It’s ravioli weekend

It’s ravioli weekend

  I get the same text from my sister every year ~  “…We’re making the ravioli this Sunday.” Be there. NO excuses.“ Ugh Not even a recent hospital visit slowed her down or changed her mind. I really thought I was home free this year. But no. Here’s a post from the past. ——–  —– ——-   There’s redemption in ravioli; but, before you report me to the online theology police, let me give you some background on my thesis. I have five days left to prepare before the onset of this yearly tradition that has been in my family for generations. My sister and I have been making this homemade ravioli recipe virtually all our lives. We started out in our basement as my mother’s...

The “happy holiday’s” mission field

The “happy holiday’s” mission field

  We’re in a decidedly pagan culture. When did we walk that plank and give in to the pirates aboard the ship? I’m not sure, but I’m old enough now to have witnessed the decline. Since the “holiday season” began, I’ve been to the local tour of stores and each time was met at the checkout with the parting greeting–the one which avoids the mention of Christ at any cost– Happy Holiday’s, to which I respond, Merry Christmas. On a recent stop to the grocery store, I commented to the check out clerk who seemed frazzled with the assortment of customer complaints that went before me, that once Christmas and New Year’s are over, I bet it will be nice to have a lull in the shopping crowds till Easter time. She...

There is no other Christmas

There is no other Christmas

  Following a beautiful and firmly rooted tradition, many families set up their crib immediately after the feast of the Immaculate Conception, as if to relive with Mary those days full of trepidation that preceded the birth of Jesus.   {…}The crib helps us contemplate the mystery of God’s love that was revealed in poverty and simplicity at the Bethlehem Grotto…   Indeed, the crib can help us understand the secret of the true Christmas, because it speaks of the humility and merciful goodness of Christ, who “though He was rich, made Himself poor” for us. (cf 2 Cor 8:9)   His poverty enriches those who embrace it, and Christmas brings joy and peace to those who, like the shepherds in Bethlehem, accept the angels...

What’s your ‘elevator pitch?’

What’s your ‘elevator pitch?’

  It’s really amazing when you stop to talk to people or spend time conversing with family and friends at parties or holiday dinners, how many are away from the church and worse how many have left their Christian faith behind altogether. Whatever their impetus for walking away, what tugs at my heart on this, the first week of Advent, is; What a mess we’re in Lord. Please help me empty myself, refine my listening skills and learn anew how to share my story and invite someone to come home. The church is a bit rattled these days…I know…but, there will always be something people use as an excuse to leave the church, the faith, God, etc. There are any number of combinations why they go. But, as Catholics, we have the fullness of truth and...

One model, Christ

One model, Christ

  What we need are men like St Benedict   That’s not my Pollyannish peace perspective, naive about the war on civil society right at our doorsteps, rather it’s an acceptance of a stark reality: that there is no hope for us but God.   “Our hope is only in the Lord. All others will fail.” This is what Dante learned by the end of his journey through the afterlife. This is what we Christians must learn: not the family, not the church, not the state, nothing but God, who is Love. —Rod Dreher   How can Benedict help us? At the tender age of 19 or 20, St Gregory tells us Benedict was yet old enough to be deeply affected by the licentious and dissolute lives he witnessed as a student in Rome but, from his passion to be with God...

God is the King

God is the King

  I find King David’s Prayer of Praise most fitting on this the Feast of Christ the King   Therefore David blessed the Lord in the presence of all the assembly; and David said: Blessed are you O Lord, the God of Israel our father, forever and ever.   Yours O Lord is the greatness, and the power, and the Glory, and the victory, and the majesty;   for all that is in the heaven’s and the earth is yours; yours is the kingdom, O Lord and you are exalted as head above all.   Both riches and honor come from you, and you rule over all.   In your hand are power and might; and in your hand it is to make great and to give strength to all. And now we thank you our God, and give praise to your glorious name. —1 Chronicles 29:...

In Bits and Pieces

In Bits and Pieces

  The Rule in Bits and Pieces is a new book on the Holy Rule of St Benedict where each of it’s 140 Chapters have reflections by a diverse collection of contributors from the monks and oblates of St Vincent Archabbey. There are many commentaries available on the “strict sense of the word” in the rule, but not many geared particularly toward oblates in the 21st Century. Our situations are somewhat different from our predecessors, living as we are in this “culture of death.” This work then gives the personal reflections of monks and oblates of our day and time in the hope that each reader would be led to a deeper conversion on their Christian journey. In the introduction the editor reminds us that the “rule” should not...

Father Justin on ‘Chopped’

One of the few shows I still occasionally watch on TV is Chopped.. And now news of an upcoming episode has peaked my curiosity: Father Justin M Matro, OSB, will be featured on an upcoming episode of Chopped, one of the featured shows on The Food Network.   A crew from the show visited his parish, St Bartholomew in Crabtree, to film Father Justin for an upcoming episode relating to religious orders or priests who cook.   News of the episode will be posted on the Seminary Facebook page when a show date is provided. —Leaven Magazine, Fall 2014 p 15 For me, cooking in general is difficult..but, add a time constraint with challenging ingredients, judges, cameras and other competitors? Now you’re talking about someone with confidence, great skill...