In October of 2008, after serving three years as a Naval Officer, I was diagnosed with inoperable brain cancer. This blog chronicles my pilgrimage through life and towards the Roman Catholic priesthood.
The Most Reverend Michael F. Burbidge ordained Rev. Mr. Don Edward Maloney to the Transitional Diaconate at Saint Luke the Evangelist Church in Raleigh on May 21, 2011. In August, Deacon Maloney will enter his Fourth year of Theology at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in Philadelphia and is scheduled for ordination to the Priesthood in 2012.
The entrance procession:
Rev. Mr. Maloney lies prostrate as the Litany of the Saints is chanted:
The promises of poverty and chastity:
The promise of obedience to the bishop and his successors:
The laying on of hands - the unbroken line of Holy Orders back to the Apostles:
I must admit it - President Obama made me laugh hard today during his visit to Ireland. It turns out that he has Irish roots on his Kansas-born mother's side, so he exclaimed: "My name is Barack Obama, of the Moneygall O'Bama’s, and I’ve come home to find the apostrophe that we lost somewhere along the way."
He then downed a pint of Guinness in 4 gulps, which impressed the Irish crowd:
If you've driven on a highway recently, you've probably seen one of these signs "predicting" Judgment Day. It was apparently calculated by a Protestant minister with the following logic:
"In 2 Peter 3:8, Holy God reminds us that one day is as 1,000 years. Therefore, with the correct understanding that the seven days referred to in Genesis 7:4 can be understood as 7,000 years, we learn that when God told Noah there were seven days to escape worldwide destruction, He was also telling the world there would be exactly 7,000 years (one day is as 1,000 years) to escape the wrath of God that would come when He destroys the world on Judgment Day. Seven thousand years after 4990 B.C. (the year of the Flood) is the year 2011 A.D. (our calendar)."
It should also be noted that this same minister predicted the end of the world back in 1994, which obviously didn't happen.
My friend Msgr. Soseman has written a great reflection on this topic, which is found below. Enjoy!
I have a confession to make: I have never understood all of this talk about the "rapture" or all of this concern for the end of earthly time.
The end of the world has been forecast, I understand, for Saturday at 6 p.m. local time, in each time zone in the world. This is the second time that this particular minister has forecast the world's end. His first prediction was for a date in 1994, from what I understand, and that obviously never happened. I guess his followers will know well in advance if he was proven right, as 6 p.m. New Zealand time comes a long time before 6 p.m. San Francisco time, and evil places like Minneapolis and Billings will find their end an hour or two before Las Vegas and San Francisco. (I would suspect that if Our Lord planned to end the world in accord with local time zones, he would perhaps consider STARTing, not ending, in California).
For a Christian, there never needs to be overt concern regarding the end of the world. We know that the earthly world will end for us at our deaths, which could take place, of course, at any time. We need to live our lives ready to meet our maker, to embrace our encounter with the four last things: death, judgment, heaven (likely via that purification from the effects of our sins which we call purgatory) or hell. We need to stay close to our Lord, and not have fear, but instead be ready to see Him face to face when death should come for us.
A convinced Christian should not worry about the general judgement, what in some Protestant circles is called the rapture (although their debate on pre-mid and post-millenialism is always a bit mystifying), which was predicted for this Saturday. This is what has been called, in general Christian circles, the apocalypse, the end of the world. Regarding that, we know not when it will come.
It could happen in five seconds.
Nope, hasn't happened yet.
Or it could be ten thousand years away.
Some of the early Christians felt that the end of times was imminent, just as some Christians do today. Just as we should be prepared for our own deaths, we need to be prepared for the end times whenever they should come. We prepare in the same way. Living our lives in communion with our Lord, enjoying the good things he provides for us on this earth, but always turning from sin, turning from evil, and embracing a relationship with HIM.
