Do you know what it means to sacrifice, and are you ready to sacrifice your comfort zones for the sake of the one, holy, Catholic and apostolic Church?
Saturday 12 October 2013
European television is full of this coverage, but I have not been home watching television.
Our Lady of Fatima is greatly loved in most Catholic countries.
If you have a chance, watch the dedication. I am not sure I shall able to see it. I am also having trouble with the Internet and the television is not working all the time as well. This is Malta.
Felix de Nicola was born in 1540 at Montegranaro in the Central Italian region know as the Marches of Ancona, around 1540, the second of Jerome de Nicola and his wife Theodora's four children. His father was a builder by trade, but found it hard to eke out a living. At a young age Felix was sent to work on a neighbouring farm, so as to earn some extra income for the family. In the countryside, with only sheep for company, he developed a love for silence, solitude, prayer and meditation. But when his parents died, and his brother Silenzio took over the family business, Felix was called back home to help with the building work. He was, however, a clumsy young man, totally incapable of learning any of the building skills, his brother tried to teach him. Even as a mere hod carrier, his innate clumsiness got the better of him and he was regularly scolded and badly beaten by his bad-tempered older brother. He bore this cruel treatment with great patience.
Wanting to consecrate himself to the service of God, he entered the Capuchin novitiate at Jesi at the age of eighteen. He was given the name Seraphin. "I have nothing but a crucifix and a rosary. With these I hope to benefit the Brothers and become a saint." His humility, penance and self-sacrifice impressed his brothers. Punctual in performing his own duties, he still found time to be of service to others. He used to say, "I'm fit for nothing but ready for anything."
He often spent nights in prayer. In the evening he would visit the Blessed Sacrament and remain there for hours absorbed in contemplation. Then he would take a short rest, after which he would get up again to attend the midnight Office.
During a famine he ate only a quarter of his usual food in order to have more to give to the poor. As doorkeeper, charged with providing for the poor, he once went beyond obedience. One day, there were some poor people waiting for food, and, since he had nothing left to give them, he went into the garden and pulled up the vegetables which were growing there and distributed them. When the guardian criticized him for doing this, Seraphin assured him that the community would not suffer in any way and indeed, they did not go hungry, the shortage being made up in other ways.
God blessed the kindness of his servant: it was said that sick people were restored to health when he made the Sign of the Cross over them. But Seraphin, for the most part, was a quiet man, withdrawn from the public eye. When working in the friary he meditated on the passion of Our Lord, and his great wish was to be sent abroad as a missionary, though this was not granted. He used to compose simple prayers of his own, such as the following: - One of my readers states this is, of course, from the Stabat Mater. I shall look up the dates...
Holy Mother, pierce me through.
In my heart each wound renew
Of my Saviour crucified.
Seraphin died on 12 October 1604 at the age of sixty-four. Pope Clement XIII canonized him in 1767.
Labels: saints and martyrs
Octopus Stew (in Maltese: Stuffat tal-Qarnit)
1 kilo (or 2 lb and 3.27 oz)) octopus
6 medium sized onions (chopped)
6 tomatoes (peeled and chopped)
6 large potatoes (cut in thick slices)
8 cloves of garlic (crushed)
8 olives (stoned and chopped)
1 tablespoon capers
A few leaves of marjoram and mint
A pinch of tyme
¼ bottle red wine
Clean the octopus very well by turning head inside out and removing the insides. Cut away the beak and eyes. The rest is all edible. To tenderize the flesh, put the octopus in a plastic bag and beat it with a meat hammer against the kitchen table.
Cut the octopus into pieces some 5 cm in length. Rinse in salted water and allow to drain.
Place the octopus in a pot over a very low fire and stew for about an hour. If you see that it is getting too dry, add a little hot water or white wine.
Fry the onions in olive oil. When they soften, add the tomatoes and garlic. As soon as the tomatoes start to soften, mix in all herbs, olives and capers.
The octopus pieces should now be ready to be added to the pan. Increase the temperature to boiling and add the potatoes also. Pour the red wine, lower the heat and stew slowly until the liquid reduces considerably.
We hope that you found these two octopus recipes interesting and that you will try them out when you feel like cooking octopus.
L-Ikla t-tajba! ... Maltese for "Enjoy your meal" :)
Writing is a private labor intensive work. One cannot be entertaining much when thinking, reflecting, writing.
However, in the lay life, we have ebbs and flows of activity and passive work, such as thinking, praying, and reflecting.
I love to entertain, in spurts. What is hard, of course, is doing this daily. I had a great friend whose husband was a top CEO. Her life was dedicated to entertaining. She had the grace and selflessness to meet the needs of her husband's many dinners and cocktail parties without being noticed. A quiet, efficient, and lovely hostess.
The key to being a good entertainer is to make all the people as comfortable and to allow them space to enjoy the dinner or day trip or coffee and talk, which means that one cannot be a narcissist, but "one who serves".
As an introvert, I find time to be by myself in Mass and late night Lectio Divina. When staying with friends, contemplation is almost impossible, but God wants times for us to reach out to others and share the jewels He gives us quietly in private. However, like a jealous Lover, He calls one to Himself.
A balance must be maintained and time for God remains the priority. I got a chance to go to Adoration today, which is hard to find in Malta, by the way. How nice to sit in the small chapel, with two or three other women and adore Christ in the Eucharist.
Keep your priorities as simple and as clear as possible.