Saturday, January 25, 2014

From the Rev. Ronald Check: Catechesis on Reception of Holy Communion

Question: Can a person receive Holy Communion twice in one day?

Answer: One of the significant changes for the faithful in the Code of Canon Law which was promulgated in 1983 was the permission to receive Holy Communion more than once per day. In the past the law set certain conditions, such as participation in a funeral, marriage or ordination Mass. The new canon, however, simply states,

c.917 “A person who has received the Most Holy Eucharist may receive it again (iterum) on the same day only during the celebration of the Eucharist in which the person participates, with due regard for the prescription of can. 921, part 2.”

What it is saying is that if one attends a Mass after receiving Holy Communion previously that day, one may receive it again. If it is not a Mass, but a Communion Service for example, one may not receive again.

However, since the Church encourages the full participation of the laity in the Masses they attend, including Holy Communion (if they are worthy), the question arose whether this canon might not permit Holy Communion in any Mass, regardless of the number of times one attended per day. After numerous bishops asked this question of the Holy See, the Pontifical Commission for the Authentic Interpretation of Legislative texts gave the following authentic interpretation, approved by Pope John Paul II:

Doubt: Whether, according to Canon 917, one who has already received the Most Holy Eucharist may receive it again on the same day only a second time, or as often as one participates in the celebration of the Eucharist.

Response: Affirmative to the first; negative to the second. [AAS76, (1984) 746] 9

In the accompanying commentary it was explained that the meaning of again (iterum) was to allow a second time, but not a third, fourth etc... The exception to this is the one given in the law itself, Canon 921, 2. “Even if they have received Communion in the same day, those who are in danger of death are strongly urged to receive again.”

Thus, Communion given as Viaticum may be received at any time.

One final note, this law applies to Latin Rite Catholics. In the Eastern Catholic Churches the practice of frequent daily Divine Liturgy (Mass) is not found, and so the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches is silent on this matter.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

From the Rev. Ronald Check: Catechesis on Purgatory

“How do you know that Masses will take souls out of Purgatory?”

The Council of Trent, which quotes the teaching of the early Church Fathers and all of the ancient liturgies, both Eastern and Western, says that “the Mass is a propitiatory sacrifice for the living and the dead, and that the souls in Purgatory are helped by the suffrages of the faithful, but chiefly by the acceptable Sacrifice of the Altar.” (cf. Sess. XXV; Sess. VI, Can. 30; Sess. XII, Ch. 2, Can. 3)  Tertullian writes in the beginning of the third century: “We make on one day every year oblations for the dead, as for their birthdays.”   In another place, he writes: “The faithful widow prays for the soul of her husband, and begs for him in the interim refreshment, and in the first resurrection companionship, and offers on the anniversary day of his death.” Saint Augustine writes, quoting his Mother Saint Monica, “Lay this body anywhere; let not the care of it in any way disturb you; this only I ask of you, that you should remember me at the altar of the Lord, wherever you may be.”  The current Catechism of the Catholic Church says, that Purgatory is “a state of final purification after death and before entrance into heaven for those who died in God’s friendship, but were only imperfectly purified; a final cleansing of human imperfection before one is able to enter the joy of heaven.”  Even the Eastern Churches, while note calling it “Purgatory” admit of the need for and the possibility of a state of progressive purification that takes place after death in order to prepare the soul to enter into the presence of God.  The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is the greatest act of glory to God, the greatest merits for our redemption and salvation were obtained on Calvary, no greater means exists.  Our Lord has performed the greatest act of Love and the Mercy that he obtained for us on Calvary is dispensed to us through the Holy Mass.   Let us pray to God not only for ourselves, that we may share in these graces, but that these graces may be applied to souls of all the faithful departed for their purification.  May the Holy mass inspire within all of us a greater love of God and hence also a deeper friendship.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

From the Rev. Ronald Check: Catechesis on the Family

“Marriage is the nursery of Christianity, which supplies the earth with faithful souls to fill up the number of the elect in heaven.” --Saint Francis DeSales

Marriage is an original gift from God to humanity. Although sin entered the world damaging the marital relationship, this gift was not lost but redeemed by Christ and raised to a sacrament (see Eph. 5:28-32; see also Matt. 19:4-6). Sacred Scripture proclaims that God created humanity in “His image”as “male and female” (see Gen. 1:27). So unique is this relationship that the marital union makes of the husband and wife “one flesh” (Gen. 2:24). Procreation, Scripture teaches, is a gift from God (Gen. 1:28). When spouses conceive new life, they participate in the Lord God’s creative power. This is an awesome privilege and sacred responsibility!