St. Aloysius Gonzaga, who died in his early twenties, felt that if we were living a good, moral, life, in Communion with Our Lord, we should never be perturbed, even if we heard the world was ending. Famously, when the Jesuit novices got into a discussion about the end times, the question arose what each would do should he hear the world had a half an hour left whilst he was playing a game of billiards. Some said they would run to the chapel, others said they would go to Confession, others that they would seek out their loved ones. St. Aloysius said he would keep on playing billiards.
St. Aloysius once said that it is better to die as a child of God than as king of the entire world. We can, indeed, conquer worlds. We can, indeed, seek great success in our job with our family. We must ask ourselves, however, whether we are, indeed, living as a child of God, even while we conquer the world.
An ancient prayer is worded in honor of the Blessed Trinity: Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
The world referred to, is not the earth, it is not the world around us which will never end, instead, of course, it is the heavenly world, our eternal existence. This should be our prime concern, unity with our Lord, who is God from before time and will be in the ages of ages, in a world which never ends.
So, whether the world ends in five seconds
or at 6 p.m. local time Saturday in Frisco, or in 10,000 years, love our Lord enough to desire to be with him at all times!
"Have I any pleasure in the death of the wicked, declares the Lord God, and not rather that he should turn from his way and live? For I have no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Lord God; so turn, and live." (Ezekiel 18:23,32)
We learned on Sunday that after 10 years in hiding, the mass-murderer Osama bin Laden has been killed by US Armed Forces. As I quickly scoured through social media posts, I found nothing but rejoicing at his death. Here are the first five posts I found:
"Yeah!!! Bin Laden is finally dead!"
"I just got the news. Toasting our boys with a scotch."
"So after 10 years of hide and go seek the US wins. Boo-yah, bi***es!"
"It's a GOOD day to be an American!"
"I can and will cheer for the death of this monster. He will be judged and found guilty (I Pray) by the most high God."
On top of these comments were a few videos spreading on the internet from my Alma Mater, the US Naval Academy, where a "spontaneous pep rally" (spontaneous gathering of all students in one place) was held to cheer and celebrate Osama's death. "I believe that we have won," they chanted over and over while jumping up and down, after learning that Navy SEALs delivered the fatal blows.
I'm not trying to defend any of the actions of Osama Bin Laden. They were despicable and evil. He was a mass-murderer and remained a threat to society. I made 2 deployments myself to the Persian Gulf to fight terror when I was in the Navy. I lost a Naval Academy classmate and friend in Afghanistan when he was shot in the chest by an insurgent sniper. I'm definitely not emotionally "separated" from what is going on there.
The Church allows execution in cases where someone remains a dangerous menace to society, and Osama continued to fund and support violence against innocent people. But my question is, why do we rejoice at his death...is it merely out of a sense of vengeance?
The Vatican issued an immediate statement about Bin Laden's death:
"Osama Bin Laden - as everyone knows - has had the gravest responsibility for spreading hatred and division among people, causing the deaths of countless people, and exploiting religion for this purpose.
Faced with the death of a man, a Christian never rejoices, but reflects on the serious responsibility of everyone before God and man, and hopes and pledges that every event is not an opportunity for a further growth of hatred, but of peace.”
Get that? We do not rejoice at anyone's death, no matter how evil they are, and even if it is justified. Even in cases of a just Capital Punishment, it is with great sadness that someone must be put to death to protect the rest of society.
Many hope that he will get his "just rewards" from God, implying that they hope he is damned. We should not wish eternal damnation on anyone - even our worst enemies. Remember, God created Bin Laden in the same way that He created us - in His image and likeness - so God loved Bin Laden as a person with His infinite love. He loves each and every one of us in the same way. Instead of rejoicing at this man's death, can't we as Catholics spare a prayer for his soul, which objectively is in need of many prayers? None of us are worthy of God's mercy or the gift of heaven. Let us pray for the forgiveness of all - even those whom we have come to despise.
Some might be offended, but tonight I will be praying for the eternal repose of the soul of Osama bin Laden. No one knows what went through his mind between the bullet hitting his head and death - perhaps his heart turned to God in perfect contrition. Only God knows, so may God have mercy on his soul if He sees it fit.