In our society today, we are inundated with so many material things and desires. We are surrounded by so many voices coming at us from all forms of the media. Our five senses are bewildered. The mind finds its receptors jammed: where to go, what to do next or at all. To make it all worse, we have lost our moorings. We have lost the foundational principles of who we are, why we are and where we are going.
I didn’t really care for the latest cinematic iteration of the Superman myth. Like way too many movies today, it was made for the generation that came of age with video games and MTV and their constant, irritatingly frenetic action. When the CGI whiz-bang stuff kicks in, I just check out, and “Man of Steel” is about three-quarters whiz-bang.
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.