A new crisis of biblical proportions has gripped the Parish of St. Josaphat’s in Loup City, Nebraska—the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary falls on Bingo night! For the non-cognoscenti, this means the Holy Eucharist will displace the Holy Calling of the Numbers for one night. Some of the natives have become very restless on this issue and have asked to have the Mass changed because, “It’s Bingo night.” Like the upcoming total eclipse of the sun, this confluence of events apparently only happens every couple of hundred years, and thus throws some people into a panic. Never fear, the Holy Sacrifice won out and the sacrifice of missing one week of Bingo was imposed.
I would like to say that all crises in the Church are this easy to solve but it depends on the viewpoint of the person perceiving the crisis. Nothing brings this out as the great incense controversy incensing (excuse the pun) sections of the faithful. Historically this is a Benedictine vs. Jesuit uncivil war. “Father, you use way too much incense!” “Father, can’t we have more incense at Mass?” Disclaimer: I’m on the Benedictine side; my idea of not enough incense is if you can still see me at Mass. There are some priests (gasp!) (again, pardon the pun) who don’t like incense at all, and so they don’t use it, at all. All that can be pastorally said about these Jesuit loving, atheist, communist voting, puppy kicking priests is, “Why were you ever ordained and why are you still a priest? I know this sounds harsh, but you can take my thurible when you pry it from my cold, dead hand!
Sorry, went over the edge with my own perceived crisis. Such crises are only crises in the mind of the person. When someone has lived through the death of a loved one, the sickness of a child or loss of a child, a divorce, an addiction, the loss of a job, etc., these people know true crises of life. These are the times we turn and listen to the sound of a gentle breeze that Elijah heard and knew that God was present [1KGS 19:9-13]. This is the time to reach out to Jesus to calm the storm and to know that as surely as He walked on the water, He walks with us [MT 14:22-33].