From The Font
“The outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is so great, and their sin so grave, that I must go down and see whether or not their actions fully correspond to the cry against them that comes to me.”
The sin of Sodom and Gomorrah was sodomy. It is one of the four sins in the Old Testament which “cry to Heaven for vengeance.” The others are murder (c.f. Gen 4:10), oppression of the poor (c.f. Ex 2:23), and depriving a worker of his just wages. This list was compiled by early Jewish scholars even before King David came to the throne. The sin of Sodom has, in every culture, been seen as contrary to nature and, for that reason, contrary to the will of God who created that nature. What’s more, in most ancient cultures, from Greece to Rome to Assyria, the rise of the acceptance of sodomy in society is closely linked with the fall of the society as a whole. While there have always been deviants at every moment in every human society and while sin is sin - it’s part of our human nature, societies which accept the sin of sodomy as normal are societies in decline. That was true of Rome; it was true of Greece; it was true of Renaissance Europe and it would seem to be true of our own modern American culture.
Ser Winston Churchill managed to hit the nail on the head when he said that “the greatest threat to national security is the loss of a national moral sense.” It’s a profound statement read in light of our history and culture.
Some modern thinkers and even some supposedly Catholic thinkers (and tragically some priests) have tried to argue that the sin of Sodom was something other than sodomy - which is one of the most absurd intellectual efforts I’ve ever seen. While the Lord does not condemn anyone who experiences perverse temptations or desires - again, that’s our human nature - those who indulge in those desires without real and lasting repentance condemn themselves. That’s what sin is, after all. And the sin of sodomy is especially offensive the Lord as we see it mentioned in various degrees of specificity nearly one hundred times in the Bible. We ought to pray for those tempted in this way and ask the Lord to deliver us all from temptation of all sorts!
Thoughts from Fr. Ryan
As I mentioned a few weeks ago, our Altar Rail has been restored.
Altar Rails were in use in the Church about 1200 years before pews showed up on the scene. They are ubiquitous in country churches, grand cathedrals, monastery chapels and even the private oratories of royal families and popes. The rail has an architectural \ symbolic purpose, a theological meaning and several practical advantages.
Symbolically, rails separate. The sanctuary is meant to symbolize Heaven where the saints eternally praise “the Lamb who was Slain and yet Lives” (c.f. Rev 1, 3, 5-7, 8, 11, 12). The Nave - where the faithful gather - symbolizes this world where we try to orient ourselves toward heaven. The rail is the firm reminder of the veil which separates this world from that and which was torn in two upon the death of the Lord Jesus (c.f. Mt 27:51). When we approach for Holy Communion, that veil is lifted for a moment when we receive the Lord of Heaven into our earthly bodies.
Theologically, the rail also identifies the fundamental difference between the laity and the priesthood. While the priest is no better a person, not morally superior, not intellectually superior, not “better” in any human way, he is “configured” to Christ the Head (Christus Capitis) of the Church. As such, his proper place - theologically - is in the sanctuary and he is bound there by his nature as an ordained priest. The rail locks him in, so to speak, and identifies the separation between the clergy and the laity which is a real separation and not merely an “accidental” one.
Practically, the rail manages to make Holy Communion faster while also giving each person more time to prepare and to give thanks and, all the while, making it less likely that anyone will steal the host - accidentally or on purpose.
Approaching in a line or queue means that each communicant takes as much as five or six seconds. Two lines may speed that up, but not all that much. In the line, everyone is constantly moving in little steps and so no one can pause and reflect or prepare. And then, when you finally get to the front, you have to rush to make a sign of reverence, answer the dialogue, receive, usher kids, and get out of the way for others. Nothing in that process encourages reverence. At the rail, though, the priest moves rather than the line. So each person walks several steps forward in line and then waits for a place at the rail. When a place opens, they go and have as much as a minute to pray and prepare. After receiving, they can take a moment for thanks and then move reverently back to the pew. Even with the line for the chalice at each side, the whole process is smoother and the entire process of Holy Communion should be noticeably shorter.
TO BE CLEAR, in the United States, you can receive Holy Communion on the tongue (preferred) or in the hand. You can do so standing or kneeling. Nothing about the use of an altar changes any of that. You are free to receive as is your right. All that will change next weekend is the flow of the line and the location of each individual’s Holy Communion.
Calendar of Events
- Confessions every Fri & Sat from 5p until Mass at 5:30p and on Sun from 9a until 9:30a Mass
- Pastoral Council meeting monthly on the third Tuesday after the 5:30p Mass
- Sunday Morning Catechism in the Hall after the 9:30a Mass unless otherwise indicated
- August 2 First Friday Devotions to the Sacred Heart of Jesus - 5:30 p.m.
- August 3 First Saturday Devotions to our Blessed Mother - Mass and Holy Hour - 8:30 a.m.
For Your Information:
Our Return to the Lord
- Weekly Budget FY 2019-20 $2,111
- June Budget $9,585
- June Income $8,808
- June Expenses $8,817
- July Budget $8,444
- Collection July 20/21 $1,157
- July Income to Date $6,037
Stewardship Jesus is describing God’s immeasurable generosity whenHe says intoday’s Gospel,”Whoever asks, receives; whoever seeks, finds; whoever knocks, is admitted.” But it should also be the description of us as Christian stewards--those seeking to follow Christ by using our gifts in service to others.
