Don't you dare quit!
Essential thinking for reading Catholics.
Here is a series of videos on the Shrine of St. Joseph, in St. Louis, MO (of which Rev. Brian Van Hove, SJ is the Rector)
And he shall grow up as a tender plant before him, and as a root out of a thirsty ground: there is no beauty in him, nor comeliness: and we have seen him, and there was no sightliness, that we should be desirous of him: Despised, and the most abject of men, a man of sorrows, and acquainted with infirmity: and his look was as it were hidden and despised, whereupon we esteemed him not. Surely he hath borne our infirmities and carried our sorrows: and we have thought him as it were a leper, and as one struck by God and afflicted. But he was wounded for our iniquities, he was bruised for our sins: the chastisement of our peace was upon him, and by his stripes we are healed.Let's keep in our thoughts and in our prayers all those whose Christmas will not be merry and bright. People who are estranged from family and friends, people who are suffering anxiety or depression, suffering from emotional or material deprivation, carrying the pains and scars of abuse and neglect. Let's never forget our individual moral obligation to those who need our help and concern. Let's not also forget all the blessings we have received, and let's not forget that chief among these are the love of family and the comfort of friends.
All we like sheep have gone astray, every one hath turned aside into his own way: and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was offered because it was his own will, and he opened not his mouth: he shall be led as a sheep to the slaughter, and shall be dumb as a lamb before his shearer, and he shall not open his mouth.
This is about 30% of the way into the packing extravaganza. The rules are the gifts must be wrapped and must state whether the gift is for a boy and/or a girl and the appropriate age range.
Here we are about 2/3 packed. Eagle-eyed readers will note those small bags were the ones I used as goody bags for my wife's surprise party last year. (Glad the eBay seller sold me a gross of them!)
Here we see the oldest lad carrying out bags aplenty on either arm. Eventually we had to make two car trips.
And, here are gratuitous shots of our living room mit der tannenbaum
And a gratuituous shot of a test run of the tablescape in progress.
So there you have it.
* as opposed to "supporting something being done"
Here is a roundup of thoughts on Cdl. Dulles' passing:
First Things (lots of great links)
America Magazine (ditto)
The New York Times (it is actually pretty good, even if it is -- inevitably -- NYTish and therefore does contain some of the eye-rollingly expected things)
It is important to note two things about Cdl. Dulles of blessed memory:
1- L'Osservatore Romano has run THREE full-on articles -- usually it's just a reprint of the telegram and a sentence or two that given cardinal's life -- on him and his passing, and
2- He was the only person whom the Pope specifically requested to meet on his trip to the USA.
And here is the Papal Telegram of Condolence's text:
HAVING LEARNED WITH SADNESS OF THE DEATH OF CARDINAL AVERY DULLES, I OFFER YOU MY HEARTFELT CONDOLENCES, WHICH I ASK YOU KINDLY TO CONVEY TO HIS FAMILY, HIS CONFRERES IN THE SOCIETY OF JESUS AND THE ACADEMIC COMMUNITY OF FORDHAM UNIVERSITY. I JOIN YOU IN COMMENDING THE LATE CARDINAL’S NOBLE SOUL TO GOD, THE FATHER OF MERCIES, WITH IMMENSE GRATITUDE FOR THE DEEP LEARNING, SERENE JUDGMENT AND UNFAILING LOVE OF THE LORD AND HIS CHURCH WHICH MARKED HIS ENTIRE PRIESTLY MINISTRY AND HIS LONG YEARS OF TEACHING AND THEOLOGICAL RESEARCH. AT THE SAME TIME I PRAY THAT HIS CONVINCING PERSONAL TESTIMONY TO THE HARMONY OF FAITH AND REASON WILL CONTINUE TO BEAR FRUIT FOR THE CONVERSION OF MINDS AND HEARTS AND THE PROGRESS OF THE GOSPEL FOR MANY YEARS TO COME. TO ALL WHO MOURN HIM IN THE HOPE OF THE RESURRECTION I CORDIALLY IMPART MY APOSTOLIC BLESSING AS A PLEDGE OF CONSOLATION AND PEACE IN OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST.BENEDICTUS PP. XVI
Eternal God, Creator of all things, remember that You alone has created the souls of unbelievers, which You have made according to Your Image and Likeness. Behold, O Lord, how to Your dishonor many of them are falling into Hell. Remember, O Lord, Your Son Jesus Christ, Who so generously shed His Blood and suffered for them. Do not permit that Your Son, Our Lord, remain unknown by unbelievers, but, with the help of Your Saints and the Church, the Bride of Your Son, remember Your mercy, forget their idolatry and infidelity, and make them know Him, Who You have sent, Jesus Christ, Your Son, Our Lord, Who is our salvation, our life, and our resurrection, through Whom we have been saved and redeemed, and to Whom is due glory forever. Amen.He traveled thousands upon thousands of miles, mostly barefoot, preaching the Good News with his gift of tongues. He died in 1552 at Sanxian, China of "the fever" which he contracted on a mission journey.
Beatified 25 October 1619 by Pope Paul V
We have visited the villages of the new converts who accepted the Christian religion a few years ago. The country is so utterly barren and poor. The native Christians have no priests. They know only that they are Christians. There is nobody to say Mass for them; nobody to teach them the Creed, the Our Father, the Hail Mary and the Commandments of God’s Law.
I have not stopped since the day I arrived. I conscientiously made the rounds of the villages. I bathed in the sacred waters all the children who had not yet been baptized. This means that I have purified a very large number of children so young that, as the saying goes, they could not tell their right hand from their left. The older children would not let me say my Office or eat or sleep until I taught them one prayer or another. Then I began to understand: “The kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”
I could not refuse so devout a request without failing in devotion myself. I taught them, first the confession of faith in the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit; then the Apostles’ Creed, the Our Father, and Hail Mary. I noticed among them persons of great intelligence. If only someone could educate them in the Christian way of life, I have no doubt that they would make excellent Christians.
Many, many people hereabouts are not becoming Christians for one reason only: there is nobody to make them Christians.
I wish they university students would work as hard at converting these people as
they do at their books, and so settle their account with God for their learning and the talents entrusted to them. This thought would certainly stir most of them to meditate on spiritual realities, to listen actively to what God is saying to them. They would forget their own desires, their human affairs, and give themselves over entirely to God’s will and His choice. They would cry out with all their heart: “Lord, I am here! What do you want me to do?” Send me anywhere you like - even to India!
- from letters to St Ignatius Loyola from St Francis Xavier