"…Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” (Phil. 4:8)
The release of the musical Les Miserables on the silver screen brought a renewed popularity to the acclaimed Broadway production of Victor Hugo’s classic novel. The story, which deals with forgiveness and the power of redemption, is a tapestry of subplots featuring diverse characters that stir my emotions. To me, one of the most poignant messages of Les Miserables is found in the symbolism of two specific items: a loaf of bread and fine silverware.
The news lately seems filled with stories about situations in which religious institutions, business owners and even individual citizens are forced to evaluate when their loyalty to their business or their government is in conflict with their loyalty to their faith. Most likely, this dilemma has been played out in small ways every day across the country, but recent changes in our federal laws have made this a hot topic.
For the longest time, Brussels sprouts have gotten a bad rap. We are haunted by childhood memories of choking them down at the dinner table in order to get our dessert. They’ve been the antagonists in countless TV shows, dating way back to the 1950s. (Remember the episode of Leave it to Beaver when Beaver hid them in his pocket?) Let’s face it, Brussels sprouts and kids are natural enemies. Mongoose and the snake. Water and electricity. Kids and Brussels sprouts …
The rediscovery of this day [Sunday] is a grace which we must implore, not only so that we may live the demands of faith to the full, but also so that we may respond concretely to the deepest human yearnings. Time given to Christ is never time lost, but is rather time gained.” (Pope John Paul II, Dies Domini, Day of the Lord)
I’ll never forget the time back in high school when my dad put the kibosh on my much-anticipated Friday night plans. There was nothing particularly unacceptable about the planned activities … except that they were frivolous – and it was Lent.
During the holidays, we can be prone to overindulging between Christmas and New Year festivities. An excessive variety and quantity of food find their way to our tables, making their flavorful contributions to our merriment. I mean, what would Christmas be without the family feast? Ham? Eggnog? Pumpkin pie? Christmas cookies? Need I go on?
Celebrate the feast day of Our Lady of Guadalupe with this delicious Mexican chocolate cake
There are three Mexican imports that I love: the cuisine, Our Lady of Guadalupe and chocolate. And December is that time of year for the Mexican people when all three are featured together rather nicely a couple of weeks before Christmas.
Thanksgiving is one of the most purely and authentically American of holidays. Outside of the United States, it is very seldom recognized. And yet, with its origins tracing to the earliest of European settlers, there are elements of the Thanksgiving harvest that stem from European customs that have been going strong since the Middle Ages.
The most notable link between the New World holiday of today and the customs of ancient Europe relates to the feast of St. Martin of Tours, held on Nov. 11.
Jesus loves the poor. Scripture doesn’t just mention that fact; it repeats it over and over in myriad ways. “When you did it to one of the least of my brethren here, you did it to me.” (Matthew 25:40) “It is easier for a camel to pass through a needle’s eye, than for a man to enter the kingdom of God when he is rich.” (Mark 10:25) “This poor widow has put in more than all those others who have put offerings into the treasury.” (Mark 12:43) etc. Jesus connected with and spent most of his time with the poor.