Showing posts with label holidays. Show all posts
Showing posts with label holidays. Show all posts

18 Feb 2018

Mass Murder: No Fast Fix

This year's Ash Wednesday and Valentine's Day were the same day.

Folks exchanged greeting cards. Many got their foreheads marked with ashes. And 17 were killed at a high school.

Someone's already called last Wednesday's mass murder the 'Valentine's Day Massacre of 2018.' The famous Valentine's Day Massacre was in 1929. It happened when a Chicago gang tried resolving a disagreement over bootleg booze. It didn't succeed. Not quite....

...I'm quite sure the 17 folks killed at Stoneman Douglas High School will be missed by their families, friends, and acquaintances....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

Lent: Not Doing Too Much

Quite a bit happened this week.

We started Lent's 40-day stay with our Lord in the desert. Not literally. That's mentioned in today's Gospel: Mark 1:12-15. I've talked about deserts and Deuteronomy, penance and porridge, before. (February 11, 2018; February 26, 2017)

There's a more technical — and more useful, probably — discussion in Catechism of the Catholic Church 538-540....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

11 Feb 2018

Skydiving and Lent

Lent is fast approaching. How I see it and what I do is up to me. Ash Wednesday is next week, so I don't have much time to decide.

Christians, Catholic and otherwise, in my culture generally change what we eat for this season. I'm a Catholic, so I've got rules.

But not all that many. Mostly they're guidelines. I put a link to my territory's rules about diet under 'Fast & Abstinence' near the end of this post....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

7 Jan 2018

"Do Not be Afraid"

4th Sunday of Advent, 2017

By Deacon Lawrence N. Kaas December 24, 2017

Good! Now try to imagine yourself describing the scene in which the Angel Gabriel seeks and speaks to Mary as one that could be played out spectacularly on film or a TV program, it would begin with the panoramic vision or an overall view of the world that solemnly zooms in and spotlights in one tiny little place. We could imagine the overview from the film score to the mission behind Google Earth....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

The Magi, Meds and Me

It's Epiphany Sunday. It's not about the magi, wise men from the east. Not exactly. They're involved; along with King Herod, religious experts, Mary and Jesus. But they're not what this is all about.

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

17 Dec 2017

Rejoicing Anyway

If I thought my faith depended on feeling cheerful, I'd be worried.If I thought my faith depended on feeling cheerful, I'd be worried.

Since I'm a Catholic, I think faith is willingly and consciously embracing "the whole truth that God has revealed." (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 142-150)

Faith is easier when my emotions are in sync with my reason. So is acting as if what I believe matters. Emotions can tell me that something needs attention, but "...conscience is a law of the mind...." (Catechism, 1777-1782)

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

3 Dec 2017

Advent: Our Long Watch

'Tis the season for frantic shopping, eye-popping light shows in suburban front yards, and Christmas television specials.

It's also the start of Advent.

This is a season when we look back at ancient hopes for a Messiah, and our Lord's first arrival. And look ahead to when Jesus will be back....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

23 Nov 2017

Happy Thanksgiving!

("A Holiday Haven," another installment in a tale of two turkeys.)

If you are in or from the United States, I hope you are having a good Thanksgiving Day. If not, I trust that you're having a good November 24th.

Some folks write sober monographs for this holiday, thoroughly discussing the myriad reasons we have for being thankful.

Others present schmaltzy pieces on the same topic: about as deep as a rain puddle....

More, but not much more, at A Catholic Citizen in America.

25 Jun 2017

London Fires, Mostly

Many folks who lived in Grenfell Tower got out. Many others died.

We don't know how many. A current estimate is 79. Determining the exact number will be difficult, since high temperatures may have effectively obliterated some human remains.

Some survived because they didn't listen to official instructions to stay in their homes. That advice makes sense in a building with sprinklers and adequate interior firewalls.

In Grenfell Tower, not so much....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

28 May 2017

More Than a 3-Day Weekend

Tomorrow is Memorial Day.

It's equivalent to Dodenherdenking in the Netherlands, or Remembrance Day in the Commonwealth of Nations.

The holiday's original purpose was to honor those who have been killed while serving in our nation's military.

That's still the holiday's official purpose. Recent generations have used the three-day weekend as an unofficial start of summer vacation season. That's not, I think, entirely inappropriate. I'll get back to that.

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

14 May 2017

Mother’s Day, and Mary

Upwards of 40 countries celebrate mothers at some point during each year.

America's Mother's Day doesn't seem to connect with Phrygia's cult of Cybele or Japan's Haha no Hi, apart from being a recognition of motherhood.

Our Mother's Day has roots in my country's civil war. Ann Jarvis organized a committee in 1868, promoting "Mother's Friendship Day." The idea was "to reunite families that had been divided during the Civil War."

