Skip to content

Should Eucharist be the only thing that matters?

Over the past few weeks, folks here have talked about the role of Eucharist in their lives and in the liturgy, with a lot of people saying as long as there is Eucharist it shouldn’t matter how lame the rest of the liturgy might be. One commenter went so far as to say that even if Nazis did liturgical dance for an hour, it wouldn’t matter if Eucharist was at the end of it. Yes, someone actually presented that argument. So I thought maybe we needed to talk about this a little more, about Eucharist and how it plays into the life of an average Catholic. Read more

Shepherds who live with the smell of their sheep

I was going through some old posts this week as I was preparing for a radio interview, and I found this post from March 29, 2103. I thought it might be good to re-post it here. Two weeks ago, when I posted about Losing My Religion, many reacted by saying that maybe the priest was just having a bad day, as if my frustration was based on a single episode. And at that point it’s hard to argue without sounding defensive, even though I know what was in my own heart. Then I came across my own post on this exact topic from months ago. Maybe many who have joined the NSS ranks recently haven’t seen it since it’s buried behind many other posts. So here it is again, a reminder that what I’ve been talking about these past weeks isn’t new, isn’t isolated, and has been on the pope’s radar screen since the beginning of his papacy. Here you go: Read more

Did Pope Francis read my blog post?

Yeah, hey, so guess what? I’m not the only one who has issues with bad homilies. Turns out Pope Francis feels the same way. And he gets applause when he talks about it! Have I mentioned yet today — this hour — that I love our pope? Yeah, I thought so. Check out what CNS tweeted today about Pope Francis’ comment on this very same issue.

From Eagle’s Wings to Agnus Dei

When we got into our, um, conversation last week about good vs. bad liturgy, people from both sides of the spectrum chimed in with what they thought would be the remedy, and I appreciate that, I really do, but I’m not looking to go to any “extreme.” In fact, I’m actually quite happy b0uncing back and forth between contemporary and classic, progressive and traditional. It was never a matter of needing one type of perfect liturgy or a perfect liturgical element but rather a matter of just wanting to participate in Mass and feel like I was getting what I need to deepen my relationship with God. I happen to be one of those people who can get that equally well from the often-dreaded “On Eagle’s Wings” or the old-school Latin “Agnus Dei.” In fact, I prefer a blend, which is precisely my problem. Again. I don’t fit into anyone’s “camp.” Read more

Now that I have your attention…

Although I can’t respond to every blog response to my “Losing My Religion”  and subsequent posts, I do want to include the comment I left over on OSV Daily Take this morning because this is my former blog home and because OSV is still family to me. I feel I owe it to them to be sure people see that post and my response to it.  Read more

“Reckless and harmful.” Who me?

“I want to tell you something. What is it that I expect as a consequence of World Youth Day? I want a mess. We knew that in Rio there would be great disorder, but I want trouble in the dioceses! I want to see the church get closer to the people. I want to get rid of clericalism, the mundane, this closing ourselves off within ourselves, in our parishes, schools or structures. Because these need to get out!” — Pope Francis said at World Youth Day, ending his talk with an off-the-cuff-remark reported by AP, “Don’t forget: make trouble.”

And so I am. Consider it tough love. Really, that above quote, and perhaps the reminder that Jesus himself turned over tables in the temple, are all I need to continue saying what I’m saying without fear and without doubt. Read more

Words matter. The Word matters. Especially at Mass.

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came to be through him, and without him nothing came to be. What came to be through him was life, and this life was the light of the human race; the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” – John 1:1-5

Over and over yesterday, in response to my “Losing My Religion” post, many people tried to convince me that a bad liturgy shouldn’t matter all that much in my faith life. Some who don’t know me very well — or at all — assumed (wrongly) that one or two bad homilies had sent me running. All that matters is the Eucharist, they said. And, I’ll give you this, the only reason I stayed seated in that church this weekend is because of the Eucharist. I would have been out the door before the homily was even close to over if not for that, but are we really going to pretend that the Word doesn’t matter? Because it does. Read more

Losing my religion…

Oh, no I’ve said too much. I haven’t said enough…

I almost walked out of Mass in the middle last night. Seriously. And I was not in my own parish so don’t try to figure out where I was. But it doesn’t really matter where I was because, from what I can tell, what I experienced yesterday is a universal problem, as in Universal Church. Read more