Mass Schedule & Intentions for the Coming Week
- Sat 6:00p In memory of SeSe and Racer Holstead for wedding anniversary/family
- Sun 9:00a Pro Populo for the Living & Deceased members of our Parish
- Mon NO MASS
- Tue NO MASS as Father Ryan will be away
- Wed NO MASS as Father Ryan will be away
- Thu NO MASS as Father Ryan will be away
- Fri 5:30p In memory of Joseph Testa/family
- Sat 6:00p In memory of Charlie Phillips (for Aug )/family
- Sun 9:00a Pro Populo for the Living & Dead members of our Parish Family
- ALTAR CANDLES this week are burning for the special intentions of Margo Corulla
Assistants at Holy Mass
- 7/27 6:00p
- Lector: P Wilks
- EMHCs: C VanderVieren & L Bullard
- 7/28 9:00a
- Servers: C Sullivan & M Wood
- Lector: D Ellerbee
- EMHCs: B Smith & K Collins
- 8/3 6:00p
- Lector: A Farlow
- EMHCs: MA Gilfoil & A Keene
- 8/4 9:00a
- Servers: P Collins & H Ellerbee
- Lector: A Oliver
- EMHCs: N & M Ernst
- 8/19 6:00p
- Lector: L Bullard
- EMHCs: P & M Gilfoil
- 8/11 9:00a
- Servers: W Sullivan & C Wood
- Lector: B Sullivan
- EMHCs: B Smith & K Collins
Let us Rejoice in the Lord!
Happy Birthday Nap Book (July 26), Edmond Copes (July 30, 2015), Louise Magoun (Aug 2)
Happy Anniversary Renee and Robert Wood (July 30), Blanche and Skeeter Wilks (August 1), Margaret and Pat Gilfoil (August 3), Kim and Ronnie Donham (August 4)
In Our Daily Prayers…
Our Holy Father Pope Francis and Pope-Emeritus Benedict XVI; Archbishop Aymond and our Diocesan leaders, our President, Governor, Mayor and national, state and local elected representatives
Our parishioners who are sick, shut-in, or otherwise in need of our prayers: Pat Bullard, Connie Copes, Elizabeth Crothers, Susan Gilfoil, Josephine Hodge, Bill Kennedy, Dale & Louise Magoun, Ed Mills, Kathleen Mills, Sue & Mike Rome and Delia Trichell
Those under full-time care: Frances Kennedy, Sue Scurria, Jim Farrell of Vicksburg, Sharon Hansen of Gonzales, Consuelo Marsh of Lake Providence, Jean Cantrell, Marie Cedotal
Our friends and relatives who need our prayers: Lee Adams (Smith), Ashley Weimer Alexander (Regan), Pam Amacker (Gilfoil), Jenna Faye Allen (Florence), Margaret Baker (Magoun), Marie Farlow Bellard, Hattie Brown (Lancaster), Jerry Bullard, Colton Bullock (Farlow), Richard Chappuis (Johnson), Karen Cobb, Jackie Daniels (Lancaster), Carol Dipert (Rome), Carole Ducote (Lancaster), Joe Farlow, Mike Farlow, Thom Gilfoil, Melissa Grady (D Wood), Charlotte Green, Kathy Garley Hanlon (Gilfoil), Cooper Harris (R Wood), Bo Holloway, Diane Johnson (Johnson), Jeannie Kivett, Ben Lenhart (G Marsh), LaLa Lopez (Hernandez), Michelle McGuire (Gilfoil), Mathieu family in Delhi (Wilks), Tobie McKowen (Wilks), Keith Melancon (Regan), Tucker Melancon (Johnson), Lindsay Mills, Thomas Joseph O’Dowd (Army Ranger/Italy/M Scurria O’Dowd), Debbie Pettis (Rome), Sam and Betty Phillips (Hodge), Yvonne Phillips (Hodge), Wayne Pitre (Gilfoil), Lee and Tiffney Rome, Dianne W. Roper (Murphy), Linda Sanchez (Wilks), Walter Scott, Andy Sevier, Spencer and Mary Sevier, Beverly Sibile (Gilfoil), Theresa Thom (Rome), Elaine and James Trimble (Rome), Adam Triplett (Reynolds), Teresa Vidrine (Wilks), Conner and Hudson Wood (nephews of Bart)
Our collegiates: Norman Ernst, Anna Ginn, Josh Hall, Chris Hall (USMC), Matt Hall (USArmy), Nick Hall, Maddie Oliver, Bailey Rome, Blake Sullivan, Lori Sullivan, Brice Wood
Those Catholics residing at Christian Acres, Louisiana Transitional Center for Women, and our local Detention Centers and for their families and loved ones.
PLEASE LET US KNOW OF ANYONE WHO IS ILL OR HOSPITALIZED OR WOULD LIKE TO RECEIVE A VISIT.
PLEASE HELP US TO UP-DATE OUR PRAYER LIST BY ADVISING US OF ANYONE WHO SHOULD BE REMOVED FROM THE PRAYER LIST.