Prayer In Defense Of Marriage

God our Father, we give you thanks for the gift of marriage: the bond of life and love, and the font of the family. The love of husband and wife enriches your Church with children, fills the world with a multitude of spiritual fruitfulness and service, and is the sign of the love of your Son, Jesus Christ, for his Church. The grace of Jesus flowed forth at Cana at the request of the Blessed Mother. May your Son, through the intercession of Mary, pour out upon us a new measure of the Gifts of the Holy Spirit as we join with all people of good will to promote and protect the unique beauty of marriage.

May your Holy Spirit enlighten our society to treasure the heroic love of husband and wife, and guide our leaders to sustain and protect the singular place of mothers and fathers in the lives of their children. Father, we ask that our prayers be joined to those of the Virgin Mary, that your Word may transform our service so as to safeguard the incomparable splendor of marriage.

We ask all these things through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Saints Joachim and Anne, pray for us.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

From the Rev. Ronald Check: Litany of the Most Holy Name of Jesus

V. Lord, have mercy on us.
     R. Christ, have mercy on us.
V. Lord, have mercy on us. Jesus, hear us.
     R. Jesus, graciously hear us.
V. God the Father of Heaven
     R. Have mercy on us.
V. God the Son, Redeemer of the world,
     R. Have mercy on us.
V. God the Holy Spirit,
     R. Have mercy on us.
V. Holy Trinity, one God,
     R. Have mercy on us.

V. Jesus, Son of the living God, 
     R. Have mercy on us.
V. Jesus, splendor of the Father,
     R. Have mercy on us.
V. Jesus, brightness of eternal light,
     R. [etc.]
V. Jesus, King of glory.
V. Jesus, sun of justice.
V. Jesus, Son of the Virgin Mary.
V. Jesus, most amiable.
V. Jesus, most admirable.
V. Jesus, the mighty God.
V. Jesus, Father of the world to come.
V. Jesus, angel of great counsel.
V. Jesus, most powerful.
V. Jesus, most patient.
V. Jesus, most obedient.
V. Jesus, meek and humble of heart.
V. Jesus, lover of chastity.
V. Jesus, lover of us.
V. Jesus, God of peace.
V. Jesus, author of life.
V. Jesus, example of virtues.
V. Jesus, zealous lover of souls.
V. Jesus, our God.
V. Jesus, our refuge.
V. Jesus, father of the poor.
V. Jesus, treasure of the faithful.
V. Jesus, good Shepherd.
V. Jesus, true light.
V. Jesus, eternal wisdom.
V. Jesus, infinite goodness.
V. Jesus, our way and our life.
V. Jesus, joy of Angels.
V. Jesus, King of the Patriarchs.
V. Jesus, Master of the Apostles.
V. Jesus, teacher of the Evangelists.
V. Jesus, strength of Martyrs.
V. Jesus, light of Confessors.
V. Jesus, purity of Virgins.
V. Jesus, crown of Saints. 

V. Be merciful.
     R. Spare us, O Jesus.
V. Be merciful.
     R. Graciously hear us, O Jesus.
V. From all evil
     R. deliver us, O Jesus.

V. From all sin, 
     R. deliver us, O Jesus.
V. From Your wrath, 
     R. [etc.]
V. From the snares of the devil.
V. From the spirit of fornication.
V. From everlasting death.
V. From the neglect of Your inspirations.
V. By the mystery of Your holy Incarnation.
V. By Your Nativity.
V. By Your Infancy.
V. By Your most divine Life.
V. By Your labors.
V. By Your agony and passion.
V. By Your cross and dereliction.
V. By Your sufferings.
V. By Your death and burial.
V. By Your Resurrection.
V. By Your Ascension.
V. By Your institution of the most Holy Eucharist.
V. By Your joys.
V. By Your glory. 

V. Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world,
     R. spare us, O Jesus.
V. Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world,
     R. graciously hear us, O Jesus.
V. Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world,
     R. have mercy on us, O Jesus.
V. Jesus, hear us.
     R. Jesus, graciously hear us.

Let us pray. O Lord Jesus Christ, You have said, “Ask and you shall receive, seek, and you shall find, knock, and it shall be opened to you.” Grant, we beg of You, to us who ask it, the gift of Your most divine love, that we may ever love You with our whole heart, in word and deed, and never cease praising You. Give us, O Lord, as much a lasting fear as a lasting love of Your Holy Name, for You, who live and are King for ever and ever, never fail to govern those whom You have solidly established in Your love. R. Amen.