[…] I believe truth is like a fire. It’s like a fire that never goes out. People can try and ignore it, some even try and extinguish it, but honest encounters with it leave us changed. The truth of the person of Jesus Christ isn’t something that can be handled, manipulated, or transformed. No, truth transforms us.
May God bless us all the more richly this Advent and as we begin a new Liturgical Year, may God grant us the grace to put our hearts and affairs in order so as to prepare for the great feast of Christmas, as well as His return at the End of Time.
As some of y’all know, the members of Be The Straw are of Filipino descent. Thus, the devastation wrought by Super Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) and other natural disasters affects us in a particular way.
We ask that you join us in prayer either in your own way or by praying the following prayer provided by CRS:
God, who quiets great winds and stills rough seas We ask your protection for the people of the Philippines. Comfort them in their fear. Stay close to them in their danger. And we ask the intercession of Your Blessed Mother That together with her and with all your holy saints We may stand in solidarity with our Filipino brothers and sisters through their darkest hour through their longest night. Give us the courage to remain steadfast To reach out to them in their need To comfort them in their sorrow To hold them as closely as You hold them To see them through to morning. Amen.
Also, you might be interested in this prayer of the faithful:
For the people of the Philippines and all affected by Typhoon Haiyan. For their protection and their comfort, and that we may stand with them in their time of trouble, we pray to the Lord.
Maybe you can convince your parish priest to use it sometime (daily mass or even Sunday mass) or maybe you can pray the full prayer or intention as a youth group or classroom
If you can donate, and you want to help the efforts of those who are already on the ground in the Philippines helping those who need it, we suggest donating through CRS. 93% of their money goes directly to people and programs that help people. That’s only a 7% overhead cost - and that means that more of your money is actually going to help people. What can your money do?
$8 provides a water kit for a family. This includes 1 jerry can, 1 pail and aqua tabs for water purification.
$15 provides an emergency shelter kit. This includes tarps and nails that are combined with local materials to create emergency shelter.
$22 provides household living supplies. This includes sleeping mats, three blanket, utensils, plastics, glasses, and a cooking pot.
$28 provides hygiene kits. This includes a two-month family supply of soap, laundry detergent, toothbrush, toothpaste, feminine sanitary napkins, and towels.
People helping people. Family helping family. It’s been the Christian way for a long, long time, brethren. (cf. Matthew 35:35-36)
At least that’s what we discover in our gospel today. (Lk 13:31-35)
Here in Luke’s Gospel we see Jesus in one of his most fiery moments. Calling Herod a fox wasn’t some simple name-calling or slight jab at Herod’s slyness. No, this would have been an incredible insult at the time. For the Jewish people, a fox is one of the unclean land animals listed in Leviticus. To call Herod a fox is for Jesus to insult Herod to the core of his being. But this insult isn’t said to simply be mean or as a kind of childish response.
For Jesus, it is a serious and important response - one that Jesus makes in the face of claims that Herod is trying to kill him. By calling Herod a fox, Jesus identifies who Herod is, an unclean animal, someone working on the side of unclean things, someone working on the side of evil. And he will not let evil stop him from accomplishing his mission in Jerusalem.
Audrey Assad’s new (kickstarted) album Fortunate Fall hits store shelves today. I have had the pleasure of listening to this album for a few weeks now, and it has been pretty much on repeat. Beauty draws people in, folks.
Here’s more on the album release from Audrey herself:
It’s been a crazy spring and summer, and we’re so happy to be releasing this record into the wild. We hope our labor in Christ blesses you with rest in Christ. We couldn’t be more proud of this piece of liturgical art. Our prayer is that it is a companion for you on the road to Emmaus.
If you missed it, you can also check out our exclusive interview with Audrey from a few months ago. We were blessed to film it right after her album got fully supported on Kickstarter. Hear her talk about the reason she does what she does, the motivation behind the album, and her fondness towards Star Wars.
Yesterday was the feast of St. James, so Raj interviewed fellow seminarian Daniel Seo about his journey on the Camino de Santiago de Compostela. Answering 5 questions, Daniel shares his story about life and death, wet dogs and self-discovery, the call to discernment and the beauty of listening to God’s voice in your life. If you’ve ever wanted to know more about the Camino, or if you are looking for personal experiences or advice about walking the Camino be sure to check this out.
Daniel Seo is a seminarian for the Diocese of Orange in California, you can view his own video journal of his Camino experience at http://youtu.be/KSUd9aw_-yM
Additionally, we would like to send our prayers and ask for yours for the victims of the tragic train crash in Santiago de Compostela yesterday.
Today we celebrate the Memorial of St. Mary Magdalene. St. Mary Magdalene is the one who bathed the Lord’s feet with her tears, dried them with her hair, and anointed them with fine perfume. She is the one of whom Jesus spoke when He said, “her many sins have been forgiven; hence, she has shown great love,” (Luke 7:47). In the Gospel of Mark, it is written that Jesus cast out seven demons from her (Mark 16:9). St. Mary Magdalene stood at the foot of His Cross and was the first recorded witness of the Risen Christ, the story of which is recounted in today’s Gospel reading.
Today is the Feast of St. Mary Magdalene. To celebrate the sainthood of the first person to see the Resurrected Christ, treat yourself to a Madeleine cookie. Sure it isn’t directly named after her, but the cookie’s name still has its ultimate root in this saintly lady.
Madaleine - [mad-l-in, -lahyn; French maduh-len] fem. proper name, from French Magdalene (q.v.) Cf. also Madeline.
Here’s an instructional video on French Madeleines from Honeysuckle Catering: