Sunday, January 19, 2014



Icon of the Holy Trinity

In the Byzantine Catholic Divine Liturgy there is a beautiful hymn that is sung at the consecration, it is called the Cherubic Hymn. Here is the definition of this hymn from Wikipedia:

The hymn symbolically incorporates those present at the liturgy into the presence of the angels gathered around God's throne.[1] It concerns the very heart of the Divine Liturgy—the Anaphora, the earliest part which can be traced back to Saint Basil and to John Chrysostom's redaction of Basil's liturgical text.

The Hymn:

Let us, who mystically represent the cherubim, and sing the thrice holy hymn to the life creating Trinity, now set aside all earthly cares, set aside all earthly cares. That we may receive the King of All, invisibly escorted by angelic hosts. Alleluia,   Alleluia,   Alleluia!

At Holy Mass or at Divine Liturgy, it is the one place on the planet where time stops, we can truly set aside all earthly cares of our busy life.  It is the place where we, the people of God fall prostrate before the Lord who gave his life for us. We are present with the same Lord Jesus Christ who tells us to "Come to me all you who are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." Yes, at the Eucharistic table, earthly cares need not exist, this is the time to be fed and strengthened and renewed and consoled. It is a time for tears of repentance, of renewal, of a holy resolve to go forth and be more faithful to Christ than when we walked in the door of the church.

What are your earthly cares?

For those in the world and for those who love the things of the world, it can be material possessions-nice things-expensive things. For those in the world, earthly cares can be an attachment to honor and title, as St. Teresa of Jesus (Avila) liked to call it.  Earthly cares can be an ambition to succeed in business at all costs. Working in the world and not offering one ounce of mercy, justice or compassion to clients or co-workers.

What are your earthly cares, dear Christian?

Do you seek to destroy the peace of your parish, or your religious organization by being overbearing and controlling? Do you seek to find fault with others while you yourself sit in the front pew, all the while holding uncharitable thoughts about your neighbor?

What are your earthly cares?

What do you spend time on?  Hobbies or distractions that keep you from praying and wasting time with the Lord? 

Life is short. Scripture tells us that death comes like a thief in the night. Are we prepared to meet him when he calls unexpectedly? Not just in the final hour, but when he comes unexpectedly throughout the day in the person who tries our patience. He comes when we have to sacrifice something we would like to do to be of service to others. He comes unexpectedly in the words of another that hit "close to home" in our heart. He comes unexpectedly in the grace of  a piercing and devastating sorrow for our sins. He comes unexpectedly to challenge us, yet he comes unannounced to love us and give us mercy. He comes unannounced and offers himself.

The Church is his voice. He extends an invitation everyday-an official announcement that he will be present at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass-the Divine Liturgy. Will you respond with your "yes?"

What are your earthly cares?

Do you seek that God be adored and glorified in your life and in the lives of others?

Do you seek to spread the good news of the Gospel with others?

Do you seek the increase of the Holy Catholic Church?  

Do you desire to be a humble servant of God, offering mercy to all those you meet?

Do you desire to console others instead of being consoled?

Do you desire to be a peacemaker?

These are the earthly cares that God desires for us. These are the holy burdens we should be carrying as Catholics, as Christians.

Let us pray for each other.

Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, ocds

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