Thursday, November 28, 2013

November 28, 2013 - Thanksgiving Day

 Feast day of St James of the Marche
Meet one of the fathers of the modern pawnshop! James was born in the Marche of Ancona, in central Italy along the Adriatic Sea. After earning doctorates in canon and civil law at the University of Perugia, he joined the Friars Minor and began a very austere life. He fasted nine months of the year; he slept three hours a night. St. Bernardine of Siena told him to moderate his penances.
James studied theology with St. John of Capistrano. Ordained in 1420, James began a preaching career that took him all over Italy and through 13 Central and Eastern European countries. This extremely popular preacher converted many people (250,000 at one estimate) and helped spread devotion to the Holy Name of Jesus. His sermons prompted numerous Catholics to reform their lives and many men joined the Franciscans under his influence.
With John of Capistrano, Albert of Sarteano and Bernardine of Siena, James is considered one of the "four pillars" of the Observant movement among the Franciscans. These friars became known especially for their preaching.
To combat extremely high interest rates, James established montes pietatis (literally, mountains of charity) — nonprofit credit organizations that lent money at very low rates on pawned objects.
Not everyone was happy with the work James did. Twice assassins lost their nerve when they came face to face with him. James was canonized in 1726.


James wanted the word of God to take root in the hearts of his listeners. His preaching was directed to preparing the soil, so to speak, by removing any rocks and softening up lives hardened by sin. God’s intention is that his word take root in our lives, but for that we need both prayerful preachers and cooperative listeners.

"Beloved and most holy word of God! You enlighten the hearts of the faithful, you satisfy the hungry, console the afflicted; you make the souls of all productive of good and cause all virtues to blossom; you snatch souls from the devil’s jaw; you make the wretched holy, and men of earth citizens of heaven" (Sermon of St. James).

Reading 1 Sir 50:22-24

And now, bless the God of all,
who has done wondrous things on earth;
Who fosters people’s growth from their mother’s womb,
and fashions them according to his will!
May he grant you joy of heart
and may peace abide among you;
May his goodness toward us endure in Israel
to deliver us in our days.

Click on link below to hear Psalm

Responsorial Psalm PS 145:2-3, 4-5, 6-7, 8-9, 10-11

R. (see 1) I will praise your name for ever, Lord.
Every day will I bless you,
and I will praise your name forever and ever.
Great is the LORD and highly to be praised;
his greatness is unsearchable.

R. I will praise your name for ever, Lord.
Generation after generation praises your works
and proclaims your might.
They speak of the splendor of your glorious majesty
and tell of your wondrous works.
R. I will praise your name for ever, Lord.
They discourse of the power of your terrible deeds
and declare your greatness.
They publish the fame of your abundant goodness
and joyfully sing of your justice.
R. I will praise your name for ever, Lord.
The LORD is gracious and merciful,
slow to anger and of great kindness.
The LORD is good to all
and compassionate toward all his works.
R. I will praise your name for ever, Lord.
Let all your works give you thanks, O LORD,
and let your faithful ones bless you.
Let them discourse of the glory of your Kingdom
and speak of your might.
R. I will praise your name for ever, Lord.

Reading 2 1 Cor 1:3-9

Brothers and sisters:
Grace to you and peace from God our Father
and the Lord Jesus Christ.

I give thanks to my God always on your account
for the grace of God bestowed on you in Christ Jesus,
that in him you were enriched in every way,
with all discourse and all knowledge,
as the testimony to Christ was confirmed among you,
so that you are not lacking in any spiritual gift
as you wait for the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ.
He will keep you firm to the end,
irreproachable on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.
God is faithful,
and by him you were called to fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ
our Lord.


