Saturday, January 9, 2010

Because of the Good News XII

Posted by Webster
Other Catholic blogs feature politics. Frank and I agree that we want to focus on our faith experience—which often means choosing the Good News over the not-so-good. Sometimes you have to dig for good in a media-driven world that seems to love the bad, but that’s why you pay us the big bucks, right?

Here are some things that caught my attention this week.

As a volunteer religious ed teacher in my parish, I have been thinking a lot about the Catholic education of children, so it was touching to see this post by The Anchoress, showing Elizabeth in her first communion finery (left). And amusing to read Suzanne Temple’s latest home schooling laugh. Children can teach us so much. They can even lead to our conversion.

Meanwhile, Frank was writing a dynamite post on Pascal’s views on death. The post attracted over 30 equally strong comments. While it is not exactly “good news,” this piece by a mother who lost her autistic son resonated strongly with me in the wake of Frank’s post. And we should never ever forget that miracles really do happen.

One thing you probably won’t see either of us writing about is knitting.

I have been to Lourdes a couple of times but never to Santiago de Compostela (above), on the other side of the Pyrenees. This year might have to be the year, as my daughter is being received into the Church at Easter, and I would love to take her on a celebratory trip. Where better than this Spanish pilgrimage site? When better than a Holy Year? What defines a Holy Year in Santiago de Compostela? That July 25, the feast of St. James, falls on a Sunday. July 25 is my birthday!

Every week—heck, every day—on the liturgical calendar brings us saints and blesseds to contemplate. This week, the one that really caught my eye was Blessed Brother André Bessette. This has led me to plan another pilgrimmage—maybe the first annual YIMC Road Trip?—to the Shrine of the North American Martyrs in Auriesville NY, St. Joseph’s Oratory in Montreal (left) (“built” by Blessed André), and the Basilica of Saint-Anne de Beaupré in northeastern Quebec. Give me a date to meet in Albany and I’ll rent the minibus.

I will probably not take my daughter to Dubai, not even to see the world’s tallest man-made structure. Didn’t they already make this in a place called Babel?

Undoubtedly, there are Catholics in Dubai, and we may learn about some of them when the Catholicism Project makes its way to screens near us later this year. I’m excited about this movie project. I suspect it will teach us about Catholicism in China, as well, where our fellow worshipers are much more dedicated than the average American Catholic. Even the French, derided as overly secular, know how to stand up for their faith. Out in the American West (not exactly sure where she lives), Jan at “Runs with Angels” was one American Catholic willing to brave the elements to attend Mass.

Here’s another Catholic film to watch for, a biopic of Pope Pius XII (left).

While abortion is the bad-news item of our times, it seems that every week there are indications that the tide is turning. Last week, Frank found evidence that Mexico is making it harder and harder to kill unborn children. This week, Creative Minority Report noted a stunning statistic: the population of abortionists is aging!

In local Boston-area news that’s also universal, a 76-year-old cancer patient from the outlying town of Walpole showed once again that prayer works. What better news is there than that?

Also in Boston, we were cheered to read that the Patriots’ presumed Super Bowl opponent, the New Orleans Saints, is “limping into the playoffs.” Call us presumptious, but who’s going to stop us: the Ravens? the Colts? See you in February. But Webster, I thought you converted because of the Saints?!

Locally, in our parish in Beverly, Massachusetts, the only question is whether to receive communion on the tongue or in the hand. Elsewhere, apparently, there are other things to consider. Check out this new-age ciborium, the subject of a law suit?! (As Frank would say, sheee-eeesh!) Frankly, I’ll always go for the classic model in the hands of Father Barnes.

As Frank would also say, over and out.