Bowing Instead of Genuflecting & Sign of Peace.

30 04 2008

While genuflecting upon entering and exiting a church may be on the decline in various countries in Japan, from what Ive observed, a sign of reverence is done by around 50% of the parishioners.  Instead of genuflecting people bow in the direction of the tabernacle upon entering and exiting the church.  At the sign of peace, at mass in Japanese, people bow to each other and say “Shu no heiwa” which means peace of Christ.  It certainly goes a lot faster than at some churches like in my hometown where people try to shake hands with half the church.  Ive been to English masses here where the priest shook hands with everyone in the front row.  There weren’t that many people but still is it really necessary to do that?

This post reminds me of something that really bothers me and that is how people act when going to adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and how they act when going to receive the Eucharist.  I am not aware of churches around me that have adoration so I have no comment on this for Japan but rather other places including my hometown.  When I last visited my parents I went to adoration and my mom instructed me that I should kneel down on both knees when entering and exiting the church.  That’s fine I can do that no problem.  The majority of other people there also did so, and that’s great but WHY NOT DO IT ALL THE TIME?!  The rule should be on your knees at communion time too!  Why are people instructed to be so reverential at Adoration but at Communion time they receive like the priest is handing out an ordinary snack.  Oh now there’s the instruction that people should bow to show reverence before they receive.  Ha just a bow?  Get on your knees and open your mouth for it is  your king, your God not a cookie.  I know a lot of people are just doing as they have been taught, heck I did the same for a long time too.  I know that years before I was born people received at an alter rail on their tongue but I doubt Vatican 2 said to throw all that out so who caused this mess?  I suspect that while people may not be fully aware of what they are doing/who they are receiving Satan is and he is very happy to see the Eucharist treated badly even desecrated.  

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Our Father in Latin

28 04 2008




In Japanese, Gospel gradually blooms

24 04 2008

I came across an article from a Baptist site as I was searchingng for news and thought it made one very good point in particular.

http://www.sbcbaptistpress.org/BPnews.asp?ID=27883

Quote Yet many Japanese who come to faith in Christ do so 10, 20 and even 40 years after they had some contact with the Gospel.”

I completely agree.  As I mentioned before my friend who went to see The Passion with me, and who has also attended mass with me didntbeg to be baptized a week later or anything like that,nor did I try to dunk them.  My friend does take particular interest in the Eucharist though because for one Japanese love to eat, and love to eat things they consider special and valuable like toro or kobe beef (yum yum).  So for my friend to see me eat this most mysterious food that they could not have really got their attention.  I think the idea of the Eucharist as the most precious and valuable of all foods  could really get the interest of many Japanese.  That is also why I think everyone should receive on the tongue so if non Catholics are watching they can see hmm there is something special here, this isn’t just a cookie.

Anyway God and my friend are on their own time and they will work things out when they are ready.  I will be around but Im not going to force anything. 





WYD Cross in Japan?

23 04 2008

As far as I have found by googling the wyd cross and icon have never been here.  This Vatican site lists places the cross has been to excluding 2008.

http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/pontifical_councils/laity/Colonia2005/rc_pc_laity_doc_20030805_cross-history-gmg_en.html

I know that the cross did not come here on its way to Australia so there was yet another missed opportunity.  I know what people would say “well Japan is not a Catholic country so there probably isn’t that much interest” to which I would reply and how could people ever think of Jesus and His Church if they are not promoted a bit?  There are definitely enough youth to carry that cross around Tokyo a little, and what an awesome chance to evangelise.  As I have said before Catholicism here has not failed it has barely had a chance, and having the wyd cross in Tokyo would be so powerful.  It would make people who see it think and even have a chance to come in contact with Catholics.

I am a fan of Cardinal Arinze and one of my favorite quotes from him is “you can propose but you dare not impose”  and I think the cross would be a great way to propose Christ.  I have already emailed the CBCJ about this and will see what kind of reply I get, if any, since I just used the info address on their main site.  info {at} cbcj.catholic.jp





The Passion in Japan

22 04 2008

I took this photo April 29 2004 on the Yamanote line platform at JR Shibuya station.  Those familiar with Tokyo will know what I am talking about.  For those who have no idea Shibuya is a VERY busy station, and the crossing at Hachiko exit appears in many movies.  I don’t know how long the posters were displayed for but at any rate if it was even for one day thousands of people saw them.

