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Ordained in 2011, Father Friel served for five years as Parochial Vicar at St. Anselm Parish in Northeast Philly. He is currently studying toward an STL in sacred liturgy at The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.
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"Upon the road, René was always occupied with God. His words and the discourses he held were all expressive of submission to the commands of Divine Providence, and showed a willing acceptance of the death which God was sending him. He gave himself to God as a sacrifice, to be reduced to ashes by the fires of the Iroquois, which that good Father's hand would kindle. He sought the means to bless Him in all things and everywhere. Covered with wounds as he himself was, Goupil dressed the wounds of other persons, of the enemies who had received some blows in the fight as well as those of the prisoners. He opened the vein for a sick Iroquois. And he did it all with as much charity as if he had done it to persons who were his best friends."
— St. Isaac Jogues (writing in 1643)

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Thoughts on Praise I
published 25 April 2012 by Fr. David Friel

My attention has been caught the last few days on the idea of praise. I intend to share with you two separate thoughts on praise—one below, and the second in a subsequent post.

This first thought arose from the second Matins reading on Tuesday of the Third Week of Easter. There we read from Saint Augustine:

“Now it is your unquestioned desire to sing of Him Whom you love, but you ask me how to sing His praises. You have heard the words: Sing to the Lord a new song, and you wish to know what praises to sing. The answer is: His praise is in the assembly of the saints; it is in the singers themselves. If you desire to praise Him, then live what you express. Live good lives, and you yourselves will be His praise.”

What a marvelous thought and novel exegesis of a beloved psalmic refrain! “Singing to the Lord a new song” is understood here as a metaphor for the new life of a Christian who responds to grace in his or her daily witness. In Augustine’s view, the tuneful singing of that figurative song forges us into the praise of God.

Not only, therefore, are we called to praise God. Rather, we, ourselves, are to be the very praise of God. Could there be a higher honor?