Because of the Good News XII

Posted by Webster
Other Catholic blogs feature politics. Frank and I agree that we want to focus on our faith experience—which often means choosing the Good News over the not-so-good. Sometimes you have to dig for good in a media-driven world that seems to love the bad, but that’s why you pay us the big bucks, right?

Here are some things that caught my attention this week.

As a volunteer religious ed teacher in my parish, I have been thinking a lot about the Catholic education of children, so it was touching to see this post by The Anchoress, showing Elizabeth in her first communion finery (left). And amusing to read Suzanne Temple’s latest home schooling laugh. Children can teach us so much. They can even lead to our conversion.

Meanwhile, Frank was writing a dynamite post on Pascal’s views on death. The post attracted over 30 equally strong comments. While it is not exactly “good news,” this piece by a mother who lost her autistic son resonated strongly with me in the wake of Frank’s post. And we should never ever forget that miracles really do happen.

One thing you probably won’t see either of us writing about is knitting.

I have been to Lourdes a couple of times but never to Santiago de Compostela (above), on the other side of the Pyrenees. This year might have to be the year, as my daughter is being received into the Church at Easter, and I would love to take her on a celebratory trip. Where better than this Spanish pilgrimage site? When better than a Holy Year? What defines a Holy Year in Santiago de Compostela? That July 25, the feast of St. James, falls on a Sunday. July 25 is my birthday!

Every week—heck, every day—on the liturgical calendar brings us saints and blesseds to contemplate. This week, the one that really caught my eye was Blessed Brother André Bessette. This has led me to plan another pilgrimmage—maybe the first annual YIMC Road Trip?—to the Shrine of the North American Martyrs in Auriesville NY, St. Joseph’s Oratory in Montreal (left) (“built” by Blessed André), and the Basilica of Saint-Anne de Beaupré in northeastern Quebec. Give me a date to meet in Albany and I’ll rent the minibus.

I will probably not take my daughter to Dubai, not even to see the world’s tallest man-made structure. Didn’t they already make this in a place called Babel?

Undoubtedly, there are Catholics in Dubai, and we may learn about some of them when the Catholicism Project makes its way to screens near us later this year. I’m excited about this movie project. I suspect it will teach us about Catholicism in China, as well, where our fellow worshipers are much more dedicated than the average American Catholic. Even the French, derided as overly secular, know how to stand up for their faith. Out in the American West (not exactly sure where she lives), Jan at “Runs with Angels” was one American Catholic willing to brave the elements to attend Mass.

Here’s another Catholic film to watch for, a biopic of Pope Pius XII (left).

While abortion is the bad-news item of our times, it seems that every week there are indications that the tide is turning. Last week, Frank found evidence that Mexico is making it harder and harder to kill unborn children. This week, Creative Minority Report noted a stunning statistic: the population of abortionists is aging!

In local Boston-area news that’s also universal, a 76-year-old cancer patient from the outlying town of Walpole showed once again that prayer works. What better news is there than that?

Also in Boston, we were cheered to read that the Patriots’ presumed Super Bowl opponent, the New Orleans Saints, is “limping into the playoffs.” Call us presumptious, but who’s going to stop us: the Ravens? the Colts? See you in February. But Webster, I thought you converted because of the Saints?!

Locally, in our parish in Beverly, Massachusetts, the only question is whether to receive communion on the tongue or in the hand. Elsewhere, apparently, there are other things to consider. Check out this new-age ciborium, the subject of a law suit?! (As Frank would say, sheee-eeesh!) Frankly, I’ll always go for the classic model in the hands of Father Barnes.

As Frank would also say, over and out.

  • Anonymous

    Lots to explore with this post – thank you! I just spent two days with a dear friend who has stage 4 cancer and will pass along the story of the 76 year old survivor. My friend has already experienced the power of prayer, but has a long journey ahead. Stories of hope and healing help so much! I don't know how you cover so much ground with your blog, but do keep it up! I'm sure many are benefitting, even if not commenting.

  • Webster Bull

    Dear anonymous, Thanks so much for your kind comment. Please send along your friend's name. I'm thinking we ought to have a YIMC Prayer List . . .

  • Anonymous

    Welcome back! My friend's name is Kate. I like your idea of a YIMC prayer list. With your large following, it would be powerful… a rich substitute for the family she doesn't have. I'll stay posted! S.

  • Webster Bull

    Thanks, S. I am ading Kate to my personal prayer list. Frank and I are mulling the wisdom of a YIMC prayer list, especially with the privacy issues involved. The Web is NOT private, as you know. So stay tuned.

  • Anonymous

    Good point, both of you, regarding privacy. Your personal prayers are much appreciated and we should probably keep it at that – or just not mention names. (dear friend, sister, etc. would be ok, I suppose). It's just fascinating to me to watch this blog as it evolves. I'm thinking I should buy one of the "addict" shirts you purchased after watching "Scenes from a parish." (I could go on and on, but won't!)S.

  • Webster Bull

    S. Thanks for your understanding, and your comment. It's fascinating to ME to watch this blog evolve and I started it!! I may have to start a blog called "Why I Am a Catholic Blogger," but I haven't figured out the answer yet. . . .


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