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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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"Since such is the nature of man that he cannot easily without external means be raised to meditation on divine things, on that account holy Mother Church has instituted certain rites, namely that certain things be pronounced in a subdued tone (canon and words of consecration) and others in a louder tone; she has likewise made use of ceremonies such as mystical blessings, lights, incense, vestments, and many other things of this kind in accordance with apostolic teaching and tradition, whereby both the majesty of so great a sacrifice might be commended, and the minds of the faithful excited by these visible signs of religion and piety to the contemplation of the most sublime matters which are hidden in this sacrifice."
— Council of Trent (Session XXII)

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?