Friday, September 30, 2005

Pope Visits Children's Hospital


From ABC News: Pope scares child who mistook him for doctor:

The Pope's white robes scared a young boy who mistook him for a doctor when he
visited a children's hospital on Friday.

The child began crying when
78-year-old Pope Benedict approached his bed in the cardiology ward of the
Bambino Gesu (Baby Jesus) hospital near the Vatican.

'It's the white,' a
nurse explained to the Pope. 'He can't take anymore of these white coats.'

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Feast of St. Michael

And Gabriel and Raphael, Archangels (I'm partial to Michael though).

From The Office of Readings:

Whenever some act of wondrous power must be performed, Michael is sent, so that
his action and his name may make it clear that no one can do what God does by
his superior power. So also our ancient foe desired in his pride to be like God,
saying: I will ascend into heaven; I will exalt my throne above the stars of
heaven; I will be like the Most High. He will be allowed to remain in power
until the end of the world when he will be destroyed in the final punishment.
Then, he will fight with the archangel Michael, as we are told by John: A battle
was fought with Michael the archangel.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

John Paul Gliding toward Beatification

Pope John Paul I that is...

From Ansa.IT:

Pope John Paul I, who died in 1978 after a reign of only 34 days, could be the next addition to the growing list of possible papal saints .

The beatification process for the Italian pontiff has moved swiftly ahead since its 2003 launch, the official in charge of the cause said in an interview marking the 27th anniversary of the pope's death .

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

RIP ''Road Less Traveled'' Author Dies at 69.

From Newsday.com: ''Road Less Traveled'' author dies at 69.:

Author M. Scott Peck, who wrote the best-seller 'The Road Less Traveled' and other novels, has died. He was 69.

Peck died Sunday at his home in Connecticut, longtime friend and Los Angeles publicist Michael Levine said. He had suffered from pancreatic and liver duct cancer.

More Catholic than the Pope?

The Pardoner's Tale: More Catholic than the Pope

Persecution?

I would like to turn this conversation once more to how one identifies themselves. If I ask a celibate his or her sexual orientation I expect them to say celibate not gay or heterosexual. St. Paul takes this a step further, saying that all of us should remember that we are Christ's and what we were before Christ was not who we really are...

The passage is well known and it deals with all of us not just one group:

Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither the immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor sexual perverts,
nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor robbers will inherit the kingdom of God.

And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.


People who still identify themselves in one way perhaps haven't converted to Christianity (a problem that exists among Catholics who don't always see the connection between their faith and Jesus), no persectution---just truth in advertising as Amy said in her NY Times piece.

From Gay Men Ponder Impact of Proposal by Vatican - New York Times:

Gay priests say they are being scapegoated for crimes committed by pedophiles
and covered up by bishops who never faced any discipline. The interviews made
clear that they now had the strong sense of being persecuted by their own
church.

'I feel like a Jew in Berlin in the 1930's,' said a 48-year-old
gay priest who has spent 18 years in a religious order. He said he was
considering donning a pink triangle - the symbol used by the Nazis - and getting
heterosexual priests and members of the laity to wear the triangles as a
protest.

First Seminary Investigation Begins

At Aquinas in St. Louis...

I am familiar with the Rector/President, had him at a class at the Aquinas Institute (same place) in St. Louis back in the early 90's. They used to brag about one of their nuns having an MDiv so that when the ban on women's ordination was lifted she would be ready to go...gives you an idea of where they are coming from... not surprising to hear his comments.

From STLtoday - News - St. Louis City / County:

The 25 candidates studying to become priests at Aquinas Institute of Theology
were described as 'anxious' but not worried Monday as a Vatican team began
evaluating how they are prepared intellectually, spiritually and sexually for
priesthood.


And an op-ed in the St. Louis Dispatch by the President Rector:

Priests are not sexless.

