Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The Roman Missal Translation- In a Nutshell

Blessed Advent to You.

Now that you've experienced the changed in the Mass, what do you think? 
I like the new translation of the Roman Missal. The meaning behind the words is deeper. It's truer to the Latin. Plus, we who are experiencing the transition are nudged to pay attention. At this time we can't simply say our responses robotically. We're forced to be mindful and hopefully we'll contemplate the meaning of words such as "consubstantial."

When I've mentioned the new translation, I've been asked, "What IS a Roman Missal?" No, it's not a rocket launched from Vatican City. It's the ritual text containing the prayers and instructions for saying Mass. We used to call it a Sacramentary, at least in English we did. You can read more about the Roman Missal at the USCCB web site.

The gist of this whole thing is, they did a hasty translation of the Roman Missal into English when they decided to begin saying Mass in people's colloquial languages. This new translation is supposed to remedy that. It's more true to the actual Roman Missal and it matches the updated version of the Roman Missal (because it has been updated since then to include such things as prayers for newly canonized saints.) There you have it- the Mass change in a nutshell. Nice and simply put.

But you can read more in Jimmy Akin's book Mass Revision: How the Liturgy is Changing and What it Means for You. It's available as an ebook and in paperback.

I hear and read people's complaints about the changes. Maybe they're uncomfortable having to learn new responses. It was a little clumsy the first Sunday, but we'll get used to it. If you're just entering the Catholic Church, you're lucky. You get to start fresh with the new responses and don't have to unlearn anything.

our Advent candles

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Book Sale: Young Adult Fantasy

It's nearly Thanksgiving, for those of us in the U.S.A. and you know what the day after that is, Black Friday- the big shopping day. I don't know about you, but I like online shopping.

If you have any teenagers or young adults on your list, Catholic or otherwise, maybe get them a book. Maybe buy them my book! :)

There's a sale on the paperback version right now!

Syzygy, is a story within a story.

A young patient in a mental hospital won't reveal his name. He'll only speak to Miriam, a patient who has lost her son and husband. Alternately pensive, then manic, the unknown patient tells Miriam a fantastic love story she suspects only came from his imagination.

The tale is this...

A super-human criminal agent goes rogue to protect the girl his organization is after.

When the leader of Finn's enclave orders him to find and kidnap Bea Jones, Finn falls crazy in love and betrays family and clan to protect her, though in Fir law, traitors are killed.

Getting Bea to return his affection proves more of a challenge than beheading his fellow mobsters and computer hacking.

Bea is funny, sometimes awkward, and basically kind. In short, she's your average young Catholic woman who abruptly learns she's the target of a paranormal-mob ring.  

This fast paced urban fantasy touches on life, love, depression, and true friendship. 

For a limited time you can buy Syzygy at Lulu for 25% off. This is the paperback version of Syzygy listed at Lulu listed at $9.50. 

Use coupon code  BUYMYBOOK305 at checkout and receive 25% off your order. The maximum savings with this promotion is $50. You can only use the code once per account, and you can't use this coupon in combination with other coupon codes.  This great offer ends on December 14, 2011 at 11:59 PM PST.

And, as always, it's also sold as an ebook at Lulu for $2. or for the  low ebook price of $1.99 at Smashwords. And if you want a low low price and you have a Kindle, check out Syzygy at Amazon for only $ .99. 

Check out my sidebar if you want to read a sample of Syzygy or read my article about how Catholic is Syzygy, if you worry it's not in line with Catholic values, or, if you think it'll be too in-your-face-preachy for that non-Catholic on your list. (Don't worry- it's not at all.) 

It appeals to young readers who like fantasy, urban fantasy, Catholic or not. I've had atheist teens rave about it. So there you go. Check one item off your list. ;)

Monday, November 21, 2011

Death Is Eternal Whatever Its Nature *plus* Faith and Reason

It's a cloudy November day. Yes, we have those in California. The kids have colds, so they're spending the day curled in their beds, so I could take the time to work on my novel. But I'm feeling like spending the day philosophizing and that sort of writing could grow annoying in a young adult fantasy novel, so I'll smear it on my blog instead.
On my way home to the Catholic Church a few years ago, one of the first people I stumbled upon was Blaise Pascal. He's a 17th century physicist, mathematician, and Christian apologist. (An apologist explains the faith. It doesn't mean they say they're sorry about it.) You can read a short write up onPascal at the Catholic Encyclopedia. It explains his faults as well, so you'll know he was not perfect.
I "met" him in the teacher's edition of a math book, of all places--well, not "of all places" as if that were strange. He was a math wizard. But what struck me was the little side bar of random facts. I don't recall now which fact it mentioned, but it had something to do with his conversion and faith. It was one of those epiphany moments because I was ready for it.

