I took these photos from my balcony at the Casa O'Toole here at the Pontifical College North American. Are they sunrise or sunset photos?
From the Blog, Chiesa, we have the following statement:
"And it must also be recalled that on the return flight from Rio de Janeiro Pope Francis expressed admiration for the Eastern liturgies, dense with sacrality and mystery and very faithful to tradition. With these words:
"The Orthodox Churches have preserved that pristine liturgy that is so beautiful. We have lost a bit of the sense of adoration. They preserve it, they praise God, they worship God. We need this renewal, this light of the East."
Among the five new advisors of the office of papal celebrations Francis has in fact also included a monk of the Eastern rite, Manuel Nin, rector of the Pontifical Greek College in Rome. Alongside advisors of a completely different vision, like the Servite Silvano Maggiani and the Montfortian Corrado Maggioni, both of the team of Piero Marini.
In short, there is in Bergoglio an oscillation in appointments, in actions, and in words that makes it difficult to interpret his decisions and even more to foresee his future moves."
MY COMMENTS: As far as the "Mass" of the Catholic Church, the status quo will prevail during this pontificate. Those who like the reform of the reform will continue to do it but it will focus more on music. I see the Church Music of America Association continuing its very fine work of promoting Gregorian Chant and other forms of chant in the vernacular and in Latin.
These groups will continue to push for the singing of the Mass as prescribed in its pristine form, that of singing the official chants, the Entrance Chant, the Offertory Chant, the Chant at Communion. This is the biggest reform that we have seen since the 70's apart from the more liberal allowance of the EF, but if not for the EF, I don't think I would be completely on board with doing with the Sung Mass in the OF as it is prescribed in the EF.
Pope Francis seems to be more into the "reform of the reform" of other things liturgical and devotional.
He is calling for people to go to confession frequently. I think when people go to confession frequently, they will have a higher regard for the Mass and receiving Holy Communion worthily. There will be a greater sense of the sacred when people examine their conscience and realize how often they fall short and need God's mercy, forgiveness and reconciliation.
For those who never go to confession or examine their conscience in light of the various models there are for this, what is their sense of reverence toward the Mass and receiving our Lord in Holy Communion?
And the popular devotions that Pope Francis is encouraging is, well, very encouraging. Eucharistic Adoration and Benediction--how many parishes actually have this today in the USA?
The recitation of the Holy Rosary, not only privately, but communally, this is a wonderful development.
And processions with statues, such as will occur tomorrow here at the Vatican and St. Peter's Square as the pope consecrates the World to Our Lady of Fatima. Does it get any better than that devotionally?
And tied into the new consciousness about sin and confession is the teachings the pope has given us on the devil. How many times have you heard the devil mentioned by your parish priest? I've lost track of the number of times that Pope Francis has referred to the devil. I can't remember Pope Benedict every doing so, although I might be wrong.
What Pope Francis seems to be doing is shoring up the personal faith of the laity and calling them to practice their faith daily with devotions and to go to confession regularly.
This has to be good.
Along the way, we'll continue to celebrate the Mass as we have and that will be a mixed bag depending where you live, but the foundation is being laid for something better in the future and with a new emphasis from a new pope.