reference or two on secular sources or even non-Catholic ones. I remember a priest in Australia give a homily on the concept of right and wrong as viewed by the Church, the Bible and by CS Lewis and JRR Tolkien. The priest was a Dominican who reads!

    Which makes me ask a question? How many of our priests still read? I understand that with the sacramental and social demands placed upon our priests, they may have little time. However reading is also prayer. The Benedictines call this lectio divina. Priests may or should read from the Bible, devotions, secular literature and the Divine Office.

    Laypeople also should read and as we Catholics coming from the Anglican Tradition, would recommend that laypeople say the Divine Office too.

    A literate Catholic will not witness his/her Faith as based on what he/she sees on popular media but what the Church has lived.