All posts tagged: praise

The Patron Saint of Suspicion

Does this title actually mean anything? I have my suspicions, and perhaps you do too, but we will have to put them on hold for now, laying aside a hermeneutic of suspicion—which, after all, is never to be applied to the one making claim to it—and replace it with a hermeneutic of trust, until the appropriate time. I am actually going to discuss the meaning of life. Yes, I am actually going to reveal the meaning of life, in a simple, declaratory sentence, without any admission fee, tuition, or other compensation. Perhaps you are suspicious of that claim! Both the claim that I can reveal the meaning of life in one simple sentence, and also the claim that I am doing it for no compensation at all. Perhaps you are thinking, true, he is not charging admission or looking to be paid, but perhaps he is hoping we will praise him, clap for him, cheer and acclaim him for such an accomplishment. After all, just as it is not every lecture series that is an …

The Politics of the Saints

Next week, the endless campaign will finally be over. At some point on Tuesday, November 8 (or early on November 9th), it’s likely that the United States will have a new President. While many will celebrate the election of whichever candidate becomes President, many Americans (especially during this polarizing election) will walk away dispirited. They will wonder to themselves: is this the best that our body politic can offer? Is this campaign the denouement of our Republic or at least of my particular political party? Will the unity that I desire, the domestic peace that I hope for, ever come? Such questions are not simply representative of the naive hopes of those who long for some political utopia. This desire for true peace, true righteousness, true justice, is written upon the human heart. Our disappointment in politics as normal is not evidence that we are inadequate realists; that we have fallen prey to Angelism, seeing the human being existing outside of the realm of sin and death. It’s that we are made for something more than …

An Invitation to Vespers

Each month, a small group of people gathers in the Chapel of Our Lady of Mercy in Geddes Hall to pray Vespers, the evening prayer of the Church. We sing a hymn, we chant the psalms, we hear the words of Scripture, we listen to a homily offered by a member of the Notre Dame community, we offer intercessions for different needs, we celebrate the liturgical cycle of feasts and seasons—in short, we step away from the demands of academia and work in order to enter intentionally into the life and prayer of the Church. The structure of Vespers itself never varies: greeting, hymn, psalms and/or canticles, reading, homily, responsory, Magnificat, intercessions, Lord’s Prayer, closing collect, dismissal, sign of peace. The whole thing takes thirty minutes, tops. The experience of Vespers, though, is different every time we gather. The psalms, antiphons, and readings change. The homilist changes, providing a new person’s perspective as he or she reflects on the Scriptures. The feasts and seasons change: right now, sunlight still fills the chapel when we pray, …

The Mass for Millennials: Doxology and Amen

Every Eucharistic Prayer concludes with the Doxology and the Great Amen. In this solemn, powerful moment, the presider holds aloft Jesus himself, truly present in the Eucharistic species, and proclaims: Through him, and with him, and in him, O God, almighty Father, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, all glory and honor is yours, for ever and ever. Jeremy Driscoll, OSB beautifully summarizes this liturgical action thus: In that moment the Church is doing what Christ did and forever does: she offers his one body, to which she has been joined [by the power of the Holy Spirit], to the Father for the glory of his name and for the salvation of the world. This is our communion in the sacrifice of Christ. This is perfect praise. (What Happens at Mass, 106) Doxology. Perfect praise. In this moment of the liturgy, through our union with Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit, we are restored to our original vocation of the homo adorans, the priestly creatures whose vocation has always been and will …