Welcome to Catholic Carnival 144! This is my first time hosting the Catholic Carnival.
Considering how close to All Saints/All Souls Day we are, I decided to do a Saints-Themed Carnival. Before I introduce you to the other bloggers who have submitted their entries, I would like to share with you the way Filipinos celebrate All Saints Day.
On November 1, Filipinos observe All Saints' Day (Araw ng mga Patay). During this time, Filipinos remember the dead by visiting the cemeteries, cleaning the graves of their deceased loved ones, and decorate them with flowers. It is a somber occasion, but also a joyous time, full of merry-making and laughter, as a way to honour those who have gone before us. If Filipinos schedule family reunions, All Saints Day is generally the day for that as it truly is a reunion of family, both living and dead. Families gather together, share food, stories, and games. It's kind of like a big picnic at the cemetery. I've not personally experienced this, but my cousins have sent me photos of celebrations and picnics at the gravesites of my grandparents, and they'll spend the whole day there.
There is an interesting Top Ten List explaining why celebrating All Saint's Day in the Philippines is better than celebrating Thanksgiving in the U.S., but I will save that for another post.
Let the Carnival begin!
First stop: All Saints/All Souls Reflections.
Elena at My Domestic Church writes about the Annual Cemetery Mass that takes place in her diocese. On the first Sunday of the month, Mass is said among the graves for a real celebration of life and resurrection. She also gives some other traditions associated with All Souls’ Day celebrations.
In her All Saints reflection, Jean at Catholic Fire lists ten things saints have in common.
Finally, Seth at CatholicLand! makes the following request of his readers: he would like to know some good book recommendations on Purgatory.
Second stop: Reflections on the First Reading from the 31st Sunday in Ordinary Time (Sunday 4 November).
Both Christine at Domestic Vocation and Heidi at Streams of Mercy give their reflections based on the first reading from Ordinary 31 (Wis 11:22 – 12:2). Christine's reflections are here, while Heidi's reflections are here.
Third stop: Reflections on other lines from the Bible or Prayers/Praying.
Joe at Ho Kai Paulos writes a reflection based on the line, “the meek shall inherit the earth” (Matt 5:3-10; Ps 36:11).
Amanda at Pajama Mommy gives her reflection on the Serenity Prayer. She analyzes this prayer, line by line.
Finally, Red Neck Woman at Postscripts from the Catholic Spitfire Grill shares her response to someone’s questioning why she, or anyone else, should pray for Jesus. She states that she “prays for Him, as well as thank Him and praise Him for each terrible step He took, for enduring the scourging, for enduring the mocking and the shame, for the pain, and the horror of bearing [all our] sins.” Beautifully stated.
Fourth stop: Reflections on Children and Parenting, and Life in General.
This week's blog entries yielded some very nice stories and vignettes.
First up: Kate submitted a very beautiful post: she has no regrets about having children, unlike a French mother of two children who wrote a book explaining why she regrets having had children. To all the mothers out there, this is worth the read.
Heidi’s second submission is a follow-up on her 40 reasons to adopt that is targeted specifically at those interested in foster parenting.
Matthew’s brief post is a cute vignette on the priceless things that kids say. This involves a bookshelf, books, and eight-year old girl, and her eleven-month old sister. This should bring a smile to your face.
Finally, Melissa at A Third Way relates the story of the lessons she learns from her front steps while she’s praying the Rosary. It’s a beautiful story of how important it is to be there for your friends.
Fifth stop: Reflections on Parish Life, including Faith Formation, Liturgy, and Worship.
Denise at Catholic Mom explores the effects a parish school has on the overall religious education of a parish, and discusses whether or not it is an asset to the parish, or does it drain the parish of resources as related to the faith formation program of the parish as a whole.
In the meantime, Brian at Christus Vincit – the BLOG! echoes the sentiments of many a Catholic Music Director as he questions why it is that English speaking Masses get the short end of the stick when it comes to liturgy and music. My friends who have attended Mass in various churches in Europe relate similar stories to me, how the French, German, Italian liturgies and music lend themselves to a sacred environment during the Mass, whereas the English liturgies and music do not. Apparently, Americans aren’t the only ones afflicted with this problem.
Sixth and Seventh stops: Miscellaneous Reflections.
Okay, so I like the number seven. The last four entries range from the political to the satirical.
C. E. H. Wiedel at Kicking Over My Traces believes there is a legitimate question as to whether Mormons can be considered Christians in the orthodox sense. She quotes Fr. John Neuhaus in trying to answer this question. She then brings the argument that perhaps the question ought to be, can a Mormon effectively govern the United States? This will be a question that will be asked over the course of the next year as Americans prepare to choose the next President next November 2008.
Jay at Living Catholicism explores the new movie, The Golden Compass, which is the first book from the His Dark Materials trilogy, written by Phillip Pullman. He discusses, with citations, the anti-Christian themes that comprise this book and the series in general.
James at WORDS – A Prophecy Fulfilled writes on the difference between Truth and Lies. Money quote: “There is no reward for a lie that one can obtain that is forever: no not one reward. The reward for becoming Truthful and the image of our Lord and Saviour, although not always manifested for earthen eyes or ears, is always eternal!”
Finally, last, but not least, The Therapy Doc at Everyone Needs Therapy gives a lighthearted account of two angels and The Old Mighty arguing about giving humans the gift of speech, among other things.
Thanks to those who submitted their entries for this week's Carnival! I hope you enjoy reading this as much as I have in writing this!
I've discerned that these Carnivals can only be as good as the entries you bring to the party. Please feel free to submit your thoughts to future Carnivals. A handy-dandy form may be found by clicking here.
Until next time, I remain