Saturday, July 8, 2017

Bread Cast Upon the Waters



“Cast thy bread upon the waters: for thou shalt find it after many days.” Eccl  11: 1 (KJV)

St. Dominic's Church, Yaba, Nigeria
From the website for the Dominican Order of Preachers
Last Trinity Sunday, our Parish celebrated the 30th Anniversary of the ordination of our Parochial Vicar, Fr. Ignatius Madumere, a former Provincial of the Dominican Province of St. Joseph the Worker, in Nigeria.   It was a joyous occasion, and as the procession of Dominican priests and other celebrants left the Sanctuary,  my wife whispered in my ear “Bread Cast upon the waters”.

This was my thought also, an insight from 15 years in which priests from Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Viet-Nam and India had filled the vocation gap in our Diocese. The bread cast by missionaries—Jesuits, Dominicans, Apostles of Jesus, Fransalians—who carried the Word to far countries has returned, multiplied into many loaves. And even more valuable than the priestly functions they carry out, is the invigorating spirit they bring to worship and liturgy.

I’m going to focus on the Dominicans from Nigeria and Ghana, and, rather than giving a ledger account of the many pastoral roles filled by these missionaries to our diocese, I’d like to tell how they have enriched my own Catholic spirituality. Before doing so, I want to issue a disclaimer. These priests from Africa are from a different culture from ours—not worse, and in fact, better suited for their missionary role. Their attitude to the world and to God seems to be one of overflowing joy, one in which each person is their true neighbor, the neighbor Jesus talks about. Their learning, which is considerable, is conveyed not to show their knowledge, but to illuminate the lesson of the day. I also want to emphasize that these missionaries have different personalities—some are quiet and shy, some are extroverted and full of fun, some are leaders, cardinals in the making.

Since my talents as a writer are limited, I’m going to let two videos convey what I would like to say.    This one is of Fr. Ignatius—“Fr. Happy”—welcoming the congregation.   How full of joy his welcome is!    The other is of the homily given by Fr. Pius, a former student of Fr. Ignatius.  He had two things to say in this homily: 1) “God is Love”; 2) how a joy-filled young priest (the alter servers called him “Fr. Happy”) had come to his village and led him to enter the Dominican Order and become a priest.  (Note: Fr. Pius is the pastor of a parish about 20 miles from mine—it serves a university community and he is also a Chaplain for a nearby state supported facility for the mentally impaired.)

If, as some would say, the Church in the West is withered, then our hope is from the seeds planted in Africa and Asia, the new, vital growth.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

St. Augustine: "Let Our Lives Be Good" *




It has been my habit to read every night before Night Prayer, a collection of sayings of St. Augustine of Hippo,  Augustine Day by Day, compiled by John Rotelle, O.S.A.
St. Augustine and the Fires of Wisdom
Philippe de Champaign, from Wikimedia Commons

The reading for July 4th, Let Our Lives Be Good,  is particularly apt for our times, so I thought I should pass it on.
"Bad Times!  Troublesome Times!  This is what people are saying.   Let our lives be good and the times will be good.  For we make our own times.  Such as we are, such are the times.
What can we do?  Maybe we cannot convert masses of people to a good life.  But let the few who do hear live well.  Let the few who live well endure the many who live badly."
 Sermon 30,8
That's it folks....
Shalom.

*First Printed 7th July, 2015.

Monday, July 3, 2017

For the Fourth: Read the "Chasing Liberty Trilogy"

Here's a short post to recommend a new ebook, Fight for Liberty, by a fellow member of  the Catholic Writers Guild, Theresa Linden.    This is the third in "The Chasing Liberty Trilogy".   It's well paced, ingeniously plotted, an entertaining SF about a dystopian society (alas, one to which our own is coming close). in which authority decides what's good for everyone--no individual choices.   Here's a trailer for more information on this latest in the trilogy.

The author is doing a giveaway for the entire trilogy at Chasing Liberty Trilogy Giveaway.   The giveaway ends 12:00 am. July 9th, so you have six days left to enter the raffle.   Enjoy!

About Me

My photo

Retired, cranky, old physicist.   Convert to Catholicism in 1995.   Trying to show that there is no contradiction between what science tells us about the world and our Catholic faith.   Intermittent blogs and adult education classes to achieve this end (see http://rationalcatholic.blogspot.com/   and http://home.ptd.net/~rkurland)

Extraordinary Minister of Communion volunteer to federal prison and hospital; lector, EOMC.
Sometime player of bass clarinet, alto clarinet, clarinet, bass, tenor bowed psaltery for parish instrumental group and local folk group.

And, finally, my motivation:
“It is also necessary—may God grant it!—that in providing others with books to read I myself should make progress, and that in trying to answer their questions I myself should find what I am seeking.
Therefore at the command of God our Lord and with his help, I have undertaken not so much to discourse with authority on matters known to me as to know them better by discoursing devoutly of them.”
St. Augustine of Hippo, The Trinity I,8.