Priestly celibacy is a free choice to forgo sex and marriage for the sake of ministry. Like marriage, celibacy can be difficult, even burdensome. Those of us who have chosen it do so because we believe it is the best way for us to achieve our life's purpose. The goal is not to suppress sexuality but to shape it into a truly creative force in the service of others. Priests are loving, caring, feeling and, yes, even desiring, human persons. We wouldn't want it any other way.

Homosexuality and pedophilia are not the same.

Homosexuality involves attraction to adult persons of the same sex and is not in itself sinful or sick. There is no evidence that a homosexual orientation, in and of itself, prevents a seminarian from achieving the same holiness and ministerial effectiveness as a seminarian with a heterosexual orientation.

On the other hand, a pedophile has no interest in adult sexual relationships and is attracted only to children.

Most victims of pedophilia are girls, and most molesters are male family members. Pedophilia is a serious pathology that is resistant to therapy. It is found in every social class, within every racial and ethnic group and in every profession. There is no evidence that pedophilia is more prevalent among priests than in society at large.

Friday, September 23, 2005

No Publication Date for Seminarian Document

According to National Catholic Reporter quoting Vatican "officials".

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Power of St. Rita of Cascia's Intercession

From a commentor on the Huricane post below:

The professor of history and Moral Theology at the Seminary I attendeed for two years is a brilliant priest named Father Juan-Carlos Iscara, from Argentina. He was having problems with his visa my first year, and thought he might have to be deported. The summer between my first and second year, either his passport or his visa expired (I can't remember) and he was still in America. Whatever it was, not only was he facing certain deportation, but also maybe jail time, due to the laws in Argentina.

Father has a great devotion to St. Rita of Cassia, and prayed a novena to her to fix the problem. So he went to the Argentine embassy to sort it out. Normally, that means he went to turn himself in.

After a long wait in line, he went up to the counter, and the lady behind the counter asked Father if he would say a Mass for her mother in honor of St. Rita. She then told him how devoted she was to St. Rita and was very grateful, because American priests were so reticent to do such a thing. So Father said, "That's wonderful. But what about the visa/passport?" She said, "I'm in charge here. Your visa/passport has been approved. Have a nice day, Father." That was it, thanks to St. Rita.

Let's ask St. Rita to beg God to spare eastern Texas. St. Rita, pray for us.

Guardian Unlimited | World Latest | Expected Vatican Ban Roils American Church

Father Benedict Groeschel often points out that to refer to oneself as "gay" is a further step beyond identifying oneself as a homosexual--to be gay is to be a part of subculture that in and of itself is oriented against what the Catholic Church teaches about sexuality. Herein I think lies the problem with even celibate "gays" being ordained or for that matter celibate "straights"...for someone who is celibate to be identifying themselves by their sexual orientation, is a pretty good indication that they face an uphill battle. A celibates shoulld be toward celibacy not toward having sex with men or women.

I have known genuine celibates who would not be married if they weren't priests or religious, neither would they be cavorting with other men. They are celibate...people who see themselves as sexually oriented are doomed to live a celibate vocation--faithfully anyways.

For what its worth...interesting that from a British paper this is seen as a problem for the Catholic Church in the U.S.

From Guardian Unlimited World Latest Expected Vatican Ban Roils American Church:

A gay American priest, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he feared
reprisals from church leaders, said he and other gay clergy and seminarians felt
``absolute horror'' when they heard about the anticipated ban.

``I've spoken to gay priests who feel demoralized. I've heard straight priests say that they're embarrassed by it. I've heard priests both straight and gay seriously
considering leaving,'' he said. ``They couldn't believe that after centuries of
either explicit or implicit welcoming of celibate gay clergy that the church
would turn its back on them.''

Cardinal Law Got One Vote to be Pope in Last Conclave

Cardinal Bergoglio of Agentina was the closest challenger to Benedict...

From Guardian Unlimited World Latest Diary Reveals Vote Tally for New Pope:

Ratzinger also led the second ballot with 65 votes, while Bergoglio received 35.
In the third round of voting, Ratzinger got 72 votes and Bergoglio 40.

