There were a number of reasons why I liked “World War Z,” the film based on Max Brooks’s book of the same name. First, it was a competently made thriller and not simply a stringing together of whiz-bang CGI effects. Secondly, it presented a positive image of a father. In a time when Homer Simpson and Peter Griffin are the norm for fatherhood in the popular culture, Brad Pitt’s character, Gerry Lane, is actually a man of intelligence, deep compassion, and self-sacrificing courage.
Feast Day: June 15
St. Germaine Cousin (1579-1601) is the patron for victims of child abuse and with good reason. Weak and ill from birth with a deformed and paralyzed hand, St. Germaine lost her mother early. And like a Disney movie, she found herself with a cruel and abusive stepmother.
In Christian tradition, the word “liturgy” describes the participation of the People of God in the work of God. “Through the liturgy, Christ, our redeemer and high priest, continues the work of our redemption in with, and through his Church.” Liturgy refers to the celebration of divine worship, the proclamation of the Gospel and active charity – in other words, liturgy directs us to service to God and neighbor. In each of these, the Church shares in the one priesthood of Christ in both its prophetic and kingly aspects.
I want to offer you some reflections on a centuries-old custom in the Catholic Church – a novena. A novena is a series of prayers that are said for nine straight days, usually as a prayer of petition but sometimes as a prayer of thanksgiving. The nine days recall the nine days that the Apostles and the Blessed Virgin Mary spent in prayer between Ascension Thursday and Pentecost Sunday.
The appearance of yet another film version of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s "The Great Gatsby" provides the occasion for reflecting on what many consider the great American novel.
Some years ago, The New Yorker ran a cartoon that perfectly lampooned the loopy ideology of “inclusion” that has come to characterize so much of the Christian world. It showed a neat and tidy church, filled with an attentive congregation. The pastor was at the podium, introducing a guest speaker. “In accordance with our policy of equal time,” he said, “I would like now to give our friend the opportunity to present an alternative point of view.” Sitting next to him, about to rise to speak, was the devil, dressed perfectly and tapping the pages of his prepared text on his knee.