Saturday, June 23, 2018

Solemnity of the Birth of St. John the Baptist

Moved this to the vigil day instead of the usual June 24 feast since it would otherwise fall on a Sunday.

This feast, a segment of Advent in the season of Ordinary Time, makes us aware of the wonderful inner relationship between the sacred mysteries; for we are still in the midst of one Church year and already a bridge is being erected to the coming year of grace.
The Church's Year of Grace, Pius Parsch, via Catholic Culture
I've always respected John the Baptist's role in salvation history.

But I never really appreciated his role fully until reading this in Magnificat a few years ago.
I want to show you a sun that shone more brightly than all these, a soul that was truly free and detached, cleaving only to the will of God. I have often wondered who is the most mortified of the saints I know, and after some reflection I have come to the conclusion that it was Saint John the Baptist. He went into the desert when he was five years old and knew that our Savior and his came on earth in a place quite close by, one or two days' journey perhaps. How his heart, touched with love of his Savior from the time he was in his Mother's womb, must have longed to enjoy his presence! Yet he spends twenty-five years in the desert without coming to see our Lord even once; and leaving the desert he stays to catechize without visiting him but waiting till our Lord comes to seek him out. Then when he has baptized him he does not follow him but stays behind to do his appointed task. How truly mortified was his spirit! To be so near his Savior and not see him, to have him so close and not enjoy his presence! Is this not a completely detached spirit, detached even from God himself so as to do his will and serve him, to leave God for God, and not to love God in order to love him better? The example of this great saint overwhelms me with its grandeur.
St. Francis de Sales

Friday, June 22, 2018

Worth a Thousand Words: A Love Story

E. Phillips Fox, A Love Story, 1903
This is like a dream of the perfect summer day.

Well Said: The Catholic Church and the Mood of the Age

The Catholic Church never suits the particular mood of any age, because it was made for all ages. A Catholic knows that if the Church married the mood of any age in which it lived, it would be a widow in the next age. The mark of the true Church is that it will never get on well with the passing moods of the world. "I have chosen you out of the world therefore the world hateth you" – John 15:19.
Venerable Archbishop Fulton Sheen, Love One Another

Hannah & Rose discuss the why death is the best bureaucrat as they try to escape him

The Rube Goldberg machine of death ... in the kitchen. Love that cold open! Hannah and Rose serve up another terrible movie, in the most entertaining way. More is More, Episode 19, Final Destination (2000).

The Taming of the Shrew - Shakespeare in the Park

We saw this last night at the Shakespeare in the Park. I really liked the production. I was especially impressed by the way that Katherine's taming was portrayed as an understanding between equals by the end. And her final speech about women and wives hearkened back to Petruchio's harangue that his wife is his land, his barn, etc. At the time it comes off as a shocking piece of condescension, but by the end we realize it is the bookend to Katherine's realizations. Very nicely played.

We hadn't been for years and so were a bit worried about how hot it would be but, as we've discovered in the past, once the sun goes down it was quite breezy and surprisingly comfortable. Also not crowded on Thursday. So go!

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Worth a Thousand Words: Hygieia (Gustav Klimt)

Gustav Klimt, Hygieia (from Medicine mural), 1899-1907,
University of Vienna ceiling, destroyed, 1945
I don't usually love Klimt, but I totally love this.

Well Said: A Poem About Fire Ought to Burn

It is the crowning virtue of a work of art, as it is of a man, that it should be an example of its own doctrine, an incarnation of its own main symbol. A poem about fire ought to burn. A poem about a brook ought to flow. A poem about childhood ought not just to tell about children but ought to be like a child itself, as are the best of Blake's Songs of Innocence.
Harold C. Goddard, The Meaning of Shakespeare

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Chris Pratt's MTV speech: "God is real. God loves you, God wants the best for you. Believe that, I do."

Nobody is perfect. People will tell you that you are perfect just the way that you are, you are not! You are imperfect. You always will be, but there is a powerful force that designed you that way, and if you are willing to accept that, you will have grace. And grace is a gift. Like the freedom that we enjoy in this country, that grace was paid for with somebody else's blood. Do not forget that. Don't take that for granted.
Chris Pratt received the MTV Generation Award and took the opportunity to speak to the next generation as an elder. He mixed toilet humor (literally) with straight talk about soul, God, prayer, and more. I know Pratt is a Christian but I was surprised at how many of his 9 rules for life spoke directly about God.

Worth a Thousand Words: Father Time

Edmund Dulac, Father Time, 1906

Well Said: "Come on, you Christians, be a little more normal..."