Ratzinger needed 77 votes in the final round to win the necessary
two-thirds majority of the 115 voting cardinals. He got 84, Bergoglio got 26,
and three other cardinals also registered one vote apiece in the last round:
Austrian Cardinal Christoph Schoenborn, Italian Cardinal Giacomo Biffi and
American Cardinal Bernard Law, according to the diary.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Feast of St. Matthew


From the Office of Readings:


"He saw the tax collector and, because he saw him through the eyes of mercy and chose him, he said to him: Follow me. This following meant imitating the pattern of his life --not just walking after him. St. John tells us: Whoever says he abides in Christ ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.

And he rose and followed him. There is no reason for surprise that the tax collector abandoned earthly wealth as soon as the Lord commanded him. Nor should one be amazed that neglecting his wealth, he joined a band of men whose leader had, on Matthew's assessment, no riches at all. Our Lord summoned Matthew by speaking to him in words. By an invisible, interior impulse flooding his mind with the light of grace, he instructed him to walk in his footsteps. In this way Matthew could understand that Christ, who was summoning him away from earthly possessions, had incorruptible treasures of heaven in his gift.

As he sat at table in the house, behold many tax collectors and sinners came and sat down with Jesus and his disciples. This conversion of one tax collector gave many men, those from his own profession and other sinners, an example of repentance and pardon. Notice also the happy and true anticipation of his future status as apostle and teacher of the nations. No sooner was he converted than Matthew drew after him a whole crowd of sinners along the same road to salvation. He took up his appointed duties while still taking his first steps in the faith, and from that hour he fulfilled his obligation and thus grew in merit. To see a deeper understanding of the great celebration Matthew held at his house, we must realise that he not only gave a banquet for the Lord at his earthly residence, but far more pleasing was the banquet set in his own heart which he provided through faith and love. Our Saviour attests to this: Behold I stand at the door; if anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.


Let me recommend a great commentary on Matthew's Gospel. It is written by a non-Catholic but is magisterial with a few exceptions and will definitely leave the reader satiated with knowing a lot more than they did before. It is in two volumes:

Volume I:



and Volume II:

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Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Interview with Robert Spencer

Author of the Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam...at Catholic Report

Top 100 of All Books Amazon Sells

Not religion, all books...



Support Catholic Radio

I'll be a guest on Holy Spirit Radio 1570AM - WISP tomorrow morning at 9:45 Eastern time (you can listen online if you don't live in the Philadelphia area)...and a guest on Mediatrix Radio on Friday morning at 9:05 Eastern time.

Tragic Accident at Mundelein Seminary in Chicago

A beautiful campus in a heavily wooded area, a narrow winding road...I'll bet a deer is involved in the swerving (not mentioned in the story but when I was there a few years ago the place was crawling with deer by the roadside).

From Two seminary students killed in car accident:

A seminary student from Wyoming was charged Friday in the deaths of two fellow
students who were killed when the car they were riding in crashed into a tree at
the University of St. Mary by the Lake in this northern Chicago suburb, police
said.

Prosecutors have charged Robert Spaulding, 27, of Evansville,
Wyo., with reckless homicide and driving under the influence, Mundelein Police
Sgt. John Monahan said.

Matthew Molnar, 28, of Overland Park, Kan., died
early Thursday at an area hospital after the car Spaulding was driving lost
control and smashed into a tree around 1:45 a.m., Monahan said. Fellow passenger
Jared Cheek, 23, of St. Marys, Kan., died of his injuries Friday morning, he
said.

Authorities charged a fourth passenger, 36-year-old seminary
student Mark Rowlands of Columbus, Ohio, with impersonating a police officer and
aggravated unlawful use of a weapon after authorities found a handgun and old
deputy badges inside the car, Monahan said.
Archdiocese of Chicago
spokeswoman Colleen Dolan said the students were driving back from having dinner
at a restaurant when the car's driver lost control of the vehicle when he
swerved to avoid hitting a deer. Molnar and Cheek were sitting in the back seat
and were ejected from the car, Dolan said.

