Month: April 2019

John Bergsma in Purceville, VA

Dr. John Bergsma, professor of theology at Franciscan University and former Protestant minister, will speak at Saint Francis de Sales Parish Center in Purcellville on Thursday, May 9, at 7:00 p.m. Dr. Bergsma will discuss his book Yes, There Is a God: and Other Answers to Life’s Big Questions.

The Psalms: Music for Our Hearts

Turn off the television. Turn off the radio. Turn off the computer. Go to the quietest room in the house. Shut the door. Sit down and close your eyes.

You can still hear it, can’t you? The irritating car dealer commercial, the endless loop of background music in the computer game, the dopey dialogue from that stupid movie that you never would have watched if anything half-decent had been on.

A Venture of Faith

The core meaning of faith is belief in God and all that he has revealed: “Faith is the theological virtue by which we believe in God and believe all that he has said and revealed to us, and that Holy Church proposes for our belief, because he is truth itself ” (CCC 1814). But faith also includes the full commitment of our lives, what the Catechism calls the commitment of our entire selves to God (1814). The implication is that true faith, as it grows and matures in us, cannot remain simply within our minds as a belief or conviction; it manifests itself in personal commitment as we entrust ourselves completely to God. “Faith is first of all a personal adherence of man to God. . . . It is right and just to entrust oneself wholly to God and to believe absolutely what he says” (150). Or as the Catechism says elsewhere, “To believe is to say ‘Amen’ to God’s words, promises and commandments; to entrust oneself completely to him who is the ‘Amen’ of infinite love and perfect faithfulness” (1064).

Emmaus Day: Behind the Traditional Name for Easter Monday

This day is traditionally known as Emmaus Day, due to the Gospel reading for Mass in the lectionary prior to Vatican II. The Gospel from Luke 24 of the two disciples on the road to Emmaus was proclaimed in the Mass. In our monastic world it also took on a character of some solemn relaxation including making long walks together. This is very fitting following the intense days of the Triduum.

The Empty Tabernacle of Good Friday

In my experience of the Triduum at Saint Vincent Archabbey, a particularly powerful part of it has been the empty Tabernacle. Following the painful moment at midnight on Holy Thursday when Jesus is taken away from us and the Tabernacle is left empty, my attention is repeatedly drawn to the gold tabernacle with its open door.