Peace, but not as the world gives…

I didn’t want to let another week pass without commenting on a blog entry entitled The Sign of Peace – theory and practice by my favourite Australian monk over at Dominus Mihi Adjutor.

He opens the blog entry describing some of the awkwardness that routinely arises at the“Sign of Peace” in a typical parish.

For those unfamiliar with this moment of the Mass, it is when members of the congregation are encouraged to give “a sign of peace” to one another, usually in the form of a handshake, or sometimes a kiss or hug for family members or close friends.  This takes place shortly before receiving communion, with the priest saying:

Priest: Lord Jesus Christ, you said to your apostles: “I leave you peace, my peace I give you”.  Look not on our sins, but on the faith of your Church, and grant us the peace and unity of your kingdom where you live for ever and ever.

All: Amen.

Priest: The Peace of the Lord be with you always.

All: And also with you.

Deacon or Priest: Let us offer each other a sign of peace…

[Sign of Peace]

All: Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world, have mercy on us…

As Fr. Hugh mentions, the Sign of Peace is actually an optional part of the Mass and I quite often go to a Mass here in San Diego where the priest omits it entirely which some people love and others hate. The Byzantine Rite parish I visit whenever I can has no general Sign of Peace.

Fr. Hugh traces the development of the Sign of Peace from New Testament times through the early centuries and into the modern Church.  He argues that the Sign of Peace which takes place in most parishes today doesn’t really fulfill its intended liturgical purpose and is often more of a disturbance than anything else.

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Friday Frivolity: The Wedding

A friend from back home recently got engaged so I thought that Holy Matrimony should be the topic of this week’s Friday Frivolity…

Rowan Atkinson from “Four Weddings and a Funeral”

Carried to the Table

Today I’d like to share a few thoughts about one of the lesser-known stories about my Biblical namesake, arguably the greatest king in Israel’s history, David.

Hail to the King, baby!

In the eighth chapter of Second Samuel, we are told of David’s great military victories and the tribute brought to him by other kings. David had clearly “made it”: his Kingship was secure, Israel was safe and the Ark of the Covenant had been brought back to Jerusalem where it belonged.

Personally, I would have expected that it would be time for David to put up his feet and enjoy some of the benefits that came from being king. However, what follows in 2 Samuel 9 is something rather different:

“David asked, ‘Is there anyone still left of the house of Saul to whom I can show kindness for Jonathan’s sake?’  …Is there no one still left…to whom I can show God’s kindness?” – 2 Samuel 9:1, 3

What a reaction! Rather than simply indulging himself, David looks to use his wealth and power to bless others!

Background: Biblical Homeboy

To understand the meaning behind David’s question, we must look a little further back in events recorded in the books of 1 & 2 Samuel. The “Jonathan” David referred to above, was son of the “Saul” he mentions, the same Saul who was the former king of Israel (1 Samuel 10:24). Because of Saul’s disobedience, God rejected him as king (1 Samuel 15:23), choosing the shepherd boy, David, to be his successor (1 Samuel 16:13).  Despite Saul’s jealousy (1 Samuel 18), Jonathan and David were extremely close friends, even from their first meeting:

“Jonathan became one in spirit with David, and he loved him as himself… And Jonathan made a covenant with David… Jonathan took off the robe he was wearing and gave it to David, along with his tunic, and even his sword, his bow and his belt” – 1 Samuel 18:1-4

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New Year Resolutions

Well, it’s a new year, which means it’s time for New Year Resolutions.  Here are those available for public consumption:

1. Spend 30 minutes every day in Scripture: Commentaries and spiritual reading don’t count

2. More dancing: 2010 was an utter failure on that front

3. No more rushing: Stop trying to pack too much into a day

4. No chocolate: This is going to be a toughie… (Note: doesn’t include hot chocolate!) This exception has been viewed as “cheating” by most of my friends and has therefore been dropped.

5. Get into the best shape of my life: I’m in my 30’s now ya know…

6. At least five minutes of guitar practice every day: Gotta get better…

7. Keep proper track of my finances: Even if it is really, really boring…

8. Get back to England for a couple of weeks: It’s about time…


Sunday Lectionary: Home by another way…

For western Christians, today is the “Feast of The Epiphany” where we commemorate the visitation of the Magi:

“After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, ‘Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.’

When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him…

… On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.  And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route– Matthew 2:1-12

Since the earliest times the appearance of the Magi has been interpreted by Christians as speaking of the universal nature of the God’s Kingdom and a foreshadowing of the incorporation of the gentiles into the promises of Israel.

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2010 in review

The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads This blog is on fire!

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

A Boeing 747-400 passenger jet can hold 416 passengers. This blog was viewed about 3,100 times in 2010. That’s about 7 full 747s.

In 2010, there were 59 new posts, not bad for the first year! There were 126 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 7mb. That’s about 2 pictures per week.

The busiest day of the year was December 6th with 107 views. The most popular post that day was Daughters Of The King.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were facebook.com, forums.catholic.com, realtimeunited.wordpress.com, newcatholicblogs.blogspot.com, and fathersofthechurch.com.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for jesus, restless pilgrim, this restless pilgrim, st. ignatius of antioch, and daughters of the king san diego.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.

1

Daughters Of The King December 2010
1 Like on WordPress.com,

2

Sunday Lectionary: The Hippo Gospel July 2010
1 comment

3

Top Ten, All Time, Catholic Pick-Up Lines July 2010
2 comments

4

About Me August 2010

5

Who’s your daddy? St. Ignatius of Antioch July 2010
4 comments

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