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Scott P. Richert

Novena of the Week: To Saint Gregory, Pope and Confessor

By August 24, 2012

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Many Catholics claim that the Catholic Church is in the midst of an unprecedented crisis.Portrait of Pope Gregory I by Meister Theoderich von Prag (public domain) But those who know the history of the Church find it harder to make such a sweeping claim. Over two millennia, times of peace and unity have been few and far between.

Pope Gregory I, known to the ages as Gregory the Great, lived during a time of political and ecclesiastical turmoil. Yet he worked tirelessly to assure the rights of the Church, and through his missionary work, his writings on theology and morality, and his liturgical reforms (Gregorian chant is named after him, and the Traditional Latin Mass took shape during his reign), Gregory shaped the medieval Church for centuries to come. (Little wonder, then that Gregory the Great was acknowledged as one of the four original Latin Doctors of the Church.)

Today, during a similar time of turmoil, the Church is blessed with another scholar and liturgist who has a similar devotion to missionary work. And so, as we prepare for Saint Gregory's feast day on September 3, I've chosen as our novena this week this Prayer to Saint Gregory, Pope and Confessor, which we offer for the defense of the Church and Pope Benedict XVI against the powers of darkness, both spiritual and human. Begin this novena on August 25 to complete it on the eve of Gregory the Great's feast. And while you're praying the novena, if you haven't already, please show your support for Pope Benedict XVI.

(Portrait of Pope Gregory I by Meister Theoderich von Prag. Public domain.)

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August 27, 2010 at 11:30 am
(1) attorney Joseph T.ISSA says:

in eastern orthodox church they receive communion with baptism because they have public absolution.But in our eastern catholic church we believe in confession as a mystery,therefor age of eight and up is the reason age of a child to discriminate a sin which needs absolution.I am not in favor to lower the age to have first communion. in case of lowering it, the young person having habits to commit sins and receive communion will continue with these bad habits when he is older.

August 23, 2011 at 5:16 pm
(2) Mama says:

I fully agree that the age should not be lowered, and I am not at all fully certain that it should not be raised. For the child who attends public school, watches television, plays Pok-e-man, parents may even the child may partake in Harry Potter and World of Warcraft, these are all reasons that requirements for Religious Education for three or more years, should be required. In His word we are told, to take of communion unworthily is to suffer damnation. The child who is being led astray by parents, peers and school teachers, needs to be protected. If a child is being taught daily the meat of the faith, and not only that one hour for the sake of receiving the sacrament, then perhaps a 6 or 7 year old may be ready. However as fallen as our society has become, Religious Ed, is an hour a week for the purpose of getting the Communion, or Confirmation. It has for a large part become an empty tradition. So, if a child is enrolled in 1st grade, then it would not be until the end of Grade 3 that first communion would occur. IF for confirmation the child is not enrolled in religious ed until grade 9 then it would be the end of 11th grade. It must be 3 consecutive years. It is too important to gloss over, to simply see as a ritualistic right of passage, this is Salvation v. Damnation. All too often children are enrolled for these Sacred times and not seen again until it is time for the next one. The Church allows it, and it only minimizes, what Christ did for us. Of course in cases of a child who is dx or life is in jeopardy, then the 3 year can of course be waved. It just makes good sense. To really know the level of commitment they are making, and understand the level of sacrifice that was poured out for them, the strength of the tool given them with the Holy Ghost. That takes much time, study and meditation.

August 23, 2011 at 5:24 pm
(3) Mama says:

I come to the Three year model not randomly but by the Lord’s model. He spent three years teaching the first apostles. Why should we be any less than He? He is perfect and if His divine wisdom was Three years of instruction, ours should be no less. How can any respond to His Great Commission if they haven’t the full belly of the first apostles? We are not to be nor raise luke warm Christians.

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