Catholic Prayers for the New Evangelization

"Catholic Prayers for the New Evangelization"

Check out the revised edition of this exciting and unique prayer book, filled with prayers that are sure to nourish the soul as we undertake the New Evangelization.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Homily 21st Sunday of the Year 24 August 2008

Gloria in excelsis Deo, et in terra pax hominibus, bonae voluntatis.
Laudamus te.
Benedicimus te.
Adoramus te.
Glorificamus te.
Gratias agimus tibi propter magnam gloriam tuam.

If ever you’re in Rome, and attend Mass at St. Peter’s on Sunday/Feast/Solemnity,
you will hear these words chanted.
They are the first words of the Gloria in Latin, the official language of the Church.

This musical setting of the Gloria has been sung in Rome…
and in churches throughout the world…for at least 1,000 years.

In every Mass on Sundays and major feasts of the liturgical year,
the Church recites or sings the Gloria,
an ancient hymn of praise to God.

The Gloria is among the most beautiful and significant prayers of the Liturgy.

The hymn begins with the words of the angels to the shepherds
on the night of the birth of Christ…
Glory to God in the highest, and peace on earth to men of good will…
and continues with poetic lines expressing our humble prayer of praise
before the presence of our almighty and ever-loving God.
The Liturgy and the devotions of the Church
celebrated throughout the world in every age
constantly give glory to God in prayers, hymns, readings, chants.

As our Holy Father writes in his book Jesus of Nazareth,
human words are not sufficient to give voice to our praise of God
and so we must employ music in our sacred worship.

The prayers of the Mass are meant to be sung,
and our musical prayer is the fullest expression of our glorification of God.
At the same time, the music we employ is itself a gift from the Lord.
It is He who inspires the talents of composers and musicians.
In singing God’s praise in the Sacred Liturgy,
we return to God what we received from Him,
just as in the Mass we offer bread and wine which come from His bounty.

The Eucharistic Prayer always ends with the doxology:
Through Him, with Him, in Him,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
all glory and honor is yours, almighty Father,
forever and ever.

One of the most common prayers…used in the Rosary and Liturgy of the Hours…
is the Gloria Patri…

In so many ways, we glorify God by our liturgical and devotional prayer.

Our prayer expresses what we believe, and is also the for how we are to live.

Our stance of glorifying God does not end with the end of the Rosary or Mass.
Our daily lives are meant to be a living sacrifice of praise…
rising to Heaven like the beautiful fragrant smoke of incense…
and a constant living hymn of adoration.

The faith we pray about must take root in us and enliven our every word and action
if we are to be authentic disciples of Jesus Christ.

The Jesuits have for centuries kept as their motto:
“Ad majoriem Dei gloriam.” “For the greater glory of God.”

This is an ancient phrase that can serve as a life’s motto for any Christian.
In all that we do, we ought not ever seek our own interests
but instead seek to give glory to God in everything…
even in the seemingly minute activities of each day.

Perhaps that seems strange.
Certainly we do not mean that we could possibly “give” God His glory,
as if His great beauty and splendor depend somehow on us!?

Surely not, for as Saint Paul writes, who has ever given the Lord anything
for which the Lord remains in debt to him?!

Truly it is God who deserves all the glory from His humble servants.

When we say speak of giving glory to God,
what we mean is that we…in our humble, frail way...
acknowledge the glory of God
and the awesome mystery of His presence.

In a chapter of his Letter to the Romans charged with passionate emotion,
Saint Paul proclaims the unfathomable depths
of the wisdom, riches, and knowledge of God.

The fullness of His plans is not known to us and His divinity remains a mystery.
No one of us…no human person that is or ever was or will be…
would presume to truly know the extent of the mind of God.

The more deeply we enter into the spiritual life,
the more we realize that everything we are able to do, and all that we possess
is entirely an undeserved gift from God.

Truly, everything is grace!

The more we realize this, the better our lives will be
and the closer we will be drawn into relationship with God.

As we acknowledge that we are not the source of our own existence
that we are not sustained by our own merits
and that everything we accomplish is aided by the presence of the H. S.
we begin to more and more praise and thank God for everything.

In this our lives truly become a living sacrifice of praise.

Notice that in the Gloria, the phrase “Glory to God in the highest!”
is followed immediately by “and peace on earth to men of good will.”

The prayer of the Church always teaches us,
and in this case it reminds us that true, lasting peace is only found on earth
when men and women first give glory, praise, and thanks to God.

And so we must join our prayers and our lives
to the prayer and the activity of the Church,
who never ceases to praise the living and true God,
the source of our well-being and redemption.

From God and through Him and for Him all things are, Paul reminds us.

With the Church, we beg the peace which comes only from God
as we give glory and honor to Him forever!

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