Cream City Catholic
Heaven on Earth
|Image by James at Cream City Catholic|
Simone Arianne Biles was born March 14, 1997. The other night she became the 2016 Olympic individual all-around (gymnastics) champion. But this little dynamo is no stranger to winning. She is a three-time world all-around champion, three-time world floor champion, two-time world balance beam champion, four-time US national all-around champion, and a member of the gold medal-winning American teams at the 2014, the 2015 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships and the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
More importantly from our perspective, Simone Biles is a Roman Catholic home-schooler who might have been a victim of abortion had her birth mother been someone other than Shannon Biles who suffered from drug and alcohol addiction but, rather than aborting her baby, gave Simone up for adoption.
The Case for Ad Orientem WorshipFr. Brandon O'Brien
While celebrating Mass ad orientem would not immediately cure every moment of distraction, it would provide a concrete step in reorienting the focus of the Mass. It would allow for a certain amount of anonymity for the priest, restoring the importance of what he does rather than who he is. By returning the focus to the Eucharist, ad orientem worship would also restore a sense of the sacred to the Mass.
Recalling Aristotle’s definition of a slave as a “living tool,” Msgr. Ronald Knox encouraged this imagery when thinking of the priest: “[T]hat is what the priest is, a living tool of Jesus Christ. He lends his hands, to be Christ’s hands, his voice, to be Christ’s voice, his thoughts, to be Christ’s thoughts; there is, there should be, nothing of himself in [the Mass] from first to last.” Msgr. Knox was right in asserting that the Mass should never be subject to the vagaries or whims of the individual priest:
Non-Catholics who come to our churches complain sometimes, don’t they, that the ceremonies of the Mass seem so lifeless, so mechanical. But you see, they ought to be mechanical. What the visitor is watching, so uncomprehendingly, is not a man, it is a living tool; it turns this way and that, bends, straightens itself, kneels, gesticulates, all in obedience to the orders given to it—Christ’s orders, not ours. We do not expect eccentricities from a tool, the tool of Christ.