May 26, 2008

True Love

True love comes from the small garden of a very old lady who is keeping very few strawberries for herself and giving the best ones to her daughter.

The Saint of Buffonery, Fun, and Practical Jokes

Today is the feast of St. Philip Neri. I read a comic book on his life (possibly in the old Treasure Chest comics of the 1940's and 1950's) when I was in grade school. I won't ever forget there was a drawn picture of the saint with half his face shaved and the other half with a beard. In the story, St. Philip Neri explains to the party that he is adopting the new style of the day.

A short excerpt from a biography shows St. Philip Neri must be the patron saint of comedians and practical jokesters--but with the purpose of destroying pride and growing the virtues of patience and humility.
His extravagant behavior cannot be passed over without some explanation. Why, for example, when certain Polish noblemen came to visit him at the Vallicella, seeking edification, did he have read aloud the most ridiculous passages from pastor Arlotto saying that it was his spiritual reading? Why, when invited to the house of one of his penitents, a rich Roman lady who had invited him to meet her worldly relatives, did he arrive with half his beard shaved off? Why, when some scholarly Bishop, little given to jesting, attended his Mass, did he commit every possible error in pronunciation? Why did he sometimes wear a red jersey or a fur coat over his cassock? Why did he walk through the streets carrying a bouquet of flowers in his hand, or perform a burlesque dance before an audience of Cardinals chanting comic verses which he made up as he went along?
I think St. Philip Neri made himself a laughing stock to hide both his brilliance and holiness--and also perhaps to bring an understanding of our childishness to even the highest people. After reading the above paragraph, he apparently still may confuse some people. Frankly, I think this particular saint would be great company!

May 25, 2008

Eucharistic Family Rosary Crusade -- Kansas City

Last year I participated in the Eucharistic procession from St. Thomas More parish to Avila College in Kansas City. This year, our two Kansas City Bishops (MO and KS) greatly expanded the devotions to publicly adore our Blessed Savior in a Eucharistic procession and Benediction, and to honor His Mother with the recitation of the rosary. The Bishops jointly sponsored a Eucharistic Family Rosary Crusade held this afternoon at Kaufman Stadium, home of the Kansas City Royals.

I was very impressed with the crowd size and especially with the reverence and faith that were displayed by the participants. It was clear that many, many volunteers were required to work, and work efficiently, for the success of the Crusade. Several people that I spoke with were impressed and clearly glad they had come, including a young couple from a suburban Kansas parish who brought their six children.

For the past forty years, I've wondered when (or if) I would ever see even the beginnings of a restoration of the Church in the U.S. This evening, I am rejoicing that Archbishop Joseph Naumann and Bishop Robert Finn have and are instituting a plan to reinvigorate the Church as the great City on the hill. Worshiping our Lord in the Eucharist and asking Mary to help us by reciting her Rosary are clearly the foundation of this plan.

Here are some photos of the Crusade. Hopefully, they convey the great spirit and impact of the event.

Kansas City Catholic Shock!

Wolftracker turned off comments today on "KCC Signs Off" at Kansas City Catholic. Our friend announces that "This blog has ended. Go in peace."

He says:
...blogging takes a certain amount of time. Since the new year, I have had less time to devote to KCC than previously. I think that has been obvious. I have left but three posts on this version of KCC.
So what? Wolftracker seems to have unreasonable expectations that he can always work at close to 100 percent on his blog, even when family and professional duties are paramount. Hopefully as he gets older he will see that working even at 20 percent gets a lot of good done--over time. Yes, daily visits will decrease, but that is mostly a shock to the ego--not an indication of the value of the blog posts.

Looking back in my life, one of my regrets includes totally dropping difficult tasks, whereas I simply should have slowed down or taken a vacation. I'll miss Kansas City Catholic. It's worse than the neighborhood grocery store that closes suddenly with no warning. At least then we knew where to picket. What a loss.

June 2, 2008 ADDENDUM: Wolftracker has contacted me privately and I am ashamed that I challenged his reasons for ending Kansas City Catholic. He states: it up was/is difficult. But I have not dropped a difficult task because I found it difficult but ... because there are other priorities in my life that have a greater claim on my time and will have greater claim for some time to come.

Now there are new Catholic blogs in KC....they deserve a chance....In the meantime, I have to finish this novel that I am writing . . . I can work on that privately and at a pace without the daily 'deadline' of a blog. Having that done will make any new blog (of mine) all the better when the time comes.