Last Updated:Friday - 09/24/2010
July 13, 2008
WCR Letters to the Editor
Article helps explain beauty of the Latin Mass
Father Rolheiser's June 15 article ("Liturgical, devotional forms of prayer need to be distinguished") helped me better understand my experience with the traditional Latin Mass which I attend regularly after many years with the Novus Ordo Missae.
Many of your readers may be unaware of how beautifully formal and devotional prayer are woven throughout the Latin Mass. At its heart, it is the re-presentation of the Sacrifice of Calvary, offered to God the Father by the priest - the alter Christus. The liturgy is deliberate, precise and universal. With our prayer books we can follow in English and unite ourselves every step of the way.
The action of the Mass occurs in an atmosphere of quiet, except for occasional bells and when the priest says certain prayers out loud. If it is a High Mass then principal parts are sung, usually in Gregorian chant.
We spend time on our knees which is most conducive to prayer. There is ample opportunity to combine liturgical and devotional forms of prayer in this most perfect prayer, the traditional Mass for all time, which now enjoys the total endorsation of the Church after undergoing a peculiar kind of isolation since Vatican II.
We are all free to embrace it once again. Praise the Lord.
Pauline Staniland Le Blanc
CWL underlined as a Catholic organization
I read an article in yourJune 15, 2009, newspaper attributed to the newly-elected CWL president of Alberta-Mackenzie, Fran Lucas. As a CWL member I was disturbed about her approach to recruitment of new members to our organization.
I have the greatest respect for people of other faiths, but opening up our organization to everyone is not who we are. Our mission statement states: "The Catholic Women's League of Canada is a national organization rooted in Gospel values calling its members to holiness through service to the people of God."
For a variety of reasons our membership has declined since we were organized nationally in 1920. The most logical explanation is that women today work outside the home in addition to raising their families and many wait until later years to join.
We are aware, also, that we have a decline in attendance at church, something that is causing concern for other churches as well. Our beliefs as Catholic women differ on various topics, especially in our devotion to our patroness, Our Lady of Good Counsel. Many other faiths do not agree with our devotion to Mary.
There are other beliefs as well that differ from one religion to another, such as ordination of women to the priesthood, our relation to the papacy, stem cell research and end-of-life issues.
I find it unsettling that someone who has risen to the position of provincial CWL president would make the remarks about opening up our organization to other faiths in order to increase membership. We are the largest women's group in Canada.
We are also a Catholic faith-based organization.
Centering Prayer retreat happening in October
I was delighted to see that you ran a full-page article entitled "Silent meditation reveals the true self" about Father Thomas Keating's recent visit to Montreal (WCR June 29).
Many people may want to know that Father Keating will be here in Edmonton in October. He is the founder of Contemplative Outreach, an international network to support the teaching and practice of centering prayer.
As the article points out, many people today who are seeking to deepen their relationship with God through silence and meditation are turning to Eastern practices unaware that our own Catholic tradition has always invited us to practise this beautiful method of prayer.
Centering prayer is a form of contemplation that dates back to the fourth century, to the Desert Fathers and Mothers. As Keating is quoted saying, "Centering prayer is a meditation during which a person opens himself up to God and consents to rest in God's presence beyond thoughts, words or emotions."
In today's busy world we are all in need of opportunities to slow down, to spend time with God in the inner silence.
Providence Renewal Centre is pleased to host Father Keating, who will hold a conference open to the public on Friday, Oct. 2 and Saturday, Oct. 3.
He will also participate in a retreat on Sunday, Oct. 4 for those who are faithfully practising this method of prayer. Introductory sessions on centering prayer, based on Father Keating's method of centering prayer, will take place in mid-October following his visit.
We invite you to come and hear Father Keating on Oct. 2 and 3. For more information or to register, call Providence Renewal Center 780-701-1854. Feel free to check our website,www.providencerenewal.ca.
Providence Renewal Centre
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