'This seems to have been more
of a freak accident,' she said.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Book Makes Sudden Appearance on Top Amazon Sellers

I'm always monitoring Catholic books sales on Amazon and was surprised to see that this book by Father Benedict Groeschel (he has two new excellent titles that have just come out) suddenly appear in the top twenty.




I wonder if the Hurricane sparked the sales? Or perhaps the anniversary of 9/11?

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Feast of St. John Chrisostom


From The Office of Readings:

The waters have risen and severe storms are upon us, but we do not fear drowning, for we stand firmly upon a rock. Let the sea rage, it cannot break the rock. Let the waves rise, they cannot sink the boat of Jesus. What are we to fear? Death? Life to me means Christ, and death is gain. Exile? "The earth and its fullness belong to the Lord." The confiscation of goods? We brought nothing into this world, and we shall surely take nothing from it. I have only contempt for the world's threats, I find its blessings laughable. I have no fear of poverty, no desire for wealth. I am not afraid of death nor do I long to live, except for your good. I concentrate therefore on the present situation, and I urge you, my friends, to have confidence.

Do you not hear the Lord saying: "Where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I in their midst?" Will he be absent, then, when so many people united in love are gathered together? I have his promise; I am surely not going to rely on my own strength! I have what he has written; that is my staff, my security, my peaceful harbour. Let the world be in upheaval. I hold to his promise and read his message; that is my protecting wall and garrison. What message? "Know that I am with you always, until the end of the world! "

If Christ is with me, whom shall I fear? Though the waves and the sea and the anger of princes are roused against me, they are less to me than a spider's web. Indeed, unless you, my brothers, had detained me, I would have left this very day. For I always say "Lord, your will be done"; not what this fellow or that would have me do, but what you want me to do. That is my strong tower, my immovable rock, my staff that never gives way. If God wants something, let it be done! If he wants me to stay here, I am grateful. But wherever he wants me to be, I am no less grateful.

Yet where I am, there you are too, and where you are, I am. For we are a single body, and the body cannot be separated from the head nor the head from the body. Distance separates us, but love unites us, and death itself cannot divide us. For though my body die, my soul will live and be mindful of my people.

You are my fellow citizens, my fathers, my brothers, my sons, my limbs, my body. You are my light, sweeter to me than the visible light. For what can the rays of the sun bestow on me that is comparable to your love? The sun’s light is useful in my earthly life, but your love is fashioning a crown for me in the life to come.

Prohibit Gay-inclined Men from Seminary, Archbishop O'Brien Says

He's leading the Vatican investigation of American seminaries...

Prohibit gay-inclined men from seminary, prelate says:

The American prelate overseeing a sweeping Vatican evaluation of every
seminary in the United States told a weekly newspaper that men with 'strong
homosexual inclinations' should not be enrolled, even if they have remained
celibate for years.

Archbishop Edwin O'Brien made the comments to the National Catholic
Register newspaper as Roman Catholics await word of a much-anticipated Vatican
document on whether homosexuals should be barred from the priesthood. O'Brien
and several other U.S. bishops have said they expect that document to be
released soon.

'I think anyone who has engaged in homosexual activity, or has strong
homosexual inclinations, would be best not to apply to a seminary and not to be
accepted into a seminary,' O'Brien told the independent newspaper.

Legion Opens New School for Young Men

Just south of South Bend, IN

From Boston.com:

The Legionaries of Christ said the minor seminary, called Sacred Heart Apostolic
School and located on a 51-acre campus 20 miles west of South Bend, plans to add
a grade level each year with an ultimate goal of 100 to 120 students, order
spokesman Jay Dunlap said.