I went to the movie of course.  First of all I was very surprised it was even going to be shown here, secondly I was surprised there were other people in the theater, a lot of people.  The showing I went to wasn’t full but maybe half full?  When I left the theater there was even a line of people waiting to enter the exact screen that was showing The Passion.  I couldn’t believe it.  The movie was shown in the original languages plus subtitles in Japanese and English.  Lots of people cried, heck I cried and I thought I wouldn’t!  I went with a non Christian Japanese friend and after we both had no appetite and barely said anything to each other as we were both overwhelmed and were thinking about what we saw.

In the media the movie was even talked about on movie preview shows, and there were even trailers aired during regular commercials.  According to this site which shows box office sales for the movie it made $10 million US here as much which as it made in Germany.    http://www.boxofficemojo.com/movies/?page=intl&id=passionofthechrist.htm

I am still friends with the person I went to the movie with, and they have even been to mass with me, however, it`s up to them and God if they will become Catholic someday.  They did stop smoking cold turkey several weeks later which is an interesting “coincidence.”  The movie did make a convert, actually a revert, out of one of us though and that would be me.  The movie was a real kick in the pants for me to really examine my life and the Hound of Heaven eventually got me back into the fold 😀

 





Confession, Communion, and Taize

14 04 2008

Reading a post about confession on another blog reminded me of an experience I had while waiting in line for confession here several months ago.  The confession line at St Ignatius in Tokyo is very competitive because you have to get there before the 5pm start time or else you had better bring a book, or a rosary, and be prepared to wait for around one hour.  Don’t worry there are chairs to sit on while waiting.  So I’m sitting, waiting, and the evening mass has started which is fine but the line isn’t moving that quickly and it is now into the liturgy of the Eucharist.  Time comes for the faithful, and in a state of grace, Catholics to receive the Holy Eucharist and I don’t because I’m still unconfessed waiting in the line.  This is where it gets tricky as three or four Japanese women (well their books were in Japanese) one or two even wearing a mantilla leave the line and go get the Eucharist, then return to the confession line!!!  First one went then the others followed in a sort of uncertainty, although I got the impression they looked more worried about leaving their bags or losing their chairs in line than uncertainty if they should get the Eucharist or not.  Maybe they only had venial sins and could actually go who knows but I thought it looked bad.  Plus I think the church should get a second priest hearing confessions to meet the demand so people can have time to confess their sins BEFORE going to Communion.

By the time I was squeaky clean absolved the mass had ended long ago and a taize prayer thing had started in the church sanctuary.  I had heard of the word taize and knew it wasn’t Catholic in origin but I had never actually heard what goes on at one of their meetings before and it was spectacularly awful!  I couldn’t stand their “singing” it was like cats in heat scratching their claws on a blackboard.  Maybe it`s great to listen to for people who are into smoking a joint, banging bongo drums, and swaying around a campfire but not in the church sanctuary.  They didn’t have bongos just a guitar I think but you get the idea.  Listening to that was already like a penance but I got my absolution, rushed out, and said my real penance on the train.





Fumie

14 04 2008

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fumie above photo also from here.

I have never made my way to a museum to see one personally, however, these online photos give such an up close look it`s the next best thing.  From the Tokyo National Museum.

http://www.tnm.jp/jp/servlet/Con?pageId=F08&processId=01&col_id=17427&Title=%93%A5%8A%47&Artist=&Site=&Period=&FromNo=&ToNo=

http://www.tnm.jp/jp/servlet/Con?pageId=F08&processId=01&col_id=17428&Title=%93%A5%8A%47&Artist=&Site=&Period=&FromNo=&ToNo=

http://www.tnm.jp/jp/servlet/Con?pageId=F08&processId=01&col_id=42659&Title=%93%A5%8A%47&Artist=&Site=&Period=&FromNo=&ToNo=

I first heard of fumie in the novel Silence which I read a long time  ago and didn`t like for reasons I forget.  Anyway looking at photos of real fumie it raises many questions in my mind.   Would I have the courage to NOT step on it, to stand up for my faith when put to the test?  How is stepping on this any different from some of the liturgical abuses CathCon puts up on his site?