Monday, February 4, 2008

Liturgy and Mission

I am happy to share the joyful news that I am now published. An article I wrote last year, based on a liturgical paper written for St. Mary's University of Minnesota Institute in Pastoral Ministry, appears in the March/April 2008 (Volume 114, Number 2) issue of Emmanuel Magazine, published by the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament. Though I am identified as Don Scott Dodge, a confusion of the abbreviation for deacon (i.e., Dcn) I often use in correspondence, I am very thrilled to have been published in this magazine to which I have subscribed and read ever since becoming engaged in pastoral ministry, which was at the time I first met members of the Congregation, all of whom have so richly blessed my life.

It is even more of a privilege to have an article published in same issue as two of my mentors, both of whom I am grateful to call friends, Fr. J.T. Lane, SSS and Dcn Owen Cummings. My article is entitled Liturgy and Mission. Beyond that, in his editorial for this issue, Fr. Paul Bernier, editor of Emmanuel and author of a very good book on ministry, entitled Ministry in the Church, picks up where I left off in my post Cognitive dissonance.

After addressing Anselm's satisfaction theory of atonement and the unsatisfactory way this theory has played itself out in Christian history, he writes about the aspect of the Paschal Mystery that needs to be stressed now, namely that in the Scriptures Jesus is primarily portrayed "as our exemplar, our model in his total commitment to the will of the Father. It was Jesus' complete fidelity to his vocation, his willingness to pursue the right path, no matter the difficulties that was pleasing to God. It was also redemptive for us inasmuch as it puts us on the right path, and enables us to live as God's true children. Since we have been ennobled in baptism to become members of God's family, the exemplary life and death of Jesus makes it possible for us to know God's will for us, and - with the grace of the Holy Spirit- to live it" (pg. 99). With this reminder I have learned twice today not just the importance of other people, but of Christian brothers and sisters. We need to encourage each other, challenge each other, correct each other so that we can be more faithful to the One we have encountered.

At times I find myself full of doubt, not about faith, but about life, about people. I suppose this counts as a way of being serious about what I have found along the way, though not a very useful way. I need to look deeper than appearance. In my case analysis, which breeds anxiety and causes me to be hyper-sensitive, often swamps simplicity of heart. I suppose needing reassurance, being reminded that it is about Him, not anything else, is what I needed to reminded about today. Too often in my own experience it becomes about so many other things. As I have been working through the La Thuile exercises, something I neglected all weekend, I have been reminded of this and warned against the dualism to which I am so prone, pitting faith against life and vice-versa.


  1. Congratulations, Scott! This is wonderful news.

  2. The Ironic CatholicFebruary 5, 2008 at 11:01 AM

    Very cool; congrats. Have you told the professor of said paper (not me!)? Can I tell Greg S.?

  3. Thanks.
    No, I haven't told Msgr. Clay, whom I quote several times in the article. Speaking of Irony, right after I found out my article was published, I learned that his pastoral responsibilities and his forming of future deacons in his home diocese will prevent from returning to the Institute. We are all poorer. I will contact him. Please, by all means tell Greg.

  4. The Ironic CatholicFebruary 5, 2008 at 8:20 PM

    Scott--Yes, I agree about Michael's departure. I will miss him a lot. Raleigh's gain. But do tell him! Teachers love to hear this stuff!

  5. At your suggestion I sent him an e-mail and received a lovely reply.



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