Saturday, April 23, 2011

Day Two of a Novena I'm Not Doing

At Maundy Thursday Mass, one of the priests reminded us that the Divine Mercy Novena started tomorrow, Friday.

By now, Thursday's 'tomorrow' is today's yesterday. And I didn't start the Novena.

Guilt, Shame, and Parchisi Wednesday Night

Does that mean that I'm wracked with guilt and shame, shuddering in abject horror at the unpardonable affront that I've committed?

No. Not hardly.

The Divine Mercy Novena is:
  • A good idea
    • In my opinion
  • Something Catholics may do
  • Not something Catholics have to do
I've gone over the wide range of expression the Catholic Church encourages before:
Maybe you knew someone who was Catholic and firmly believed that all Catholics had the solemn duty to play parchisi each Wednesday night: but not Parcheesi.

That's a silly hypothetical example. At least, I hope it is. A bit more seriously, I've found that there are folks who have rather definite - and probably quite sincere - notions about what the Catholic Church 'really' says. Notions that may reflect their own personal preferences, or local custom - but which didn't come from the Holy See.

As I've said before, with more than 1,000,000,000 Catholics living today - some of us are going to be a bit bonkers. Just like any other enormous, diverse group.

Moving on.

Novena Optional, Mass Obligatory

Like I said, doing the Divine Mercy Novena, a nine-day prayer starting yesterday and wrapping up on Divine Mercy Sunday, is optional.

Celebrating Mass that Sunday - is not-so-optional. (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2180) I've written about that sort of thing before, too. (October 9, 2010)

Divine Mercy Devotion was fairly wide-spread in the Church, before a Polish Pope caught some glitches in a translation of Saint Faustina's diary - and that's almost another topic.

Universal Church, Local Parish

The central Minnesota town I live in, Sauk Centre, was dedicated to the Divine Mercy about the same time I got married. Which should help me remember our wedding anniversary - and that is definitely another topic.

Anyway, Divine Mercy Sunday is part of the calendar now - the second Sunday of Easter. Pope Benedict XVI will be celebrating it at St. Peter's Square May 1, 2011. And we'll be celebrating Mass that day at Our Lady of the Angels Church, here in Sauk Centre.

Which means that, as I understand it, we'll be at the Mass at St. Peter's Square, too, and the Passover meal we call the Last Supper, and Golgotha - in a way. (Catechism, 1326, 1330, 1545)

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What's That Doing in a Nice Catholic Blog?

From time to time, a service that I use will display links to - odd - services and retailers.

I block a few of the more obvious dubious advertisers.

For example: psychic anything, numerology, mediums, and related practices are on the no-no list for Catholics. It has to do with the Church's stand on divination. I try to block those ads.

Sometime regrettable advertisements get through, anyway.

Bottom line? What that service displays reflects the local culture's norms, - not Catholic teaching.