Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Catholic Carnival 172: Pentecost and Mother's Day Reflections, Amongst Others ...

Well. At least in some parts of the U.S., it's still Tuesday, 13 May. (It's just a little past midnight EDT as I finally write this blog entry.) You are all so wonderful: I've received 26 (!) entries for this edition of the Catholic Carnival! Unlike the first time I hosted this, I'm just going to present this one in more or less the reverse order in which I received your submissions.

Naturally, there was a wide variety of different topics, but there were some definite themes: Pentecost, Mother's Day, First Communion, Confirmation, book and movie reviews ... you name it, it's in there.

If I've forgotten anyone - I offer my sincere apologies. Please chastise me properly in the combox, and I shall do my level best to rectify any mistakes.

Without further ado: the Carnival of Posts.

In part one of her “Becoming More Like Mary” series, Jean over at Catholic Fire focuses on the virtue of humility. After a brief discussions on the definitions of humility, she lists the ways one can grow in humility.

Teresa over at Teresa’s Two Cents relives the Confirmation of a family that took place at Pentecost.

Christine at A Catholic View notes Planned Parenthood’s tribute to Mother’s Day involves promoting abortion. She refutes this view here.

Jane at Building the Ark gives a beautiful reflection on the roles of mothers, adoptive or otherwise, on Mother’s Day.

Marcel at Aggie Catholics (aka Mary's Aggies) discusses an issue near and dear to my heart - applause during Mass - is it or is it not appropriate. It always irritated me to hear applause during Mass. They do it all the time at my home parish in San Diego – even if it’s a Mass where there’s just a cantor and a pianist/organist. The people will clap after the music is done. My take – if you do that, do you also clap after the priest finishes his homily? Do you clap after the lector finishes the readings? Do you clap if you’ve noticed the altar servers have done their jobs particularly efficiently during the Mass?

You can see I have lots of thoughts on this issue.

Sister Spitfire at Postscripts from the Catholic Spitfire Grill wonders why people like to put rosaries on their rear-view mirrors. Read her rants here. I will admit – I have a rosary hanging off my rear-view mirror. My non-Catholic friends who notice it tease me over it. My non-Filipino Catholic friends roll their eyes at it. My Filipino friends coo over how cute and small mine is. Actually, some of my other Filipino friends have chastised me over not having one on my rear-view mirror … until they notice, yes, there is one hanging there, it’s just small enough that if you’re not looking for it, you will miss it.

As to why we do it? I’m not really sure. But there have been other more ... interesting religious items that hang off the rear-view mirrors of the Jeepneys that I’ve seen ... do an image Google search if you care to have a look.

Steven at Book Reviews and More reviews the book The Shadow of the Bear: A fairy tale retold by Regina Doman. Think of it as the Brothers Grimm meet Snow White and Rose Red. This great read is full of Catholic themes and adventure, and would be great for the whole family. I may have to add this to my “to be read” list myself. Thanks, Steven, for that great recommendation.

Kevin at HMS Blog writes a reflection on the readings for Pentecost. The reflections include reference to two other works of the Holy Spirit: faith and forgiveness of sins.

It’s that time of the year again: First Communion Season. Well, I call it that, because most of the First Communions that I know of occur during the month of May. My parish had their main First Communion celebration happen the first weekend in May. Of course, even now, there are still a few of the kids who will be celebrating their First Communions at the subsequent Masses. As I left Mass last Sunday, I noticed some of the kids coming in for the next Mass: several boys dressed in suits ... and the girls dressed in the most ridiculous hoop skirt dresses, reminiscent of the type of dresses you’d see Cinderella wear. I felt sorry for the girls – it reminded me of my own First Communion, where I sat next to a girl who had to sit in a chair at the end of the pew because her ridiculous hoop skirt dress would not fit in the pew! And we were just a group of 7- and 8-year old kids! Sigh ...

Enough blather from me on this topic. How about we take a gander at Kate’s reflections on this topic? Instead of obsessing over the clothes our little dears should be wearing, why not, as Kate suggests, find inspiration in watching children join in their inaugural breaking of the bread. If only we approached the Eucharist at every Mass like it was our first ... or our last. My response: Indeed. Thanks, Kate.

Another First Communion reflection comes courtesy of Leticia at cause of our joy. She is a bilingual (English/Spanish) catechist who has been teaching First Communion classes for the last 10 years or so. In preparation for their First Communion, Leticia had her students write letters to Jesus, which she bound in a booklet and had brought up during the Offertory procession. She provides some excerpts from these letters. Truly an “out of the mouth of babes” moment. And these letters contained some absolutely beautiful sentiments.

Ebeth over at A Catholic Mom Climbing the Pillars blogs on what Mother’s Day means to her. It includes memories of events connected with her career as a mother. Money quote:
Motherhood is splendid, worthwhile and sublime
With every morning dawning the greetings and grumps,
It's ok, I wouldn't trade them in
Thank you dear Father, for giving me this job!

Laura at Children & Chocolate and Other Paths to God discusses the phrase “Bumping into Jesus,” and how this phrase has rung true for her over the years. She states, “God is with all of us, all the time, whether we choose to acknowledge it or not.” Click here for what is truly an inspirational read.

Sarah at Just Another Day of Catholic Pondering provides her contribution to the Mother’s Day reflections by reviewing the book Behold Your Mother: Mary Stories and Reflections from a Catholic Convert by Heidi Hess Saxton. She states it is one of those page-turners which she highly recommends.

Speaking of Heidi – over at Silent Canticle (Heidi’s Hotline), she discusses the virtue of prudence, and the vice of greed. She goes into vignettes on the fine line between greed and fiscal responsibility.