The order's Immaculate Conception Apostolic
School in Center Harbor, N.H., draws several students from the Midwest, Dunlap
said. That 23-year-old school enrolls 140 students in grades seven through 12.
The order also operates schools in Colfax, Calif., and Cornwall, Ontario.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary


From The Office of Readings:

The present festival, the birth of the Mother of God, is the prelude, while the final act is the fore-ordained union of the Word with flesh. Today the Virgin is born, tended and formed and prepared for her role as Mother of God, who is the universal King of the ages.

Justly, then, do we celebrate this mystery since it signifies for us a double grace. We are led toward the truth, and we are led away from our condition of slavery to the letter of the law. How can this be? Darkness yields before the coming of the light, and grace exchanges legalism for freedom. But midway between the two stands today’s mystery, at the frontier where types and symbols give way to reality, and the old is replaced by the new. Therefore, let all creation sing and dance and unite to make worthy contribution to the celebration of this day. Let there be one common festival for saints in heaven and men on earth. Let everything, mundane things and those above, join in festive celebration. Today this created world is raised to the dignity of a holy place for him who made all things. The creature is newly prepared to be a divine dwelling place for the Creator.

--St. Andrew of Crete--

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Tropical Storm Ophelia and Mary


Coincidence or another sign?


Ophelia means "help" or "succor"...interesting when you link this to the area threatened by Tropical Storm Ophelia -- St. Augustine, FL which coincidently was founded on September 8th, 1565 (anniversary tomorrow)... the feast of the birth of Mary. The area is also dominated by a beautiful shrine marking the spot, including a large cross and chapel of Our Lady of LaLeche (nursing mother).

Given that Our Lady of Prompt Succor is the patroness against storms and of New Orleans---add to this St. John Bosco's prophecy (alluded to last month on this blog, during the Pope's boat trip in Cologne)...where a future pope linked the barque of Peter to a pilar on which stood Our Lady Help of Christians (prompt succor is another rendering of this title) might we see some unraveling of a mystery before our eyes to prepare?

Check out How do You Handle Tragedy?


Hoarse Pope Receives Blessing from a Child


From Agenzia Giornalistica Italia - News In English:

With the original sin, man 'has replaced the glory of incorruptible God with the
image and figure of corruptible man, choosing to worship idols and becoming
alike', said Pope Benedict XVI today, describing the temptation to be godless,
which has always affected man, and is still topical. In order to react to this
temptation, said the Pope in the general hearing, 'we must keep on considering
the son of God a model. He freed us from darkness and took us to the kingdom of
his son. This is the condition that grants us eternal salvation, because Jesus
Christ is the first-born of the dead, namely, the first to resuscitate'. The
pope then greeted the members of the Cistercense Order in St.Peter's square,
asking them to 'faithfully experience St.Bernard's charisma, and pursue his
century-long spirtitual fertility'. THe pope also met Moscow nuncio, mons.
Antonio Mennini, and the representatives of the Holy See in South Africa and
Peru. The pope was in good shape, but had a hoarse voice. A curious episode
after the general hearing: a down lad, waiting to be blessed by the pope, gave
him a blessing himself before receiving it, with the austere pontiff smiling.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Powerful Typhoon Lashes Southern Japan

From the Washington Post:

Typhoon Nabi lashed southern Japan on Tuesday, forcing tens of thousands to
evacuate as the government dispatched troops to fortify defenses against the
waves and flooding. At least 15 people were injured and three reported missing.

With winds of up to 89 mph, the storm churned near the coastal city of
Kushikino on Japan's southernmost main island of Kyushu, Japan's Meteorological
Agency said.


Meanwhile back here Tropical Storm Nate forms in the Atlantic.

Monday, September 05, 2005

Feast of Blessed Mother Teresa


From Prayer to Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta:

Blessed Teresa, you promised to continuously bring the light of love to those on earth; pray for us that we also may long to satiate the burning thirst of Jesus by loving Him ardently, sharing in His sufferings joyfully, and serving Him wholeheartedly in our brothers and sisters, especially those most unloved and unwanted.

