31 October 2020

Connecticut's Fr. Michael J. McGivney Being Beatified Today

As posted previously, today, 31 October, Venerable Father Michael J. McGivney, a Connecticut priest who served his flock during the pandemic of 1890, before himself becoming ill and dying of pneumonia will be beatified (declared Blessed) by the Catholic Church. Father McGivney is the founder of the Knights of Columbus.

Additional media reports:

National Catholic Register: The Legacy of Father Michael McGivney, Holy Priest (27 OCT 20)

National Catholic Register: Commentary: Father Raymond J. de Souza: Father Michael McGivney: A Likely Patron for Every Parish Priest (30 OCT 20)

NBC Connecticut: Beatification of Father Michael J. McGivney To Be Held Saturday (30 OCT 20)

Thank You, Lord

Thank you, Lord, for the gift of Your mercy.

Jaymie Stuart Wolfe on All Saints Day and the Universal Call to Holiness

"All Saints Day gives me hope. Don't get me wrong. I know that the distance between me and anything that could be called sanctity stretches longer, wider, and deeper than the Grand Canyon - maybe even the Milky Way. But I'm grateful to be a few lightyears closer than I used to be, not because of anything I've done or achieved, but simply because God's mercy is everlasting.

"Look, we all fall short. The first sinner I know I'll see every day is the one in my bathroom mirror. That's why I put a large decal there to remind me to 'Give thanks to the Lord for he is good; his love endures forever' (Ps. 136:1). We might be tempted to complain when we don't get what we deserve, but when it comes right down to it, we all hope to receive far more than we deserve. Ultimately, we all need mercy."


In a recent commentary, writer Jaymie Stuart Wolfe reflected on the relationship between All Saints Day and the universal call to holiness.

To access Ms. Wolfe's complete post, please visit:

The Boston Pilot: Echoes: Jaymie Stuart Wolfe: A work in progress (30 OCT 20)

Reflection Starter from Pope Benedict XVI

"In the name of freedom, there has to be a correlation between rights and duties, by which every person is called to assume responsibility for his or her choices, made as a consequence of entering into relations with others." - Pope Benedict XVI

30 October 2020

Franz Schubert: String Quintet in C Major

It’s time for some classical music. This is a presentation of Franz Schubert's String Quintet in C major as presented by the Borodin Quartet, with Alexander Buzlov on cello:


 

Thank You, Lord

 Thank you, Lord, for the beauty of October snow.

Embracing the Promises of God

Becky Eldredge, author of The Inner Chapel: Embracing the Promises of God, has been able to commune with God in the quiet, sacred space inside herself through practices found in Ignatian spirituality - and she has helped many others do the same in her work as a spiritual director. But life brings challenging times for everyone when God is hard to see, and that was the case when Becky's beloved grandfather, who she called Boppy, was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer. In time, however, she was able to discern God's presence once again.

During a Christopher Closeup interview, Becky told me, "There comes this moment where everything is stripped away, where he knew death was coming and nothing physical or tangible could come with him. He came up out of complete poverty and had created his own business. And when it comes down to this, none of that actually matters. What matters is [his observation], 'God is with me, and God has my loved ones when I leave.'"

One particular moment of joy stands out for Becky. After surgery to remove a tumor, her grandfather began belting out Kris Kristofferson's classic song of gratitude "Why Me, Lord?" in the hospital. She said, "He was singing it, I was singing it, and it was this moment of him understanding that God is here. This is what the resurrection is. . . . Even though [Boppy] still had a few months to live after that moment, it was like watching [his] new life in Christ. It was this new understanding of hope, of all the gifts of his life, all God had done for him, and it propelled him through those last moments with this spirit of generosity. It was generosity of time, of letting people know how he felt about them. . . . I got to ask him, what do you want people to understand? He said, 'First, for us to learn to be gracious receivers, and then to be generous givers.'"

Becky's grandmother has been another generous giver in her life. And on a lighter note, Becky recalled wanting to learn to make her grandmother's Crawfish Étouffée, so she asked for the recipe. But her grandmother never measured ingredients so the recipe she gave Becky was a little too freeform to turn out edible. Becky decided to take another approach. She went to her grandmother's house to cook the Étouffée with her, and measure everything as they went along. This time it turned out great, and Becky saw the experience as a metaphor for prayer.

She said, "When I think about how we learn how to pray, it's similar. We learn, there's not this exact formula that we can give, spelled out like a recipe. There are some foundational elements. But then the rest is like learning Cajun cooking. It's an art to learning the ways God invites us into new seasons of prayer. And we need people to come alongside us sometimes and teach us a new way."

Reading The Inner Chapel might be what you need to teach you a new way and give you a spiritual boost. Summarizing her hopes for people who read the book, Becky concluded, "My hopes would be they have a deeper understanding that they're not alone, that God is always with them. And second would be that one of the prayer exercises in it brings them a little deeper in their walk with Christ, that they understand a little bit more one of these promises that's available to every one of us."

This essay is a recent "Light One Candle" column written by Tony Rossi, Director of Communications, The Christophers; it is one of a series of weekly columns that deal with a variety of topics and current events.

Background information:

The Christophers

Reflection Starter from Psalm 31

"Great are the works of the LORD, studied by all who delight in them. Majestic and glorious is his work, his righteousness endures forever." - Psalm 31:2-3