Prayer of the day

O God, strength of those who hope in you, graciously hear our pleas, and, since without you mortal frailty can do nothing, grant us always the help of your grace, that in following your commands we may please you by our resolve and our deeds. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

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Keep holy Sunday

A Catholic Christian attends Holy Mass on Sunday or on the vigil of Sunday. On that day he refrains from all work that would prevent him from worshipping God or disturb the festive, joyful, restful, and restorative character of the day.

Since Sunday is an Easter celebration that occurs each week, Christians from the earliest times have gathered together on that day to celebrate and thank their Redeemer and to reunite themselves with him and with others who are redeemed. So it is a central duty of every conscientious Catholic Christian to “keep holy” Sunday and the other holy days of the Church. One is exempted from it only by urgent family duties and important responsibilities in society. Because participation in the Sunday Eucharist is fundamental for a Christian life, the Church explicitly declares that it is a serious sin to stay away from Sunday Mass without good reason.

Sunday is a genuine service to the good of society, because it is a sign of opposition to the total absorption of man by the working world.

Therefore in lands that have a Christian character, Christians not only demand the governmental preservation of Sunday, they also do not ask others to do work that they themselves do not want to do on Sunday. Everyone in creation should take part in this “breather”.

The Christian Sunday has three essential elements: (1) It recalls the creation of the world and communicates the festive splendor of God’s goodness to the passage of time. (2) It recalls the “eighth day of creation”, when the world was made new in Christ (thus a prayer from the Easter Vigil says: “You have wonderfully created man and even more wonderfully restored him.”). (3) It includes the theme of rest, not just to sanctify the interruption of work, but to point even now toward man’s eternal rest in God.

Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity

Holy Trinity, fresco by Luca Rossetti da Orta
Holy Trinity, fresco by Luca Rossetti da Orta

Today is the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity, or Trinity Sunday.

The fundamental dogma, on which everything in Christianity is based, is that of the Blessed Trinity in whose name all Christians are baptized. The feast of the Blessed Trinity needs to be understood and celebrated as a prolongation of the mysteries of Christ and as the solemn expression of our faith in this triune life of the Divine Persons, to which we have been given access by Baptism and by the Redemption won for us by Christ. Only in heaven shall we properly understand what it means, in union with Christ, to share as sons in the very life of God.

The dogma of faith which forms the object of the feast is this: There is one God and in this one God there are three Divine Persons; the Father is God, the Son is God, the Holy Spirit is God. Yet there are not three Gods, but one, eternal, incomprehensible God! The Father is not more God than the Son, neither is the Son more God than the Holy Spirit. The Father is the first Divine Person; the Son is the second Divine Person, begotten from the nature of the Father from eternity; the Holy Spirit is the third Divine Person, proceeding from the Father and the Son. No mortal can fully fathom this sublime truth. But I submit humbly and say: Lord, I believe, help my weak faith.

The Father sent His Son to earth, for “God so loved the world as to give His only-begotten Son.” The Father called us to the faith. The Son, our Saviour Jesus Christ, became man and died for us. He redeemed us and made us children of God. He ever remains the liturgist par excellence to whom we are united in all sacred functions. After Christ’s ascension the Holy Spirit, however, became our Teacher, our Leader, our Guide, our Consoler.

The feast of the Most Holy Trinity may well be regarded as the Church’s Te Deum of gratitude over all the blessings of the Christmas and Easter seasons; for this mystery is a synthesis of Christmas, Epiphany, Easter, Ascension and Pentecost. This feast, which falls on the first Sunday after Pentecost, should make us mindful that actually every Sunday is devoted to the honour of the Most Holy Trinity, that every Sunday is sanctified and consecrated to the triune God. Sunday after Sunday we should recall in a spirit of gratitude the gifts which the Blessed Trinity is bestowing upon us. The Father created and predestined us; on the first day of the week He began the work of creation. The Son redeemed us; Sunday is the “Day of the Lord,” the day of His resurrection. The Holy Spirit sanctified us, made us His temple; on Sunday the Holy Spirit descended upon the infant Church. Sunday, therefore, is the day of the Most Holy Trinity.

– Excerpted from  Pius Parsch, The Church’s Year of Grace

Note that today is also the Feast of the Visitation which is superseded by the Sunday liturgy.

Easter time

The celebration of Easter is prolonged throughout the Easter season. The fifty days from Easter Sunday to Pentecost Sunday are celebrated as one feast day, the “great Sunday.”

The Sundays of this season are regarded as Sundays of Easter and are so termed; they have precedence over all feasts of the Lord and over all solemnities. Solemnities that fall on one of these Sundays are anticipated on the Saturday. Celebrations in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary or the saints that fall during the week may not be transferred to one of these Sundays.

Intercession should be made in the Eucharistic Prayer for the newly baptized. It is also appropriate that children receive their first communion on one or other of the Sundays of Easter.

This sacred period of fifty days concludes with Pentecost Sunday, when the gift of the Holy Spirit to the apostles, the beginnings of the Church, and the start of its mission to all tongues and peoples and nations are commemorated.

“It is proper to the paschal festivity that the whole Church rejoices at the forgiveness of sins, which is not only for those who are reborn in Holy Baptism, but also for those who have long been numbered among the adopted children.” By means of a more intensive pastoral care and a deeper spiritual effort, all who celebrate the Easter feasts will, by the Lord’s grace, experience their effect in their daily lives.

Source: The Catholic Liturgical Library