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

16 Apr 2017

The Eighth Day: Two Millennia and Counting

Easter is when we celebrate "the crowning truth of our faith in Christ" (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 638)

It's among the top major events so far. Depending on how you count them, there have been only three to six: the creation of this universe; humanity's creation and fall; and our Lord's arrival, execution, and resurrection.

There's another big one coming, eventually, and I'll get back to that.

The idea that the Son of God was human and divine has seemed insufficiently 'spiritual' to some folks for two millennia now. But like John 1:14 says,1 "...the Word became flesh...."

The crucifixion, and what happened later, wouldn't mean much otherwise....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

12 Mar 2017


I say "in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit" a lot: mostly when I start praying. I generally make the sign of the Cross at the same time.

The sign of the Cross is a very "Catholic" gesture. It "reminds us in a physical way of the Paschal Mystery we celebrate: the death and Resurrection of our Savior Jesus Christ."1

It's a prayer, a blessing, and a sacramental; and that's another topic. (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1668-1670)

Dali's "Crucifixion (Corpus Hypercubus)" is very "Catholic," too; although not it's not like the mass-produced 19th-century stuff many associate with our faith.

I wouldn't be surprised if a half-millennium from now, some tight-collar Catholics will be upset by new art that doesn't present the Cross as an unfolded tesseract, and that's yet another topic. Topics.

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

5 Mar 2017

Living With Consequences

I've missed one morning set, and several of the evening prayer sequences, in the routine I started February 13. (February 19, 2017)

I'm doing a little better with so far with the Lenten Chaplet. I started that Ash Wednesday.

Emphasis on "so far." I nearly forgot twice, which doesn't surprise me. There's a very good reason for my wife handling the household's schedules, and that's another topic.

This is where I could quote Romans 7:19 and launch into a 'wretcheder than thou' lament. It'd be accurate, on one level, since I've felt this way often enough....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

26 Feb 2017

Oatmeal For Lent

I'll be eating oatmeal for breakfast during Lent, and walking around more. If I was in England, I'd probably call it porridge, and that's another topic.

It'll be be good for my health, and I'm sure that's one reason my wife suggested it. But that's not the only, or the main, reason.

Lent isn't about me....

...Lent is when we join Jesus in the desert. Sort of....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

8 Jan 2017

Epiphany Sunday

Statues1 of Caspar, Melchior, and Balthazar started near the clock in our living room. I took those pictures of them on Wednesday. Their trip to the nativity scene ended today, Epiphany Sunday.

We read about "magi from the east" in today's Gospel: Matthew 2:1 through 12:
"1 When Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, in the days of King Herod, 2 behold, magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem,
"saying, 'Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We saw his star 3 at its rising and have come to do him homage.'"
(Matthew 2:1-2)
"Magi" is how μάγοι, mágoi, looks in my native language. That's the Greek version of an Old Persian word that would sound something like "magus" if I tried pronouncing it.

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

25 Dec 2016

"Good News of Great Joy"

The Christmas Mass marathon — that's not what it's called — started yesterday with the Vigil Mass. Mass During the Night was next, followed by Mass at Dawn and Mass During the Day.

I didn't go to all four, I don't know how many folks do, but I looked up the Gospel readings for each....

"...We heard parts of the Vigil Mass Gospel last week. That's Matthew 1:18-24, when Joseph learns why Mary is pregnant...."

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

18 Dec 2016

Gabriel, Joseph, and Mary

Monday's Gospel reading, Luke 1:26-38, is a repeat from December 8.

It starts with....

...A little earlier in that chapter we get an account of Gabriel's interview with Zachariah: Luke 1:10-20. That's when Gabriel personally delivers God's response to Zachariah's prayer — and Zachariah demands proof.

Zachariah got proof, all right. He couldn't talk for for months. Not until he agreed with his wife about his son's name: in writing.

Elizabeth said the boy's name was John, the same name Gabriel had specified....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

11 Dec 2016

Jesus and Expectations

Pip's Christmas doesn't have much to do with Christmas, or Advent, but I figured this post should have something that looks 'seasonal.'

"...Blessed is the One Who Takes No Offense at Me"

We'll be hearing Matthew 11:2-11 this morning. The readings still aren't particularly 'Christmassy.'
"2 When John heard in prison 3 of the works of the Messiah, he sent his disciples to him "4 with this question, 'Are you the one who is to come, or should we look for another?'
"Jesus said to them in reply, 'Go and tell John what you hear and see:
"5 the blind regain their sight, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor have the good news proclaimed to them. "And blessed is the one who takes no offense at me.' "
(Matthew 11:4-6)
Our Lord balanced that rebuke with a reminder of the Baptist's great function in Matthew 11:7-15, and a complaint about folks who wouldn't listen to John or Jesus....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

Catholic Authors: Pray, Listen, Then Write

Some Catholic authors write as if they belong to a Church Beleaguered, not the Church Triumphant.  Articles tend to be either defensive ...