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Holy H2O

August 29, 2007

Holy water falls foul of French airport security

ROME (Reuters) – The real miracle would have been getting it past airport security.

Inspectors at Tarbes-Lourdes airport in France refused to give their blessing to holy water that passengers tried to bring on board the Vatican‘s new pilgrim flights this week, saying it was a security threat just like any other liquid.

The water, which is said to have miraculous healing powers, came from a sacred grotto where Catholics believe the Virgin Mary appeared in 1858.

Passenger Paola Saluzzi told Corriere della Sera newspaper she was carrying the water in eight small plastic bottles “in the shape of the little Madonna”. But it was not allowed on board.

“If they gave preference to the water from Lourdes it would be an (irregularity) that would not guarantee the proper procedure,” she acknowledged.

But the Vatican had foreseen such an eventuality and placed a small complimentary bottle of holy water on the seat of each pilgrim to drink on board, Saluzzi said.

The Vatican‘s chartered Boeing 737 aims to serve 150,000 pilgrims a year. Beyond Lourdes, destinations will range from the shrine of Fatima in Portugal to Mount Sinai in Egypt, where Moses is said to have received the 10 Commandments from God.

Like the prophet Jeremias

August 29, 2007


Read this priest’s lament.

I and other faithful Catholics
will understand completely.

(Luther would be pleased)

Sacred Order

August 28, 2007

Bishop Arthur Serratelli, chairman-elect of the USCCB BCL (United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Bishops’ Committee on the Liturgy) understands the loss of the sacred of the last 40 years. In a recent diocesan column he writes:

The anti-authoritarian prejudice that we have inherited from the social revolution of the ’60s imprinted on many a deep mistrust not only of government but of Church…Some even reject the very idea of hierarchy (literally, ‘a sacred origin’) as a spiritual authority established by God. As a result, Church means, for some, simply the assembly of like-minded believers who organize themselves and make their own rules and dogmas. Thus, the Church’s role in the spiritual realm is greatly eclipsed.”

I have observed in many Catholic churches in the Southwest US, less-than-artistic remnants of the ’60s, in liturgy/environment committee’s banal attempts to “decorate” for the season. These committees dumb-down the “worship space” with bolts of fabric draping the sterile, warehouse-like walls. Self-proclaimed liturgists who have no sense of the sacred have foisted their awful definition of beauty upon the faithful. Sacred art is replaced by toddler finger painting.

The worst “artistic” expressions I have ever seen were several poster boards, mounted around a church, covered by a montage of magazine photos which was meant to convey a concrete message of the season of Advent. It was absolutely the worst “liturgical art” I ever experienced. Hey! Here’s a thought…how about hope-filled expectation of the Incarnation of our Salvation through prayer, sacred music, and reflection on the persons and messages of Isaiah, the Baptist, and the Virgin Mary rather than photojournalist’s images of a hummingbird?

Let us allow the Holy Spirit to work through those called to lead and guide us to salvation–the hierarchy (the Pope, bishops, and priests)–rather than those who cling with a desperate death grip onto those false ideologies of a by-gone (thanks be to God) anti-authoritarian era. Also, let us pray for Bishop Serratelli as he shares his insightful understanding of the Sacred Liturgy handed to the Church by God Himself.

Viva Cristo Rey!

August 28, 2007

Blessed Rev. Fr. Miguel A. Pro, S.J.
Martyr and Patron for all persecuted priests.

Born on January 13, 1891 in Guadalupe, Mexico, Miguel Agustin Pro Juarez was the eldest son of Miguel Pro and Josefa Juarez.

Miguelito, as his doting family called him, was, from an early age, intensely spiritual and equally intense in hi mischievousness, frequently exasperating his family with his humor and practical jokes. As a child, he had a daring precociousness that sometimes went too far, tossing him into near-death accidents and illnesses. On regaining consciousness after one of these episodes, young Miguel opened his eyes and blurted out to his frantic parents, “I want some cocol” (a colloquial term for his favorite sweet bread). “Cocol” became his nickname, which he would later adopt as a code name during this clandestine ministry.

Miguel was particularly close to his older sister and after she entered a cloistered convent, he came to recognize his own vocation to the priesthood. Although he was popular with the senoritas and had prospects of a lucrative career managing his father’s thriving business concerns, Miguel renounced everything for Christ his King and entered the Jesuit novitiate in El Llano, Michoacan in 1911.

He studied in Mexico until 1914, when a tidal wave of anti-Catholicism crashed down upon Mexico, forcing the novitiate to disband and flee to the United States, where Miguel and his brother seminarians trekked through Texas and New Mexico before arriving at the Jesuit house in Los Gatos, California.

In 1915, Miguel was sent to a seminary in Spain, where he remained until 1924, when he went to Belgium for his ordination to the priesthood in 1925. Miguel suffered from a severe stomach problem and after three operations, when his health did not improve, his superiors, in 1926, allowed him to return to Mexico in spite of the grave religious persecution in that country.

