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Saturday, 7 September 2013

Another Reading from the Papal Vigil Tonight

John 20:19-29

19 Now when it was late that same day, the first of the week, and the doors were shut, where the disciples were gathered together, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in the midst, and said to them: Peace be to you.
20 And when he had said this, he shewed them his hands and his side. The disciples therefore were glad, when they saw the Lord.
21 He said therefore to them again: Peace be to you. As the Father hath sent me, I also send you.
22 When he had said this, he breathed on them; and he said to them: Receive ye the Holy Ghost.
23 Whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven them; and whose sins you shall retain, they are retained.
24 Now Thomas, one of the twelve, who is called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came.
25 The other disciples therefore said to him: We have seen the Lord. But he said to them: Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the place of the nails, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.
26 And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them. Jesus cometh, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said: Peace be to you.
27 Then he saith to Thomas: Put in thy finger hither, and see my hands; and bring hither thy hand, and put it into my side; and be not faithless, but believing.
28 Thomas answered, and said to him: My Lord, and my God.
29 Jesus saith to him: Because thou hast seen me, Thomas, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and have believed.

One of the Readings from the Peace Vigil Earlier Tonight

Douay Rheims The Book of Jeremiah 

20 Then king Sedecias commanded that Jeremias should be committed into the entry of the prison: and that they should give him daily a piece of bread, beside broth, till all the bread in the city were spent: and Jeremias remained in the entry of the prison.
14 And king Sedecias sent, and took Jeremias the prophet to him to the third gate, that was in the house of the Lord: and the king said to Jeremias: I will ask thee a thing, hide nothing from me.
15 Then Jeremias said to Sedecias: If I shall declare it to thee, wilt thou not put me to death? and if I give thee counsel, thou wilt not hearken to me.
16 Then king Sedecias swore to Jeremias, in private, saying: As the Lord liveth, that made us this soul, I will not put thee to death, nor will I deliver thee into the hands of these men that seek thy life.
17 And Jeremias said to Sedecias: Thus saith the Lord of hosts the God of Israel: If thou wilt take a resolution and go out to the princes of the king of Babylon, thy soul shall live, and this city shall not be burnt with fire: and thou shalt be safe, and thy house.
18 But if thou wilt not go out to the princes of the king of Babylon, this city shall be delivered into the hands of the Chaldeans, and they shall burn it with fire: and thou shalt not escape out of their hands.
19 And king Sedecias said to Jeremias: I am afraid because of the Jews that are fled over to the Chaldeans: lest I should be delivered into their hands, and they should abuse me.
20 But Jeremias answered: They shall not deliver thee: hearken, I beseech thee, to the word of the Lord, which I speak to thee, and it shall be well with thee, and thy soul shall live.
21 But if thou wilt not go forth, this is the word which the Lord hath shewn me:
22 Behold all the women that are left in the house of the king of Juda, shall be brought out to the princes of the king of Babylon: and they shall say: Thy men of peace have deceived thee, and have prevailed against thee, they have plunged thy feet in the mire, and in a slippery place, and they have departed from thee.
23 And all thy wives, and thy children shall be brought out to the Chaldeans, and thou shalt not escape their hands, but thou shalt be taken by the hand of the king of Babylon: and he shall burn this city with fire.
24 Then Sedecias said to Jeremias: Let no man know these words, and thou shalt not die.
25 But if the princes shall hear that I have spoken with thee, and shall come to thee, and say to thee: Tell us what thou hast said to the king, hide it not from us, and we will not kill thee: and also what the king said to thee:
26 Thou shalt say to them: I presented my supplication before the king, that he would not command me to be carried back into the house of Jonathan, to die there.
27 So all the princes came to Jeremias, and asked him: and he spoke to them according to all the words that the king had commanded him: and they left him: for nothing had been heard.
28 But Jeremias remained in the entry of the prison, until the day that Jerusalem was taken: and it came to pass that Jerusalem was taken.

One of the readings from the Peace Vigil from St. Leo the Great Discourse 95

VI. The blessedness of desiring righteousness

After this the Lord goes on to say: blessed are they who hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be satisfied Matthew 5:6 .It is nothing bodily, nothing earthly, that this hunger, this thirst seeks for: but it desires to be satiated with the good food of righteousness, and wants to be admitted to all the deepest mysteries, and be filled with the Lord Himself. Happy the mind that craves this food and is eager for such drink: which it certainly would not seek for if it had never tasted of its sweetness. But hearing the Prophet'sspirit saying to him: taste and see that the Lord is sweet ; it has received some portion of sweetness from on high, and blazed out intolove of the purest pleasure, so that spurning all things temporal, it is seized with the utmost eagerness for eating and drinking righteousness, and grasps the truth of that first commandment which says: You shall love the Lord your God out of all your heart, and out of all your mind, and out of all your strength : since to love God is nothing else but to love righteousness. In fine, as in that passage the care for one's neighbour is joined to the love of God, so, too, here the virtue of mercy is linked to the desire for righteousness, and it is said:

