Christmas Reflections | December 25, 2018

Luke 2:14: Gloria in altissimis Deo, et in terra pax hominibus voluntatis; Glory to God in the highest; and on earth peace to men of good will.

John 1:14: Et Verbum caro factum est, et habitavit in nobis; And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us.

Christmas 2018

Dear Friends,

To you and all your loved ones, I extend my best wishes for a Merry Christmas and a Blessed New Year. If you are reading this column during for the first time I offer you a cordial welcome and hope that you will return often. Christmas is a good time to begin a year built on the firm foundation of participation in the sacred mysteries of our faith and to become active in the church.

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Reflections | Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary – Saturday, December 8th, 2018

Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary – Saturday, December 8th, 2018

Tota pulchra es, Maria, et macula originalis non est in te. Tu gloria Jerusalem, tu laetitia Israel, tu honorificentia populi nostri; You are all beautiful, Mary, and the original stain (of sin) is not in you. You are the glory of Jerusalem, you are the joy of Israel, you give honor to our people.

On the eve of this Solemnity, exactly seventy-seven years ago, the Empire of Japan bombed Pearl Harbor. The next day, President Roosevelt announced that we were at war. He spoke of “the day that will live in infamy.” Thus began our participation in the sad events of World War II, which had already begun in Europe in 1939. We would be at war until the defeat of Japan on August 15, 1945. A whole generation, and indirectly those after, would be formed by these tragic years of war.

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Advent Reflections | The First Sunday of Advent – Sunday, December 2, 2018

Right is right even if no one is doing it. Wrong is wrong even if everyone is doing it.

The First Sunday of Advent – Sunday, December 2, 2018

Romans 13:14 Abjiciamus ergo opera tenebrarum, et induamur arma lucis; Let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and put on the armor of light.
Luke 21:33 Coelum et terra transibunt; verba autem mea non transibunt: Heaven and earth shall pass away: but My words shall not pass away.

Dear Friends,

At the urging of the Traditional Latin Mass Society of San Francisco, I have agreed to write occasional reflections.

On the first Sunday of Advent the Church begins a new Church year. Once again we begin to come in contact with the central mysteries of our faith. Actually we are invited to respond in faith to God, who lives and loves. We are drawn into His Being. This is not done in a merely nostalgic way, nor in a way that merely recalls events of long past. No, the Church believes that in its Sacred Liturgy what happened then happens now.

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Chaplain’s Corner | 5th Sunday after Pentecost (July 9, 2017)

We express our gratitude to Fr. Joseph Previtali, who has written extensively for our blog’s Chaplain’s Corner since the beginning of the Traditional Latin Mass Society of San Francisco way back in 2013. Fr. Previtali is departing to Rome for a new assignment and has indicated to us the need for him to step aside as the Assistant Chaplain. We are thus grateful to the recently-ordained, Fr. Alvin Yu, who has agreed to step up to be our new Assistant Chaplain, thus continuing the work begun by Fr. Previtali.

We are now therefore pleased to share Fr. Alvin Yu’s first Chaplain’s Corner article for the 5th Sunday after Pentecost:

“If you are offering your gift at the altar, and there remember that your brother has anything against you, leave your gift before the altar and go first to be reconciled to your brother; and then come and offer your gift.”

In our Gospel from St. Matthew for this 5th Sunday after Pentecost, we learn how our love of God and our love of neighbor are not two things that are separate, exclusive and distinct from one another. First of all, our love of God is something that must flow into a love of neighbor and even our enemies. This is after all what our Lord commanded us to do in the New Commandment, “To love one another as I have love you.” If we love God, than we must also love those who God loves.

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Chaplain’s Corner | June 25, 2017

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In this Month of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, we especially contemplate Jesus’s great Love for us, which is symbolized by His Heart, opened for us as He slept the death of the Cross. We are moved by His Love for us. We are struck by this beautiful surprise in this dark world, that our God is Love, that He cares for us! We can even say that He thirsts for us, as He says on the Cross, “I thirst.”

Jesus’s thirst for us is His desire for our souls. It is a spiritual thirst for our love, as He says, “My son, give me your heart.” Jesus’s thirst for us creates in us a thirst for Him, a hunger for Him. This hunger and thirst can be satisfied only in the Eucharist, in which He feeds us with His very self, answering all our needs, as the Scriptures say. Jesus hungers for me, which creates in me a hunger for Him, which can only be fulfilled in the charity-filled reception of the Holy Eucharist. Thus, our devotion to the Sacred Heart leads us to hunger and thirst for Him, for His Love, for His Hunger and Thirst.