“How many times do we hear: ‘Come on, you Christians, be a little bit more normal, like other people, be reasonable!’ This is real snake charmer’s talk: ‘Come on, just be like this, okay? A little bit more normal, don’t be so rigid ...’ But behind it is this: ‘Don’t come here with your stories, that God became man!’ The Incarnation of the Word, that is the scandal behind all of this! We can do all the social work we want, and they will say: ‘How great the Church is, it does such good social work.” But if we say that we are doing it because those people are the flesh of Christ, then comes the scandal. And that is the truth, that is the revelation of Jesus: that presence of Jesus incarnate.”
Pope Francis, Encountering Truth: Meeting God in the Everyday
Do we choose the approval of society, of the world? Or do we choose the scandal of the Cross? It's actually funny that we can be approved of for helping others, but once the reason behind it is revealed, then it's all a bit suspicious.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Pistachio and Yogurt Chicken Curry

Another home run from Made in India by Meera Sodha. This is a rich, spice-filled, flavorful chicken curry which fills the house with a tempting aroma. I can't stress how much we all loved this.

Get it at Meanwhile, Back in the Kitchen.

Worth a Thousand Words: Maiden with a Laurel Wreath

Henry Ryland, Maiden with a Laurel Wreath
via Lines and Colors
This picture was so arresting when I swung by Lines and Colors that I just had to share it here. Be sure to follow the link and see the other Henry Ryland paintings featured.

Well Said: I ask forgiveness ...

I ask forgiveness of anyone I have offended, but especially from those I have not influenced for good.
Pope John XXIII

Monday, June 18, 2018

Fish or Cut Bait - Thank You!

My sincere thanks for the wonderful surprise when I opened my mail today and found this from my wish list! I've been enjoying Cool and Lam as perfect summer reading and they are just obscure enough that it is hard to get your hands on many of them. Thank you!

Worth a Thousand Words: The Sea View of Cliffs

Guy Rose, The Sea View of Cliffs
via Arts Everyday Living
This just looks so refreshing to eye, ear, and soul. And it makes me think of summer travel somehow. Probably because I've never been to the ocean in winter. Growing up in the midwest and now living in Dallas, I've only traveled to the ocean on vacation.

Well Said: ...happy and confident, as if the dead were waving goodbye and smiling as they left for a journey...

The atmosphere [in the catacombs] is one of faith and trust. The epitaphs carved on the tombs are happy and confident, as if the dead were waving goodbye and smiling as they left for a journey. The words "rest" and "sleep" are everywhere. I could not remember once having seen that word "farewell" which sighs its hopeless way through all pagan cemeteries. As I remembered the dark galleries, the mage came into my mind of a troopship in the dark, with its rows of bunks, their occupants sleeping, confidently awaiting the light of a new day.
H. V. Morton, A Traveller in Rome
I love this so much!

Friday, June 15, 2018

Worth a Thousand Words: Sunflowers on the Banks of the Seine

Gustave Caillebotte, Sunflowers on the Banks of the Seine, c. 1885-1886
Somehow I always think of sunflowers on the plains, being from Kansas. Not in France on the banks of the Seine!

Lagniappe: At the Papal Farm, Meeting the Papal Bull

A bit of H.V. Morton's charming A Traveller In Rome, first published in 1957. Morton's driver "knows someone" who will let them onto the papal farm. Here's a bit.
The Pope walks for an hour or so on the terrace, admiring the gardens, which are those of the Villa Barberini. He arrives by car along a special road built to link the palace with the villa, and I was told that he usually leaves his car on the terrace and walks about, sometimes never lifting his eyes from a book. We entered a little giardino secreto enclosed by hedges, where a statue of the Blessed Virgin stands beside a fishpond.

'You notice that Virgin is holding a little bunch of flowers,' said the driver. 'The Holy Father picks them for her.'

She was holding four or five small yellow flowers of a kind that I had noticed growing on the banks round about, and they were fresh and had been recently picked. What a beautiful moment this must have been: the old pontiff all alone in the garden in his white caped soutane and his red velvet shoes, looking about among the hedge banks on a quiet sunny morning for wild flowers to give the Madonna.


We passed a number of henhouses, each one thoughtfully decorated with a mosaic above the door depicting some incident in hen life. ... I should like to have stopped to examine the hen mosaics, but the driver dashed on towards the dairy. There in a cowshed lined with blue tiles, we saw forty fine Friesland cows being fed in the most modern surroundings. The names, milk yields and maternal particulars were recorded above the mild faces. I was at last able to make the pun that had to be made and must be made by everyone who visits the Pope's farm.

'Where is the papal bull?'

I was led to an adjoining paddock, where an immense, low-slung black and white animal named Christy, the gift of an American to the Holy Father, paused with his mouth full, and gazed at us angrily. He had the bloodshot eyes of an assassin and the lashes of a film star.