VII. The blessedness of the merciful

Blessed are the merciful, for God shall have mercy on them Matthew 5:7 . Recognize, Christian, the worth of your wisdom, and understand to what rewards you are called, and by what methods of discipline you must attain thereto. Mercy wishes you to be merciful, righteousness to be righteous, that the Creator may be seen in His creature, and the image of God may be reflected in the mirror of thehuman heart expressed by the lines of imitation. The faith of those who do good is free from anxiety: you shall have all your desires, and shall obtain without end what you love. And since through your almsgiving all things are pure to you, to that blessedness also you shall attain which is promised in consequence where the Lord says:

VIII. The blessedness of a pure heart

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God Matthew 5:8 . Great is the happiness, beloved, of him for whom so great a reward is prepared. What, then, is it to have the heart pure, but to strive after those virtues which are mentioned above? And how great theblessedness of seeing God, what mind can conceive, what tongue declare? And yet this shall ensue when man's nature is transformed, so that no longer in a mirror, nor in a riddle, but face to face 1 Corinthians 13:12  it sees the very Godhead as He is 1 John 3:2, which no man could see ; and through the unspeakable joy of eternal contemplation obtains that which eye has not seen, nor ear heard, neither has entered into the heart of man.  

Live Adoration From The Vatican Now and now the video is available at the site.

I saw thousands of very young people there on the broadcast. The future of the Church-God bless them.

Cormorant .007

Was it an Israeli Stork or an American Stork?

Ducks Must Take Over As The Stork Is Dead!

The Spy Stork is now dead. I suggest the ducks take over. If you missed my post on that, here it is....

There was a vulture spy as well, way back in 2011. I keep track of bird spies.

Next, sea birds may be needed. Cormorants can do that underwater thing.

Hope-persecution watch again

Repeat Post Because American Catholic Parents Are Not Getting It

The Mary Statue Saved Because It Was Used As A Pig-Trough

Today is the Feast Day of Our Lady of Dublin. The statue is one of my favorites, as it depicts Jesus Christ like the real baby He was, squirming out of His Mother's arms. The sermon by the Carmelite priest included his reading the call to fasting and prayer today by Pope Francis, and if parents missed my list of things to do today, here is the link.  Now, I want to describe this beautiful statue and give the history of Our Lady of Dublin from a small pamphlet from the Carmelites at Whitefriars Street Church, where the shrine is located. 

The Mass was lovely, although only about 80 people were there. It is raining and about 57 degrees Fahrenheit, which might have something to do with the attendance, but there is another Mass in honor of Our Lady of Dublin at 3:00 this afternoon.

One also gets a special blessing today and a sprinkling of holy water from the priest.

Here is the information from the pamphlet and a prayer below.

"One of the most beautiful statues in the city. The Black Statue of Our Lady is offset by the surrounding white marble and stone work. It is a wood carving in oak. Its original home was almost certainly the Cistercian Monastery of St. Mary in Dublin's north inner city. (I add here the streets around there are called Mary Lane, Lamb Street and so on. Also, the statue is very French Medieval in design, which would again make the Cistercian connected viable. French influence Marys have distinct faces.) At the time of the Reformation monasteries were targeted and destroyed and their contents plundered. One story tell us that the statue was used as a pig-trough in order to escape detection. (It would have been turned over, the priest said today and slurry thrown in the back.)The story arises from the fact that the back is hollow. For whatever piece of good fortune, the statue was saved and ended (up) being bought by Fr. John Spratt in 1824. ( The priest said that Father Spratt found it for sale in a shop just yards from where the monastery had been on Capel Street, so that, amazingly, the statue would not have traveled but yards from the original site on Abbey Street). Sadly, the original silver crown was never recovered. The Feast of Our Lady of Dublin is celebrated on September 8th."
Thanks to Wiki for St. Mary' s Abbey, Dublin's_Abbey,_Dublin

Thanks to Wiki for the Shrine of Our Lady of Dublin
Prayer to Our Lady of Dublin

Our Lady of Dublin, Intercede for our young people, that they may be holy, wise and prudent; for the mature that they may set a good example; for the old, that they may enjoy contentment and a quiet rest in their declining years. For those gone astray, that they may find their way back to their Father' House. For all our homes, that the peace and harmony of Nazareth may dwell in them. Amen

And, I ask my readers to ask Our Lady of Dublin to help me set up the Adoration House in Walsingham.

Meditations And A Movie

As a young person, in my adolescence, one of my favorite books and movies was Random Harvest. Who cannot love a movie with both Greer Garson and Ronald Colman, in black and white? A friend of mine told me it was on line and I found it. Watching this brought back memories of watching classic movies with my mom.

But, the story, written by the same author as Lost Horizon and Goodbye Mr. Chips, the great James Hilton, resembles the modern desire for completion in body, mind, and soul.