The churches were closed and priests went into hiding. Miguel spent the rest of his life in a secret ministry to the sturdy Mexican Catholics. In addition to fulfilling their spiritual needs, he also carried out the works of mercy by assisting the poor in Mexico City with their temporal needs. He adopted many interesting disguises in carrying out his secret ministry. He would come in the middle of the night dressed as a beggar to baptize infants, bless marriages and celebrate Mass. He would appear in jail dressed as a police officer to bring Holy Viaticum to condemned Catholics. When going to fashionable neighborhoods to procure for the poor, he would show up at the doorstep dressed as a fashionable businessman with a fresh flower on his lapel. His many exploits could rival those of the most daring spies. In all that he did, however, Fr. Pro remained obedient to his superiors and was filled with the joy of serving Christ, his King.

Falsely accused in the bombing attempt on a former Mexican president, Miguel became a wanted man. Betrayed to the police, he was sentenced to death without the benefit of any legal process.

On the day of his execution, Fr. Pro forgave his executtioners, prayed, bravely refused the blindfold and died proclaiming, “Viva Cristo Rey”, “Long live Christ the King!”

Baseball Heaven

August 26, 2007

In honor of Saint Charles Borromeo Parish at Chase Field Sunday afternoon. Arizona Diamondbacks (NL West Leaders @ .558) vs Chicago Cubs (NL Central Leaders at .520) … Bishop Thomas Olmsted vs Cardinal Francis George … hehehe

O Salutaris Hostia

August 23, 2007

Blessed be Jesus in the Most Holy Sacrament of the altar.

Benedict’s brother: Criticism of pope signals ‘good pontificate’

…”I’m mainly concerned that the new situation will work well for my brother in relation to his faith, and I can witness that he’s fulfilling what the good Lord expects of him and also being understood by many people,” Msgr. Georg Ratzinger said in an Aug. 17 interview with Bavaria’s Passauer Neuen Presse daily.

He said he was aware of recent controversies, such as debate over the pope’s July 7 document allowing wider use of the Tridentine Mass, the liturgy that predates the Second Vatican Council, and a July 10 Vatican declaration that the Catholic Church is the one, true church.

“These critical voices were to be expected – if everything went smoothly, it wouldn’t be a good pontificate,” Msgr. Ratzinger said. “A person active in God’s kingdom has to expect resistance – just like our Lord, who also encountered enemies time and again. It can’t all be peace, joy and pancakes.”… — Catholic News Service | 08/22/07

"Anyone can cook"

August 22, 2007


I spent a nice afternoon with lunch and a movie with my priest-brothers.

The Plot

Remy (the protagonist) is a rat, constantly risking life in an expensive French restaurant because of his love of good food, as well as a desire to become a chef. Yet, obviously, this is a rather tough dream for a rat. But opportunity knocks when a young boy—Alfredo Linguini (the deuteragonist)—who desperately needs to keep his job at the restaurant, despite his lack of cooking abilities, discovers and partners the young Remy. It’s up to the two of them to avoid the insane head chef, bring the rest of Remy’s family up to his standards, win his partner a girl, and, of course, produce the finest Ratatouille in all of France.

A thought-provoking quote

“In many ways, the work of a critic is easy. We risk very little yet enjoy a position over those who offer up their work and their selves to our judgment. We thrive on negative criticism, which is fun to write and to read. But the bitter truth we critics must face is that, in the grand scheme of things, the average piece of junk is more meaningful than our criticism designating it so. But there are times when a critic truly risks something, and that is in the discovery and defense of the new. Last night, I experienced something new, an extraordinary meal from a singularly unexpected source. To say that both the meal and its maker have challenged my preconceptions is a gross understatement. They have rocked me to my core. In the past, I have made no secret of my disdain for Chef Gusteau’s famous motto: Anyone can cook. But I realize that only now do I truly understand what he meant. Not everyone can become a great artist, but a great artist can come from anywhere. It is difficult to imagine more humble origins than those of the genius now cooking at Gusteau’s, who is, in this critic’s opinion, nothing less than the finest chef in France. I will be returning to Gusteau’s soon, hungry for more.” – The antagonist, food critic Anton Ego

What is “ratatouille”?

Ratatouille is a tasty French Provençal dish made from stewed vegetables. The dish is versatile and can be served with rice, potatoes, French bread or itself can be a side dish.

Its main basic ingredients consist of tomatoes, onions and zucchinis.

The name of the dish appears to derive from the French touiller, “to stir”, although the root of the first element “rata” is slang from the French Army meaning “chunky stew”.

BTW

I had spaghetti with chicken and sun-dried tomatoes with a thick garlic sauce for lunch.

View trailer at:

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0382932/trailers-screenplay-E33581-10-2