Allen at The Whited Sepulchre blogged on the Rev’d. John Hagee’s assertion that “the anti-christ (in the form of his spiritual ancestors in Rome) is the Catholic Church.” Before you decide to hex me six ways into next Tuesday, click on the embedded YouTube video and listen to this person speak. I won’t tell you exactly how he explained this, but to get an idea how Allen reacted to this: he spewed his Gatorade all over the table. Enough said? :-)

Heidi again at Behold Your Mother: A Bouquet of Love to Mary from Her Children provides a Mother’s Day and Pentecost reflection on the Holy Spirit.

At Mommy Monsters Inc., Heidi shares photos of her daughter, Sarah, as well as stories of her children with regards to how to decide standards of personal conduct. What brought this on? Sarah’s admonishment of her mother: "Don't be weird, Mom! People will think you're weird!" Money quote:
It's OK to be weird when God takes you along a different path. Trust Him to give you the wisdom you need, exactly when you need it.

Brian at Christus Vincit blogs on an interesting discussion that took place on the RPInet forum concerning the musical and compositional evolution of composer Fr. Michael Joncas. Yes, he is the composer of the (in)famous On Eagle’s Wings. Several years ago, Fr. Joncas gave a talk at the Newman Centre at UNC Chapel Hill, and told us the story of how that piece came to be (Reader’s Digest version: he wrote it for a fellow seminarian who just lost his father, and the two of them were going to the funeral, where OEW was debuted). Brian provides a link where you may follow the slings and arrows of the discussion. What started it all? Joe Sco’s post on Fr. Joncas’ latest OCP publication: a beautifully crafted Salve Regina for double choir (SSAATTBB), a cappella.

In the meantime, Jason, the other half of the dynamic Christus Vincit duo, blogged on what the Rev’d. Dr. Peter Gomes of Harvard University recently termed "the forgotten Feast" between Easter and Pentecost: Ascension Day. (I kid you not – I heard those words come out of Rev’d. Gomes’ mouth myself.) Anyway, Jason started off by reminiscing about a book titled Great People of the Bible and How They Lived. He then goes on discussing the text of the hymn Beautiful Saviour, paired with the hymntune SCHÖNSTER HERR JESU. Along with the lyrics to this hymn is a reflection of Ascension Day and a description (and photo) of a lovely stained glass window depicting it.

Michelle at Philly Catholic Spirituality reflects on why Catholics turn to prayer of the Litanies in times of trouble. Whilst reflecting on the passing of Rufus, her family’s beloved hamster, the prayer is a reminder that God is with us.

At The English Teacher, Scott reviews the movie The Mission, starring Jeremy Irons as a missionary entering the Amazon to spread the gospel and civilise the “savages.” He provides a thorough discussion on the plot, as well as his impressions of this film.

The other day, my next door neighbour and her four-year-old daughter Hannah were downstairs, planting seedlings into a variety of different containers. Hannah has shown a very keen interest in gardening and plants since she could walk. It was a reminder that spring has sprung in these parts, and Mary’s post at Not Strictly Spiritual is a good reminder of that. Her post centres on planting with Mary in mind (i.e., a “Mary Garden”). She provides pretty pictures, excellent suggestions on which flowering plants to get for such a garden ... and decides that she will try more formally to incorporate Mary into her garden.

As part of a team of bloggers associated with the Brain Blogger, J. R. White provided her thoughts on the article “Radical Muslim doctors and what they mean for the NHS (National Health Service),” found in the British Medical Journal (Al-Alawi, I.; Schwartz, S. Brit. Med. J., 2008, 336, 7648). What she sees is a “historical connection between the political clout the Catholic Church once had and the religious influence many Muslim doctors now have.” It’s a very interesting article. I suggest reading this with an open mind. If you want the original article, the link is above, but may not be readily accessible without a subscription (your best bet is to head off to a library affiliated with a Medical School (e.g., UNC, Duke, ECU, Wake Forest, etc.) and read it there).

Literacy-chic at Words, words ponders how it is that mothers can love each of their children equally as well. She then goes into a discussion on the different ways to love children. It’s a good reflection for all mothers to ponder.

Over at The Christian Dating Chronicles, Trevor compares and contrasts the concepts of Dating and Courtship. Is there an actual difference, or is it just semantics? Have a read and then decide.

And last, but not least, Danny at Samson Blinded gives us a good reminder of The Golden Rule: “You shall love your fellow just as yourself.” It’s an interesting discussion about the difference between “those who must be displaced and those who must not be oppressed.” There are multiple references to the Old Testament during the course of this interesting exposition.

I sincerely hope you enjoy these entries as much as I've enjoyed reading them. Thanks again to all who submitted their blog posts! Until next time ...


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. In addition, a list of past and future Carnivals may be obtained by clicking here.


Moonshadow said...

Wow, it paid this week to procrastinate!

Thanks, you've made my (birth)day!

(the big 4-0)

Brian Michael Page said...

Nice job Lyn, thanks much.

Moonshadow, happy b-day.

patjrsmom said...

Great job! Thanks for hosting!

God Bless,

Michelle said...

Thanks for staying up late!!

...I enjoyed your commentary on the posts, particularly the one about applause.

grace and peace,


Kate said...

Wonderful job, hosting!!! Thanks so much, and God bless.

Lyn F. said...

@Moonshadow: Happy Birthday to you!

@everyone else: Thanks for your kind comments.

Ebeth said...

Great job!!! clapping, clapping, clapping...hey, I'm not at Mass, I can do this now!!



Sarah Reinhard said...

Sorry to be so late with this...

FABULOUS hosting job!

See you next week at my place. :)