Hilton's story is about a man who loses his memory in WWI because of shell-shock. Now, as David Jones is my favorite poet, one sees a pattern in my interest here. He also experienced trauma and wrote and painted his way out of it.

But, the real power of the story for me rests in the idea that we have a drive for love which is unquenchable.

The main character is restless until he finds the missing three years of his life, and the woman he loved then.

What he does not know, until the end (spoiler alert) is that the woman who has been his private secretary and hostess wife is actually that same woman.

To me the message is that one must be true to one's self, and also, that mistakes from the past can be undone.

We live in an age of psychology, which complicates our ability to understand simple stories of love lost and rediscovered.

Of course, the story is fiction. But, is this not the story of our life with God? We lose Him through sin and selfish carelessness. We gain Him by persistent and prayer. We become new creations, redeemed, but with the character and gifts given to us at birth.

We are like the Bride who must go into the desert and seek the Bridegroom.

The story is rather modern, as Greer Garson's character truly takes hold of her future.

She decides to suffer. Can you imagine a story popular today about a person choosing selfless suffering for love?

The story ends happily. But, not without years of sacrifice.

Meditations on a movie, without popcorn....

Staying Focused in Times of Trouble

My ancestors, and most likely yours, dear readers, went through times of uncertainty, chaos, even danger. The fact that you and I are alive and reading and writing indicate our ancestors prevailed.

How do you think they did this through famines, wars, financial crashes, displacement? My family was, on one side, travelers on the Oregon Trail. One cannot imagine that journey and the hardships of going west.

My great-grandmother, at 18, came over from Bratislava to Iowa by herself in the late 1880s. Brave girl.

We who are paying attention know that we are facing perhaps one of the most terrible upheavals of civilization for centuries.

We hardly know how to compare wars or the separation of families, or the complete fall of empires, nations, countries which have existed for some time.

St. Augustine saw chaos and wrote about the great fall of the Roman Empire. That empire had lasted  almost 504 years. Can you imagine the distress of the people of that time, seeing what seemed eternal burning and being destroyed?

Prosperous cities of northern Africa completely disappeared after the destruction by the Vandals. Where there were villas, gardens, libraries, markets, circuses, now there is only sand.

One is left imagining the destruction of a civilization which formed Europe.

We have no idea of the wealth of knowledge that was lost from the destruction of libraries and the art work destroyed by barbarians, who had no eye for beauty.

What is it in people which allows them to withstand chaos, war, disasters?

I worked in Mississippi for a short while, for four months, a year after Katrina. I wish I had my photos on this computer to show you the devastation even after one year. I went down to help after one of the greatest disasters to ever hit the States. It was a humbling experience, and I am grateful for the chance to have been there to this day.

The scenes were indescribable. But, what was amazing were the people of Bay St. Louis. They were helping each other in a real sense of community. Many were Christians, Catholics, but many were not.

Destroyed St. Louis Bay Bridge
Those who survived without great emotional or psychological damage were those who showed two traits.

The first was hope for the future; an inner strength gave them hope. These people had a core of being rooted in their own characters which connected to their minds, heart, souls the virtue of hope.

The second was love, not only for themselves, but for each other. Those who began to build loved the land, the heritage, their spouses, their community.

Not everyone survived well. I saw depression, illnesses brought on by depression, grief which lasted too long.

Notice no houses in Waveland and Bay St. Louis here

But, for me, the symbol of resilience was a couple I met whose baby was born almost nine months after Katrina.

God loves life and gives hope. But, we must have each other as well to carry on.

Build community now. Find that inner core of being. Have hope and nurture love.

Those may be the only things you will have to get you through the hard times ahead.

For months, I heard the new bridge seen below being built. I heard the new pylons being pushed into the sea bed. When I was there, the shrimp fishers were finally allowed out into the Bay to start up their businesses again. Just to see the boats in the bay at night with the lights flickering in the dark brought hope.

Hope and renewal overcame grief and despair.
A renewed coffee house and cafe

I became very ill with three different things and had to leave. A year later, my son and I drove back to visit my friends in New Orleans and in Bay St. Louis. We went over the newly opened bridge.

I shall never forget that day. I have always loved Walker Percy and as we flew over the new bridge in my PT Cruiser, I sensed the love of the South and the love of God buried in his novels, emerging out of sadness, sin, despair.

When I was there, the storm had uncovered ruins from prehistoric tribes. I walked over around those ruins which were to be covered up again by new buildings. I took photos of the site.  Men and women from thousands of years ago showed us a glimpse of their lives because of a storm. God has planted within us the drive to live and to love.

Humans are resilient. But, we need grace. We need the virtues.

God gives us grace. Use it.

The sound of the new bridge being built will be with me for a long time

Killing Creativity: Obamacare Does Not Cover: writers, photographers, freelance artists, musicians, disc jockeys,

Groups which covered our creative people are dropping coverage because of Obamacare.

Are these people to disappear from our culture?

The Death of Socrates

Sad day in Kashmir

Art and music use to bring people together, but there is one religion which hates music....and peace....