I'd left the Church in my youth, traveled through misguided beliefs, and wound up lost. As a child, I loved God, tried teaching myself the Rosary, and attempted to read the Bible cover to cover, but had no real guidance. Thinking it was all only sentimentality, I was able to let my religion go. I'm a person who embraces logic. But I'd been aching for God and ready to hear him call me. You never know how he'll call to you.

So, I high-tailed it down to the library and got me Pascal's Pensées and practically swallowed it whole. Here was an incredibly intelligent, scientific man with extreme faith in God. He gives logical reasons for faith, and then tells us that reason cannot give you faith. Pascal, you sly dog. :p

On a semi-related topic, I want to share a fascinating website, the Magis Center of Reason and Faith. There you can read about proofs for God's existance. Fr. Spitzer was on Catholic Answers recently (11-14-11) talking about it.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Sunday Worship Instead of the Sabbath.

The Jewish Sabbath is Saturday, so why do Catholics and most other Christians worship on Sunday? This isn't some new idea. The first Christians did so, as is written in the Bible and other early Christian writings. But why?

Well, it's because Jesus rose from the dead on that day. It's the beginning of the new creation. The early Christians compared the issue with other things in the Mosaic law, such as circumcision.

Read all about it, along with quotes from the early Church, at Catholic Answers in this article about Sunday Worship.

And after you read that article you can "Like" it on Facebook so all of your friends will know. LOL What a wonderful weird world we live in.
I have a cat. I have a bed. I have a computer. But none of these are mine.

Side Note: A few Protestant denominations worship on Saturday. But this idea came about much later in Christian history. For instance, the Seventh Day Adventists formed in the middle of the 19th century.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Writer's Block and Listening to God

I almost titled this blog post "NaNoWriMo for Catholics." NaNoWriMo, if you don't know, is National Novel Writing Month. It happens each November. Writers and wannabe writers attempt to pound out 50,000 word novels-- or rather, first drafts of novels. Or more commonly 30,000 word first drafts because most of it turns out to be muck. But I digress.

I didn't title the post "NaNoWriMo for Catholics" because it's more about Catholic writers in general and I only happen to be writing this post during NaNo.  In fact I'm writing about writer's block, a big no-no in NaNo. In NaNo, there's no time for blockage. You keep writing even when you're stuck. Helpful (or stupid) writing prompts abound to keep you writing. You can find some here. (That's a link to my other blog).
15th Century Scribe. Did they have NaNoWriMo back then?
But do you suppose writer's block is an opportunity to listen to God? As Catholics we know that prayer is both speaking to God and listening. There are different types of prayer. We talk to Him when we petition, praise, and thank Him. He speaks to us in Scripture and in our hearts. Sitting before the Blessed Sacrament works wonders and I mean, just sitting (or kneeling), without expectations and allowing God access to your heart. I liken it to lying beside your spouse in the wee quiet hours just being close. Or with your newborn baby right after they nursed and you're just blissfully holding them.

"What does writer's block have to do with any of this?" you ask.

In the stillness, maybe we can ask God what He wants for our writing. And in the stillness, we'll hear Him.

Or read Scripture and become inspired in your writing. Nissa, at The Lina Lamont Fan Club is doing that in her NaNo novel. You should pop over there and read what Nissa's up to.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

All Saints Day Nov. 1

A Blessed All Saints Day to You

So, you heard there was some special day after Halloween. You were right. But what was it?

It's All Saints Day! You see, Halloween is sort of slang for All Hallows Eve. Hallows are "Holy Ones." The following day, November 2nd is All Souls day, or The Day of the Dead.
Sugar Skull

But back to All Saints Day, Nov. 1st. In the fourth century it was established by the Church as the Feast of the Martyrs but extended to celebrate all the saints in the eighth century. In the ninth century it became a holy day of obligation, so if you're Catholic, get your tail to church. :)
St. Augustine and St. Monica

Another little tidbit, to cut through that sugar high, you can munch on pretzels. According to The Catholic Home, by Meredith Gould, they're a traditional food of All Saints Day.

You can read more details about All Saints day, All Souls Day, and Halloween on my previous post on the topic.

*Link to the Saint pic embedded in the caption. The sugar skull pic is my own. Feel free to use it.