Month: January 2017

A Novena To Three American Saints For Life

Saints Elizabeth Seton, Frances Cabrini and John Neumann are powerful witnesses to the Gospel of life. May we come to better know, love, and serve God as emulated by them, in their everyday lives.   Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton Saint Elizabeth Ann Bayley Seton, a prominent […]

Martin Luther King Jr.

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. 

Light, Dark, and Overflow

In our Unit Study on the Pilgrims, we have been reading about the exodus of the Pilgrims from England to the Netherlands, where they lived and worked for over a decade before coming to the New World. On Friday, our attention turned to the story of […]

True. Good. Beautiful.

As Christmas comes to a close, I shut my eyes for just a moment and linger a little longer in the sounds and smells of Christmas. I’ve got a gingerbread cake in the oven, a surprise for my kids after quiet time, and I’m simply enjoying life in my lounge chair with a Bailey’s coffee…a gift from a good friend this Christmas.

I reflect on the homily at church today, and our pastor’s comparison between the Epiphany and The Close Encounters of the Third Kind, a movie that I remember well from my childhood.  Like the scientists, who traveled to Devil’s Tower in Wyoming in search of the great mothership, the Magi traveled to Bethlehem in search of the Christ child.

I imagine myself traveling with those scientists to Devil’s Tower…or, better yet, with the Magi that night long ago when they followed the star to Bethlehem for “the big reveal.”

Did the they know for sure what they would see?

Did they wonder about their own sanity?

Second guess their calculations?

Whatever their doubts, they set them aside in search of all that was true, good, and beautiful.

True.

Good.

Beautiful.

Those three words remind me of another homily I read earlier this morning, which speaks volumes about the world we live in today:

“Herod is looking for the wrong things, searching in the wrong places, destroying to shore-up his political position, conspiring to annihilate perceived opponents. But the magi take the humble, submissive and wise approach. They seek what is right and true and beautiful. They journey in search of the good, the wondrous, the ultimate. They head out into the dangerous night, risking their lives in search of Divine Light.”

At what point, did the Magi know that they would not, could not return to Herod? That what they had found [were going to find] was too true and good and beautiful to allow the world to be as it was before.

In his 2014 Epiphany homily, Pope Francis challenges us in a similar way:

“May we sense the Magi at our side, as wise companions on the way. Their example helps us to lift our gaze towards the star and to follow the great desires of our heart. They teach us not to be content with a life of mediocrity, of “playing it safe”, but to let ourselves be attracted always by what is good, true and beautiful… by God, who is all of this, and so much more!”

For 2017, my goal is simple: To hold fast to that which is true, good, and beautiful and let go of the things that are not.

To choose right and let go of wrong.

To choose love and let go of hate

To choose the present and let go of the past.

May you find what you seek in the new year. May you feel at peace when emotions are high. May you recognize hope when it appears before you and stares you in the eye.

16th Day of Christmas: Feast of the Baptism of the Lord

Today we celebrate the Solemnity of the Baptism of Our Lord, bringing to close the season of Christmas.   “The Lord was baptized, not to be cleansed himself, but to cleanse the waters, so that those waters, cleansed by the flesh of Christ, might have the power […]

15th Day of Christmas: Solemnity of The Epiphany of the Lord

The Solemnity of the Epiphany is celebrated either on January 6 or, according to the decision of the episcopal conference, on the Sunday between January 2 and January 8. For Christians, the Epiphany commemorates the coming of the Magi to the child Jesus, the manifestation of […]

14th Day of Christmas: Memorial of St. Raymond de Penafort

Badge of the Order of St Raymond of PenyafortA most fascinating miracle is said to have occurred when St. Raymond de Penafort went to the went the Island of Majorca with King James to preach about Jesus:

“King James was a man of great qualities, but he let himself be ruled by passions. There on the Island, too, he was giving bad example. The Saint commanded him to send the woman away. The King said he would, but he did not keep his promise. So St. Raymond decided to leave the Island. The King declared he would punish any ship captain who brought the Saint back to Barcelona. Putting all his trust in God, Saint Raymond spread his cloak upon the water, tied up one corner of it to a stick for a sail, made the Sign of the Cross, stepped onto the cloak, and sailed along for six hours until he reached Barcelona. This miracle moved the King. He was sorry for what he had done, and he became a true follower of St. Raymond. St. Raymond was one hundred years old at the time of his death.”

[source: This story was derived in part from Saint Raymond of Peñafort written by Michael Morris, OP, published in Magnificat, January 2004/Vol. 5, No. 12]

Because St. Raymond was of Spanish descent, it would be fitting to make nothing other than the National Dessert of Spain, Flan:

INGREDIENTS

For Caramel

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup water

For Custard

  • 2 cups heavy cream, light cream, or milk
  • 2 eggs, plus 2 yolks
  • Pinch salt
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • Several cups of boiling water
Directions

Put 1 cup sugar and 1/4 cup water in small saucepan (not aluminum). Over low heat, cook, stirring occasionally, until sugar melts, turns clear and then golden brown, approx 15 minutes.

Remove from heat and pour into bottom of six 4 – 6 oz custard cups.

Preheat oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.

In a medium bowl, beat eggs and 2 extra yolks with salt and sugar until pale yellow.

Place cream in small saucepan over medium heat until it begins to steam.

Add cream slowly to egg mixture, stirring constantly.

Pour into prepared custard cups.

Place cups in a baking pan and pour boiled water into the baking pan to within about 1 inch of the tops of the cups.

Bake until custard is just wobbly, about 30 minutes.

Cool, then chill.

To serve, dip cups into boiling water for about 15 seconds, then turn upside down onto a plate.

Recipe Source

Catholic Culture website, http://www.catholicculture.org/culture/liturgicalyear/recipes/view.cfm?id=1411

13th Day of Christmas: Three Kings Day

“When you say the Our Father, God’s ear is next to your lips”[St. Andre Bessette] Today is Three Kings Day, or the Epiphany of Our Lord (Traditional)…the solemnity of which will be celebrated on Sunday. It is also the optional Memorial of St. Andre Bessette, […]