Gospel Lk 17:11-19

As Jesus continued his journey to Jerusalem,
he traveled through Samaria and Galilee.
As he was entering a village, ten persons with leprosy met him.
They stood at a distance from him and raised their voices, saying,
“Jesus, Master! Have pity on us!”
And when he saw them, he said,
“Go show yourselves to the priests.”
As they were going they were cleansed.
And one of them, realizing he had been healed,
returned, glorifying God in a loud voice;
and he fell at the feet of Jesus and thanked him.
He was a Samaritan.
Jesus said in reply,
“Ten were cleansed, were they not?
Where are the other nine?
Has none but this foreigner returned to give thanks to God?”
Then he said to him, “Stand up and go;
your faith has saved you.”


Tuesday, November 26, 2013

The Holidays

Yep, the holidays are upon us once again.  The time when little old ladies turn into demolition derby drivers with their shopping carts in the super markets, and the Black Friday shoppers spend the night out in front of the shopping malls so they can rampage in as soon as they can. 
A time when the majority of parents "buy" their kids love with lavish gifts instead of teaching them the real meaning of the time.  A time when you have to get your father a new sweater to add to the 109 sweaters you've gotten him in the years past.  The poor and homeless folks could use those 108 sweaters, but most people will get larger dressers and enlarge their closets to make room for more stuff they can't possibly use in their lifetime.  A time of peace and good will to mankind, but God forbid you get in front of them on the highway, where you get the sharper image of peace and good will.  A time to re-market the most idiotic gifts, such as the Chia Pets, the Clapper, canned cookies that have enough preservatives in them to last into the next millennium, and a time when desperate people try to rob the bell ringers.  A time when we bring back to life the pagan traditions that really have nothing to do with Christmas;  the mistletoe, the Yuletide logs, the Christmas tree and Santa.  A time when gifting and re-gifting is more important than attending church with your family, and a time for our illustrious leaders to deny us the fellowship of saying "Merry Christmas"  Now, it's all about money, monthly sales quotas, and helping to make the retail industry richer. 
We all are effected by these ridiculous efforts to plunge ourselves into gluttonous pigs.  Each year, we must "top" last years gluttony. 
This is what I wish for Christmas:
For folks to slow down and embrace the true meaning of the holidays.
For families to look forward to fellowship, rather than the drudgery of shopping, cooking, and complaining about the pair of mittens Aunt Suzie is going to hand out (again)
For my children to bring me no tangible gifts, but the gift of their love and fellowship, not out of obligation but yearn.
For people to cut back on the gluttony of the season and be more generous to the poor and needy people going without.
For people to go to whatever denomination of church to worship with their family.
For people to thank God for what we do have, rather than what we feel we must have.

Is this too much to ask?

Sunday, November 03, 2013

The 1957 MGA

My first car, a 1961 VW lasted only about a year and of course, I knew little to nothing about maintainence or repairs.  I moved on to a 1965 Dodge Coronet 440.  It was in great shape, but to me, plain boring. 

One day I answered a sale post for a 1957 MGA.  My friend Lonnie and I drove out to Rochester to kick the tires.  It was in pretty rough shape, but to me, beautiful.  It was a convertable, missing the entire top.  The guy let us tow it around to try to start it, but no luck.  I offered him $ 200.00 and off we went back to Ontario. 

We were more than halfway home, passing through Webster, when I heard a loud bang.  Looking in my rearview mirror, Lonnie and the MG were totally engulfed in thick black smoke.  Unbeknown to me, Lonnie had put the car in 3rd or 4th gear and had the ignition key on.  I had been pulling it all the way from Rochester, to Webster with the clutch out.  In Webster, it decided to start!  The smoke cleared and Lonnie sat there with this tongue n cheek look.  After the car started, he put it in neautral and let the engine idle the rest of the way home. 

It only ran on three cylenders, having a cracked head.  I got one from Andy's junkyard and the Benneway brothers changed it for me. 
A guy I worked with, from England, took it home one weekend and tuned it up for me. 
It was a thrill a mile! 

There were many isuues to overcome, but I enjoyed the MGA until I went into the Navy.