Rehnquist's Funeral to be at St. Mathew's Cathedral

It'll be a Lutheran service though...

From :

President Bush could have petitioned Congress for a state funeral for Rehnquist, a ceremony that would have allowed the body to lie in state in the Rotunda of the Capitol. Only state funerals include that honor.

Rules of the Roman Catholic Church permit church use for funerals for those who, like Rehnquist, are not Roman Catholics, according to a spokeswoman for the Archdiocese of Washington. Rehnquist belonged to a Lutheran church and the services will be Lutheran.

Susan Gibbs, the spokeswoman for the archdiocese, said the request to use St. Matthew's came from the Rehnquist family through the court based on its size. The church has seating for about 2,000 in its main section and side chapels.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Pope on the Eucharist and Katrina at Sunday Angelus


From AsiaNews.it:

Dear brothers and sisters!

“The Year of the Eucharist is now entering its final phase. It concludes in the coming month of October with the celebration of the Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops in the Vatican, which will have as its theme: ‘The Eucharist: Source and Summit of the Life and Mission of the Church’. This special Year dedicated to the Eucharistic mystery was desired by the much-loved Pope John Paul II to reawaken in Christian people faith, awe and love towards this great sacrament, which constitutes the true treasure of the Church. With what devotion he celebrated Holy Mass, the centre of each of his days! And how much time he spent in adoring, silent prayer before the Tabernacle! Through his sickness, in the last months, he was assimilated even more in the suffering Christ. It is striking to think that at the hour of his death, he was uniting the offering of his life to that of Christ during Mass which was being celebrated at his bedside. His earthly existence ended in the Octave of Easter, right in the heart of this Eucharistic Year, in which the passage from his great pontificate to mine took place. So it is with joy that I reaffirm, right from the start of this service which the Lord has asked of me, the centrality of the Sacrament of the real presence of Christ in the life of the Church and in that of each and every Christian.

In view of October’s Synodal Assembly, the Bishops taking part will examine the ‘Instrument of Work’ prepared for the occasion. However I ask the entire ecclesial community to feel a part of this phase of immediate preparation and to participate through prayer and reflection, valuing each occasion, event and meeting. Even at the recent World Youth Day, many were the references made to the Eucharistic mystery. I recall, for example, the striking Vigil of Saturday night, 20 August, in Marienfeld, which had as its culminating moment the Eucharistic adoration: a courageous choice, which brought the gazes and hearts of the youth to look at Jesus present in the most Holy Sacrament. I also recall that during those memorable days, in some churches of Cologne, Bonn and Dusseldorf, continual adoration was held, day and night, with the participation of many youth, who could thus discover together the beauty of contemplative prayer!

I trust that, thanks to the commitment of pastors and faithful, participation in the Eucharist will be ever more assiduous and fervent in each and every community. Today in particular, I would like to exhort that the ‘Day of the Lord’, Sunday, a sacred day for Christians, be joyfully sanctified. In this context, I like to recall the person of St Gregory the Great, whose memory we celebrated yesterday in the liturgy. That pope gave a contribution of historical significance to the promotion of the liturgy in its various aspects and in particular to convenient celebration of the Eucharist. His intercession, together with that of the most Holy Mary, helps us every Sunday to live fully the joy of Easter and of the encounter with the risen Christ.”

After the Angelus prayer, the pope recalled victims of the Hurricane Katrina:

“In these days we are all saddened by the disaster wrought by a hurricane in the United States of America, especially in New Orleans. I wish to give assurance of my prayers for the deceased and for their relatives, for the injured and the homeless, for the sick, for children and for elderly people; I bless all those who are committed to the difficult work of aid and reconstruction. I have given the President of the Pontifical Council Cor Unum, Archbishop Paul Josef Cordes, the assignment of taking the testimony of my solidarity to the stricken populations.”