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Chaplain’s Corner | Trinity Sunday – June 11, 2017

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The Octave of Pentecost is one of my favorite times of the liturgical year. During the past week, the Church has been relishing the Gift of the Divine Holy Spirit. The Church has been reflecting on the marvel and power of this Gift, Who is our Consoler and Strength. Here in Half Moon Bay, where I live, we even have the beautiful Portuguese Holy Ghost Festival to celebrate His descent upon Mary, the Apostles, the disciples, and the whole Church. How blessed we are!

The Gift of the Holy Spirit makes us immediately aware of the mystery of the Blessed Trinity. St. Paul writes: “For those who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you received a spirit of adoption, through which we cry, “Abba, Father!” The Spirit itself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God.” The Gift of the Holy Spirit makes us one with God the Son in His Sacred Humanity, through which we have access in one Spirit to the Father!

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Chaplain’s Corner | 2nd Sunday after Easter / Good Shepherd Sunday – April 30, 2017

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In today’s Gospel in the traditional Roman Liturgy, we meditate on the beautiful Easter figure of Jesus as the Good Shepherd, Who lays down His life for His sheep and Who has power to take up His life again. We marvel at the humility of the Shepherd Who became a Lamb, bleeding for the salvation of the sheep who had gone astray. We can never meditate enough on this solemn doctrine: that our Shepherd has loved us before we were good sheep, that while we were yet sinners He died for us.

The image of the Shepherd with His sheep comes to life if one studies the life of shepherds, so common in Jesus’s culture. I had occasion once to read a meditation on Psalm 22 from a Basque shepherd in Nevada. Among the fascinating details revealed in the shepherd’s simple work, I was most struck by the fact that each sheep personally checks in with the shepherd two times each day.

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Chaplain’s Corner | Palm Sunday – April 9, 2017

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Today the Church enters the most solemn week of her liturgical year. During Holy Week, we accompany Jesus Christ in His Passion and Death, which finally bear fruit in His most sacred Resurrection. We are not mere bystanders at these events, but they enter into our souls to the extent that we open ourselves to them.

The Sacred Liturgy is our teacher in the spirituality of Holy Week. On Palm Sunday, we welcome with joy into our hearts Jesus Christ our King, so that we might be filled with the hope of entering one day into the New and Heavenly Jerusalem, following where our Head has gone before us.

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Chaplain’s Corner | Last Sunday after Pentecost (November 20, 2016)

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On this final Sunday of the liturgical year, the Church turns her mind and heart to the contemplation of the end of the world. Here she accepts the teaching of Jesus that the world as we know it is passing away, that here we have no lasting city, but seek a home that is yet to come. She confesses her faith in the Last One, Who is the Lord of the Last Things, Who will come again to our earth.

At His Second Coming, our traditional Gospel today teaches us, the Lord will come openly and in glory, with the sign of His Cross in the sky for all to behold. He will come again not in the weakness and poverty of His Sacred Nativity in the manger of Bethlehem, but in the regal victory of His Resurrection and Ascension. He will come not to save us – He has done that already – but to judge us, consummating His beautiful work of salvation. In His First Coming, He came to sow; at the end of time, He comes to gather.

We have a tendency to fear the Second Coming of Jesus. For one, we know our sinfulness and how unworthy in ourselves we are of His Mercy. For another, we are attached to the pleasures of this life and wish not to lose them. The conquering of these fears is the blessed work of Jesus’s coming into our hearts by grace, which applies to us the salvation He won for us in His First Coming, so that we can be eager for His Second Coming.

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Chaplain’s Corner | October 23, 2016

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Beginning on October 31 with All Hallows’ Eve, the Church celebrates on November 1 the solemn feast of All Saints. In the month of November, the last month of the liturgical year, the Church turns her gaze to the Last Things. She delights to begin this annual month-long meditation with the superabundant glory of the feast of all the sanctity that has been communicated to angels and men.

The feast of All Saints is deeply encouraging. It teaches us that holiness is for everyone, in every state and walk of life. Contemplating all the saints, we are encouraged to learn that heroic virtue and perfect divine love are possible for us in the concrete details of our lives. We discover with joy that there are pope saints, bishop saints, priest saints, deacon saints, religious saints, married saints, widow saints, single saints; there are children saints, elderly saints, penitent saints, royal saints, wealthy saints, poor saints; there are saints of every temperament, occupation, race, language, land, nation, and time. Our celebration is a veritable symphony of sanctity!

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