Weekly Musings from the Priest Administrator
Saint James Church, St. Augustine, FL
A Catholic Community of the Personal Ordinariate
of the Chair of Saint Peter
Sts. Januarius, Theodore of Canterbury, and Adrian
We have a trifecta of saints on today's Ordo Kalendar, as well as it being an Ember Wednesday (Ordinariate observance) and the most holy day of the year for observant Jews, Yom Kippur. In the past I've always tried to make one of the two High Day services at a local synagogue, the other one being the Jewish New Year, or Rosh haShana, actually the biblical Feast of Trumpets (Shofars). The order of service for Yom Kippur is particularly moving as the congregation asks forgiveness from the Lord for all sorts of sins - pride, arrogance, contempt, etc. Gee, sort of sounds like our congressional Senate process during the (mis-)handling of the Kavanaugh SCOTUS confirmation hearings. And now the ugly accusations of criminal sexual assault against the nominee from three and a half decades ago. I don't if anybody really knows what occurred at the alleged scene of the crime (including those who were there), since there seems to be a decent chance that EVERYBODY in the room was in some state of inebriation, including the accuser. Something would appear to have occurred, but had we been flies on the wall maybe we might have made sense of it all. Or maybe not. It's just really unfortunate that behind all of the posturing and accusing there are agendas abounding on all sides of the equation. Honest, forthright and dispassionate consultations for the common good have NOT characterized congressional behaviors for a long time, as all sides seek their own - often personal - advantage. There are awesome perks to being a senator in this country, and the lust for position and power is probably the most awful sin rampant throughout our constitutional government. The Founders warned of such things (Constitution Day was this past Monday, BTW), emphasizing that a society such as they were attempting to foster could only succeed if spiritual and human values overruled otherwise wayward, base instincts. Well, I wonder what they're thinking now as they observe us from beyond the veil. Oy!
All right, enough venting of that sort. I did have to get it out, though, and I am also attaching my October "Spiritually Speaking" column for the St. Augustine and Beaches News Journal that addresses the "Fine Art of Apology" in general terms. The current political frenzy is just a backdrop for our nation as a whole, and wounds and hurts are inevitable as people jostle for "theirs". Somewhere along the line we all have to learn to say, "I'm sorry", as none of us are perfect. And maybe Yom Kippur is a good day for even Gentile Christians to learn how to start.
AND NOW TO MUCH HAPPIER THOUGHTS! I AM FIRST ATTACHING ANOTHER ITEM, A PHOTOGRAPH OF DEACON PHILIP'S NEW BABY DAUGHTER, ANNE MARIE IMMACULATA MAYER, BEING HELD BY ONE OF HER TWO OLDER BROTHERS! Everyone in the family had wanted a baby girl, and the Lord came through! We rejoice with Deacon Philip and Melissa, and as fate would have it, she was born right on or around Rosh haShana! What a way to start a New Year.
A couple last items and I must close. First, please don't forget to continue to pray for Barbara Smith as she makes her "European Swing" through Scotland, Bavaria, Budapest, and I think Prague. She will be returning on the 29th - Feast of St. Michael, Gabriel and Raphael, Archangels - and will be back at Mass on the 30th. We will have our end of month reception in the rectory after Mass that day, and Barbara will doubtless have interesting stories to tell. Please plan on coming out for that occasion.
And tomorrow evening (Thursday, 9/20) at 5:30 p.m. we will meet again for our "James Gang Hour of Power", our Study and Prayer Sodality, which will end promptly at 6:30 p.m. We have decided to utilize the study portion of the hour, at least initially, by reviewing the whole concept of a liturgical "Collect", and with our study editions of the Divine Worship Missal we'll look at quite a few of them and discuss their application to our lives. With prayer, of course, to follow. So please come on out and be a part of this great opportunity for fellowship and spiritual growth.
That's it! God bless and love you all!
Fr. Nicholas A. Marziani, Jr., D.Min.