Saturday, September 03, 2005

How Do We Deal With Tragedy?


I've been thinking a lot about how the constant images of suffering and devastation challenge the common world view of most Americans...and unfortunately most Christians who have forgotten how the Gospel presents the Good News of Christ...aptly summarized in Archbishop Bruno Forte's statement "Life is either a pilgrimage or a foretaste of death."

I'm also struck by a letter that I received by a group of women in Hurricane stricken Florida last Fall after they had completed a group study of The Power of the Cross: Applying the Passion of Christ to Your Life. The leader of the group wrote to me, "We've missed out on this key element of the Gospel that helps us to understand where God is in the midst of horrific events."

Indeed.

The natural disaster that has stricken the Gulf Coast reminds us again that this life can bring many crosses which we either curse because we see nothing beyond or contemplate with Faith because of our belief in Christ.

Storm's Economic Toll at $100 Billion?

Staggering figure, but shows the enormity of the problem.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Explosions Fill New Orleans Sky With Smoke

Chemical plant blows up...unbelievable how this disaster grows more horrible by the day. Also hard to believe that there isn't a way to get these people out of the city faster.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

September: Month of Our Lady of Sorrows



When you think about the tragedy of 9/11 that we will commemorate a week from this Sunday and the horrific images coming from the Gulf Coast today it is comforting to think that in Catholic devotion and belief God is not far off but suffers with us. Paul was told by Jesus on the road to Damascus "Why are you persecuting me?" such was the risen Lord's association with those he left behind.

So too in Catholic devotion Our Lady's Assumption has not removed her from our sorrow and this image of a statue that survived Katrina's destruction with a few fingers missing reminds me of that...



"To you do we cry, to you do we send up our sighs, mournings and weepings in this vale of tears, turn then most gracious advocate and show unto us the fruit of your womb--Jesus!"

Feast of St. Giles (Patron of cripples, breastfeeding)


Every now and again there are saints whose lives are just that interesting...

From Catholic Culture:

St. Giles

According to tradition, St. Giles was born at Athens, Greece, and was of noble
extraction. After his parents died, he fled from his fatherland to avoid
followers and fame. He went to France, and in a cave in a forest near the mouth
of the Rhone he was able to lead the life of a hermit. Legend has a hind came
everyday to his cell and furnished him with milk. One day the King's hunters
chased the hind and discovered St. Giles and his secret hermitage. The hunters
shot at the hind, but missed and hit Giles' leg with an arrow, which kept him
crippled the rest of his life. He then consented to King Theodoric's request of
building a monastery (known later as "Saint Gilles du Gard") and he became its
first Abbot. He died some eight years later towards 712.

In
Normandy, France,
women having difficulty becoming pregnant would sleep
with a picture or statues of the saint.

In England,
churches named for St. Giles were built so that cripples could reach them
easily, and he was also considered the chief patron of the poor. That in his
name charity was granted the most miserable is shown from the custom that on
their passage to Tyburn for execution, convicts were allowed to stop at St.
Giles' Hospital where they were presented with a bowl of ale called St. Giles'
Bowl, "thereof to drink at their pleasure, as their last refreshing in this
life."

St. Giles is included in the list of the fourteen "Auxiliary
Saints" or "Holy Helpers". These are a group of saints invoked because they have
been efficacious in assisting in trials and sufferings. Each saint has a
separate feast or memorial day, and the group was collectively venerated on
August 8, until the 1969 reform of the Roman calendar, when the feast was
dropped.

Patron: Beggars; breastfeeding; hermits;
horses; physically disabled; woods; blacksmiths; against lameness; against
leprosy; against sterility; against infertility.

Symbols: Hand pierced with arrows; hind pierced with
arrows; gold doe, pierced by a silver arrow; Benedictine with crosier, arrow
piercing hand, protecting hind.

How You Can Help the Victims

Check out Helping victims and survivors